A side by side comparison of wood that is gesso coated vs wood that is not gesso coated

What is Gesso Coat?

Most shutter manufacturers rely on economical, rough-cut lumber and apply a brittle clay coating known as Gesso Coat to smooth out defects. Traditionally used as the top surface for chalkboards and as a base layer for artists’ canvas, gesso helps to even out inherently uneven surfaces.

In the context of shutters, this coating serves to cover defects and stop sap that bleeds through porous, open-cell hardwoods like poplar and radiata pine. Think of Gesso Coating as the woodworking equivalent of Bondo used for car repairs; it fills in scratches, gouges, and divots, producing a deceptively smooth final product.

A Stock image of a car repair technician applying bondo filler to a car.

A Stock image of a technician applying putty filler to a damaged vehicle

However, the presence of gesso-coating is an unmistakable sign of compromised wood quality. Over time, this material is prone to deterioration and brittleness, especially when subjected to moisture or chemical cleaning agents.

Gesso-Coated Softwood

You’ll easily spot the inferior quality of Paulownia wood. It’s identifiable by its broad growth rings, which indicate fast and invasive growth. Its porous texture traps sap and eventually leads to decay.


In contrast, Artisan Shutter’s dense, kiln-dried basswood has impeccable durability. This true, high-quality hardwood requires only a thin triple top coat of primer and paint to enhance its natural beauty.

Because we own and operate our own shutter factory just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, we control the quality of raw materials and the finished product. In contrast to other options, Artisan Shutter’s premium-grade basswood, is associated with only the finest lumber in the window coverings industry, stands out with its consistent straightness, minimal defects, and enduring structural integrity, thanks to a meticulous process of finger-jointing and laminating, all while delivering unparalleled aesthetic value.

When selecting a shutter manufacturer, it is crucial to consider the long-term value and integrity of the product. With our basswood shutters, you are investing in a premium, resilient, and aesthetically superior option that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your home for years to come. Choose excellence; choose the durability and elegance of Furniture Grade A Basswood for your shutters.