House Exterior: Mini Makeover with Nu-Wood

Since moving to the lake, I have posted a few times about the exterior of my house.  The front (street side) and back (lake side) look as if they are from two different homes.

front view of lake house

The front of the house looks like a one-story contemporary home…

How to paint a faux woodgrain finish on front doors that looks like real wood.

…especially with the design on the double front doors. Many that arrive via the front door think the house is a small ranch style house.

exterior house color scheme

It is not until you go inside or see the house from the lake side that you see the house is a bigger two-story home that has a totally different rustic appeal.

I also have mentioned in a post or two that I was not sure I liked the color of the exterior. Since we have lived in the house for 2 years now. I have come to like the color after doing a lot of “exterior color scheme” research. I found that the exterior colors of my house are quite popular in mountain, ocean, and lake regions of the country.

Exterior Color schemes for lake homes

Most of these homes have cedar or plank siding, where my house has beige brick with panel siding, but I understand now about the use of the dark teal/green color scheme on my house.

House Exterior-Makeover-with-NuWood-Shutters

Even with my new found acceptance of the color, something still didn’t feel right. Something was missing…. interest, color balance?

Remember, I am not looking for big knock-down changes since we don’t have a budget for any major undertaking. We are content with making small changes.

It took two years, but I finally figured out what I could do on a budget to make this side of the house look more cohesive.  See the second floor shed dormer?

lake house

It has always looked unfinished to my eye.

my house on the lake

Recently when we were coming home on our boat via the lake, it came to me…

Lake house living

…an easy way to give the lake side of the house what it was missing.

What did we do?

House Before and After Exterior Makeover using Nu Wood shutters

We added board and batten shutters from Nu-Wood to the 3 sliding-glass doors along the second floor shed dormer.

If you haven’t heard of Nu-Wood shutters, they are one of the easy to install decorative millwork products for the inside and outside of homes.

The products made by Nu-Wood are not made of wood, but an advanced process of molding polyurethane that can be replicated to look and feel like wood while integrating the advantages of polyurethane products – namely they will never chip, peel or crack, nor will they be affected by the weather or insects. No maintenance needed. I like that!

The shutters were delivered right to our front door and were ready to install right out of the box. All the Nu-Wood millwork products come factory primed, and can be installed with no further painting, or you can have Nu-Wood custom paint your products using any one of the 1500 colors available through the Sherwin Williams outdoor line of paints.

I had the shutters made up by Nu-Wood in the Sherwin Williams color, Umber Rust to coordinate with the wood decking and railings.

All I needed to do to order them was measure how tall the sliding doors were and choose a Sherwin Williams paint color. They were delivered last Friday and Ed had them installed in an hour this past Saturday morning.

How to Install Nu-Wood Shutters

supplies needed to install Nu-Wood shutters on a home exterior

supplies needed:

  • Nu-Wood Board and Batten Shutters customized to size and color
  • Exterior screws – I used 10 x 2-1/2″ length
  • Drill and drill bit the diameter of screws
  • Exterior Spackle
  • Spackle knife
  • Damp rag
  • Bubble level
  • Sherwin Williams paint for touch-up over screw holes
  • Small paint brush
How to drill holes to install Nu-Wood shutters
  1. Pre-drill 12 counter-sunk holes in each shutter.
Where to pre-drill holes in Nu-Wood shutters for exterior screw placement

2. The drilled holes should be spaced evenly on the shutter, 4 row of 3 holes across as shown.

How to install Nu-Wood shutters

3. Place shutters where you want and check level.

How to hang Nu-Wood shutters

4. Attach by counter-sinking exterior screws into the pre-drilled holes.

Nu-Wood shutter installation guide

5. Fill holes with exterior Spackle or filler. Wipe excess Spackle around hole with a wet rag before it dries. Isn’t is amazing how the Nu-Wood shutters look like real wood? They feel like real wood, too.

Nu-Wood Shutters how to install

5. Let Spackle in holes dry.

How to hide screws in Nu-Wood shutters after hanging them?

6. Once Spackle is dry, touch up using the same color Sherwin Williams paint the shutters were made in.


BEFORE Lake house without shutters

No shutters.

House AFTER with Nu-Wood Shutters

AFTER Lake House with shutters

With shutters.

A simple addition that adds overall color balance and makes the exterior look cohesive.

Shed Roof home with Nu- Wood Shutters

My favorite part is how the stained color on the stairs to the deck lead your eye up to the second floor now where the same color is on the shutters. :-)

Exterior House mini makeover before and after

Just the interest I was looking for.

Exterior Update to home by adding shutters to frame sliding doors.

