Stained shutters offer a dimension to a room that no other window covering can provide. Stain is a liquid that penetrates the surface of the shutter and imparts a rich color. Stains are commonly brown in tone, but often have colors of red or yellow added. Only wood shutters can be stained, while plastic, vinyl, poly, and other synthetic shutters can not be stained.
Various manufactures use a number of names for stain colors like "Early American", "Fruitwood", "Natural", "Golden Oak", "Ipswich Pine", "Maple", "Golden Pecan", "Special Walnut", "Dark Walnut", "Red Mahogany", "Pickled Oak", and many others. Don't select a stain purly on name. Make the selection by viewing the color. Wooden shutters only look proper if they are stained to match the existing woodwork.
The species of wood will determine the final appearance of a stained shutter. Some woods have a very heavy grain, like oak, and some have a very light grain, like basswood. Some woods have oils or resins that result in an inconsistent finish.
Stained shutters are best when finished professionally. Shutters should be hand dipped, rubbed, sealed, sanded, and protected with a clear top coat. It is possible to finish stained shutters yourself. Before finishing, consult a professional paint and stain store.
Shutter companies often have a set of standard stain colors. Theses stain colors generally span the full spectrum form light to dark. If one of the colors do not work, a custom stain match is possible. You should be able to supply a staned piece of wood for matching. A color sample from the factory would then be provided for your approval.