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Poplar Shutters Poplar shutters mill and paints well. Mineral streaks and a green color make poplar unsuitable for staining. Poplar is moderately heavy for shutters. Poplar is widely available, but less costly. Poplar is best used for millwork and trim that is nailed in place. Popular produces a lesser quality shutter.
Cedar Shutters Cedar shutters mill and finish nicely. However, color varies greatly for staining. Cedar is soft and can dent and scratch easily. Tilt bar staples do not hold well.
Cedar shutters work wonderfully for exterior shutters. The outstanding durability and resistance to decay of incense cedar makes it ideal for exterior use where moisture is present. This wood gives long service with little maintenance in such as mud sills, window sashes, sheathing under stucco or brick veneer construction, greenhouse benches, fencing, poles, trellises, and shutters. Incense cedar is also used extensively for exterior siding because it is dimensionally stable and holds paint well, in addition to being durable. Oh, yes, and bugs hate it!
Alder Shutters Alder is our second choice for shutters. Alder is a smaller tree so only shorter lengths are available, thus tall shutters require finger joints.
Pine Shutters Pine is a softwood. Many different species and grades of pine is available, so quality tends to be inconsistent.
Synthetics, Plastics, Vinyl, Fauxwood, and Poly Many synthetics incorporate "wood" in their name, but most contain no wood - usually called faux wood or poly shutters. Made from stock size components with few, if any, custom options. Come in limited white colors, and cannot be stained. Look, feel, and sound like plastic. Relatively new product so limited customer satisfaction experience. Synthetics are less costly to manufacture. Heavy and tend to sag. All synthetics are manufactured from nonrenewable resources.
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Brian manages All About Shutters, an online buyer’s guide for interior and exterior shutters, discussing a variety of topics with informative articles. www.allaboutshutters.com