I cut out every other slat. Now ideally it would be nice to use a Dremel Multi-Max with the right attachment to cut the slats flush with the sides and with a little sanding and painting you would never know the other slats were there in the first place (this is shown here on the site I got the idea for the magazine rack http://www.myrepurposedlife.net/2011/10/repurposed-shutter-magazine-rack.html). However I do not have that tool and am trying to do this project on the cheap so was not going to go out and buy it either. So I just used a Black and Decker HandiSaw (as shown in the following picture of my hubby), and just cut it the best I could without nicking the surrounding slats and removed the pieces.
I then proceeded to primer it. I already had the primer on hand from when the house was being worked on. I put two coats of primer on it because the wood was so dark and I thought it would be easier to put multiple layers of primer than multiple layers of paint. This is a picture of the magazine rack primered.
Then I painted it and varnished it. The paint I bought from the Lowe's discount rack (you know the paint that people have mixed but then don't buy). From the choices available this seemed like the best option. The varnish I had from previous projects. The ornamental wood molding I also bought at Lowes and spray painted purple using paint I had on hand from another project. The hooks are just standard S hooks I picked up at the local hardware store and also spray painted purple.
Hope you enjoy and are inspired to re-purpose something! My next project I have in the works that both my hubby and I are working on is making a coffee table using re-purposed materials. I will share when we have it finished!