I did have to strip the paint off this one to then be able to stain it. Let me tell you, stripping this was a huge pain because of how close the slats were. My recommendation would be to use one that was not painted if you come across one. Regardless, I am happy with how it turned out.
First I cut the slats to have the desired opening at the top. Then I stripped the paint off. After that I put wood putty in the holes the slats came out of, let it dry and sanded it down. Then I stained it, let it dry and spray lacquered it. I had an old thin piece of wood from a previous project that I used for the back, sprayed it with chalkboard paint and nailed it to the back of the shutter. The hooks I think I picked up at Lowes.