Thanks to Nu-Wood for working with me on this update and my handy guy who helps in making sure that all my home improvement ideas come to fruition. :-)

You can find out more about Nu-Wood and the all the products they make over at the Nu-Wood website. There are many products ranging from shutters to small decorative millwork pieces to accent the exterior and interior of a home.

To order, email their sales department at and they will let you know where the closest location is to get Nu-Wood products. They sell only through distributors like 84 Lumber and other regional lumber yards across the U.S.

How to makeover the exterior of a home using millwork and shutters from Nu-Wood products. Faux wood millwork for home exteriors and interiors. Home Improvement projects. #nuwood #homeimprovement #exteriorhomemakeover

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  1. Looks like I’m late to the party but I just read your post about the garage door and saw the link to the house and ended up here.

    The shutters were a great touch. From reading the other post, I agree about the dark color for the exterior. Think it would be stunning.

    We have an adorable red cabin a couple of hours north of where we live. It was already red when we bought it so when we added a separate little bunkhouse on the property, we painted it red as well. I love it BUT if I ever paint it again, it will be black!

    Anyway, good luck with your paint decision. I hate making paint color decisions.

  2. Tiffany Bush says:

    I’m catching up on my. Log feading but just had to comment on what an amazing difference that has made. I was eh on the green before, but now that everything is tied together with the shutters, the color combo looks fabulous! Congratulations and enjoy!

  3. Samantha Page says:

    Like the design idea Diane! Great work!

  4. The addition of the shutters is the icing on the cake! The back of the house looks wonderful. Vikki in VA

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Vikki – I keep going out to look at them as I am so happy with how they make the exterior of the house look so much better. :-)

  5. Sam Ellis says:

    Hey, Dianne!

    Your place looks amazing! The wood shutters added a very rustic feel to the whole look of your home. Thanks for sharing such informative and well-written article!

    – Sam

  6. Looks great! Big impact without a major renovation. Good for you! I’m envious that you live on the water. I’ve always wanted to. Enjoy!

  7. Looks great,it adds so much interest for the lake side. Any updates on bushes being removed? The reason I ask it is something that is on my list to do, and not sure how to finish it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lou – The holly in the front of the house has all been removed in front of the glass garage windows. Ed did it all by using a pick axe, a shovel and a chain saw. In front of the house by the front doors, we will remove the holly bushes in the spring. We got busy and all of a sudden it got cold outside. I am back inside now doing projects.

  8. Vesna Plaskos says:

    What a difference.. It looks amazing!

  9. wow what a difference!

  10. Ellen Hernandez says:

    We have been wanting shutters, too as our 2 story does look incomplete as well. I’m not finding this Nu-Wood site user friendly. I don’t see all that information you provided – sizes, paint choices, etc. How did you reach this company?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ellen – You are right, the site doesn’t say how to order. You can give them a call at 574.534.1192 or email the sales dept at and they will let them know where the closest location is to get the products. They only sell through distributors like 84 Lumber and a myriad of other regional lumber yards across the U.S.

  11. Sue Bauman says:

    Just what the second floor exterior needed! You are brilliant and so is your handyman! The second level has so much more weight and presence now with those handsome shutters. The curb appeal on both sides of your home is outstanding!

  12. Gail Vernali says:

    That did it,you found the missing piece. They look marvelous.

  13. Kimberly Bruhn says:

    LOVE it…those shutters tie everything in so well!

  14. What a difference the shutters make. It looks so pulled together. Great addition.

  15. Milie Torres says:

    Wow, the house was beautiful before but now it looks gorgeous. The shutters did it, l Love the house even more….great job my friend.
    Millie from… http:\\

  16. Sherry Darlington says:

    Well….that is just perfect! We also live in a lake house so I understand the whole “front & back thing.

  17. What a LUCKY lady you are: such a handsome handyman and shutters look great too! God bless! Happy Thanksgiving to your family!!

  18. Suzanne Brodie says:

    Unbelievable difference. Looks absolutely fabulous!

  19. Debbie Mayfield says:

    I love the new shutters. They look awesome!

  20. YES! That’s just what the back of your home needed. Looks terrific! ;)

  21. Pam Cates says:

    I LOVE it!. Much for balance and I love shutters. Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. Love it! It’s like brow pencil for your upstairs windows :)

  23. My favorite shot is of the handy guy waving from the second floor. :)
    They do look beautiful. You have such a good eye for color.
    I look forward to seeing how they age.
    If it is anything like the Trek decking- they will still look great years from now.

  24. Wow! That made a huge difference, and I think it looks wonderful!

  25. Mary Ann Howat says:

    The shutters and their color make all the difference to the exterior of your lake house. Love it,

  26. Christina in SW FL says:

    Brilliant idea with the Nu Wood shutters. I really like how the brown color is more balanced on the 2nd floor. So schmart! :) Also a cost effective solution over more drastic things you may or may not want to do.

  27. Janice Lacy says:

    To me, it’s more the color of the green…maybe too much blue?

  28. Amazing how the shutters pull everything together, amazing!

  29. What a wonderful transformation! You have such great taste.

  30. What an amazing addition!! The shutters are perfect :)
    Looks great!

  31. Cathy Clark says:

    WOW! GREAT improvement!!!

  32. Linda Weeks says:

    I bet you could almost hear everybody on the blog saying “WOW!” How did you know that they would look so good?? Love it!

  33. Your creative brain is really working. Such a simple solution to make such a large impact. It’s look so cohesive now. What a difference. Congrats. We have the same setup with our lakehouse. Main floor with lower level opening out to the lake. We have a lot of glass to catch the 250 degree water view. Isn’t lake life nice???

  34. WOW what an amazing difference they make.

  35. That is incredible and what a difference they make, you’re so dang smart!!:) It looks beautiful, well done!!

  36. valarie sanford says:

    It looks like a million bucks Diane, brilliant, just brilliant!

  37. Fantastic, what a difference! Looks so put together now.

  38. That’s IT! What a great eye you have for just the right update.

  39. Norma Rolader says:

    I really like the change with shutters much more finished and the views from your home is amazing

  40. Such a finished look. A great enhancement to your beautiful home. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  41. Betty Baker says:

    Hi Diane …the Look is absolutely gorgeous. What a beautiful home you have, the water must be such a joy to you. Now to get winter over with. Do you have much snow there?
    . regards Betty from Ontario, Canada

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Betty – No snow here. :-) If we do get snow, it is in January or February and only an inch that is gone in an hour. Since moving here, I have not had to wear my heavy winter coats. All I need is my wool poncho or light jacket.

  42. Wow IS the word. The house looks great. Such a good idea!

  43. That really adds definition to your second story! Nicely done!

  44. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    WOW is the word. Again, good update is over the top fantastic!!!! I can barely believe you did not have to stain or paint the railings and steps!!! Your way more than GREAT! I love your new look AND I’m jealous! But in a good way! : * )

  45. What a difference! The shutters pull everything together. Great job.

  46. Susie Monk says:

    They really change the whole look, well done team Diane. Did you ever consider working shutters? In France everyone has working shutters so they are always the same size as the windows. Wish we had that nuwood there! What a timesaver that is. Love your blog!

  47. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    They look absolutely fabulous

  48. Is that an outdoor clock and do you have a link? :D

  49. I’ve got to hand it to you! That made an enormous difference and I was skeptical when I saw where you were going, but it looks fabulous, truly fabulous. What a great idea

  50. Marilyn Holeman says:

    Looks great, Diane!

  51. Romeogirl says:

    You hit that one out of the park!

  52. Sensational idea and very creative!

  53. I can’t imagine any other solution that would have done exactly what you wanted. And the view from the water will be so much better – which is always true with lake houses. And visitors often come by water. I’m like you -I wouldn’t have picked that color, but it all makes sense.

  54. Perfect!! It looks fabulous!! I am intrigued with Nu-Wood. My husband has been in the lumber industry forever and always looked down on faux lumber, but now that we are older and wiser he sees the beauty in maintenance free products. Our house is very similar….one story look at front, but since we are on a hill we have a walk out basement, so two stories in back. When we built our house 40 years ago, we went with cypress board and batten and I did not want shutters…..but like you, I felt we looked unfinished, so about 30 years ago we added shutters and I have never regretted it.

  55. Wow. What a great solution. It looks beautiful.

  56. Barbara Jaeger says:

    Good call, Diane. The shutters really update the look of your house. They add style, accentuate the door openings, and are the perfect response to the green trim of the first floor windows. Love how you find practical solutions to enhance what you have rather than always insisting on a complete renovation. That takes a keen eye and ingenuity. You have both and that is why I read your blog!

  57. Mary Frasher says:

    What a wonderful difference!

  58. That is perfect! The same thing happened with my house…I couldn’t figure out what was missing, then it dawned on me…shutters! It’s almost like a face missing eyebrows!!! I’m a S.C. girl, and that teal green color is very popular here, despite some other comments.

  59. WOW!!!!!!!! I can’t believe the difference! It looks great!

  60. Betty Baker says:

    Well I have said it before and I will say it again…you are not just another pretty fasr. The look absolutely amazing. That is a great fella you have working for you! Regards from Ontario.Canada

  61. Heidi McC says:

    A big “atta girl” to you! I wish my mind worked like yours!

  62. Mary Wilson says:

    Perfect – just what your house needed. The shutters connect the whole color scheme together.
    I love your budget friendly ideas. I have not found another blog with budget friendly home improvement DIY.
    Thank you

  63. Those shutters are exactly what was needed to visually balance your house, but I don’t think that would ever have occurred to me. Great job!

  64. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Stroke of genius!

  65. Oh WOW, Diane, they look terrific!!! What a brilliant idea, and your color choice is perfect. Good job—and to Mr. Fix-It too!

  66. Diane!! It looks fantastic!! What a great idea!! Hmmm thinking how I could use those at my Lakehouse!

  67. Wow…the shutters really give this home a lovely dignity. Really nice! Hope your next project is lighting. Would love to see your home from the lake at night with beautiful lighting. Very fun to watch your journey.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vel – You are right, lighting would make the house look nice at night, but if we added lighting, our neighbors wouldn’t like us very much. When someone adds a light and keeps it on at night, it not only doubles the light since it reflects in the water, but takes away from the serene setting at night. We have two lights on the dock and a few going up the steps – all are down lights so they don’t shine too brightly.

  68. Carol Rushby says:

    Amazing-who would have guessed-just what your house needed

  69. I love how the shutters tie the whole look together now. It’s funny how ideas can just come out of the blue like that.

  70. I always enjoy your posts. We are hoping to retire to lakefront property. Your home is beautiful
    Thanks for sharing


  72. Patricia Burns says:

    The other homes you showed are not the same green as yours…they are more green and yours is more blue (teal).

    I think the only solution is to change that to another color but then again I have never liked teal…too much blue and I am not a fan of blue.

    Then again it is your house !

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patricia – I have more photos showing homes with teal, one I recently saw when I was visiting Bald Head Island in NC. But for the post, I just wanted to get my point across about coming to terms with the color. In the spring, I may be changing the color on the street side. Not sure yet, but I have time to consider many options.

  73. An amazing difference. Isn’t it interesting that some people have a brain that says “something is missing” and some people do not hear that little voice. My brain talks to me way too often for the size of my budget, but it’s great to see a reasonably inexpensive upgrade can make such a difference.

  74. Diane, that’s exactly what it needed. I can appreciate and admire the fact that you gave yourself time to understand what needed to happen. That’s not always easy to do. ;)

  75. The house kind of looks top heavy to me now. But hey, if it makes ya happy, that’s all that matters. ;-)

  76. You are right! Exactly what it needed! Beautiful home. Thanks for sharing.

  77. Carol Griffin says:

    WOW! What a difference the shutters make and really ties everything together! Absolutely love what you did!

  78. Deb Wostmann says:

    Just the right touch. Bravo, Diane!

  79. What a dream home! We’ve been looking for ours for 4 years now…

  80. Huge difference Diane, looks fabulous!

  81. I love how you mentioned you knew something was missing, but it took two years to know what it was. I’m glad my brain isn’t the only one that takes some time to solve the issue. It really looks great!

  82. Wow! What a difference! Looks great!

  83. patty reed-pederson says:

    Wow, they really polish off the whole look.

  84. I can see why you needed some perspective – in time and distance! – to see what the fix should be. Just like life – time and distance help us figure things out. What a wonderful and brilliant idea – and so easy to do for your go-to guy! It looks finished and beautiful. Bravo!

  85. Debbie White says:

    Diane, I absolutely love this project. It’s funny…I’m on your email following list, but I saw this first on pinterest as I have been browsing online for new low maintenance shutters to replace some that flew off of my house during a storm. The first time I found your blog was years and years ago when I was googling vinyl floorcloths. I have loved following your projects in both of your homes and look forward to seeing all that you continue to do to make your new home “you”!

  86. Brilliant! They look so good and now it seems so obvious what was needed! :)

  87. Katie Bowers says:

    I think it’s a great budget makeover. I am wondering though if the sliders on the top are older than the windows on the bottom? The bottom windows have a teal surround and I think that’s what makes them look finished as compared to the sliders at the top.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katie – The doors are different on the top and bottom. The ones on the top are newer, two panes and made of metal. Where the bottom doors are three panes and made of wood. I think if the metal trim around the top doors was painted the same color as the house and trim around bottom doors, they would not stand out since the trim color would match the wood. In my dream plans I would love to install all new sliders across both the top and bottom. Someday… :-)