Re-screen your screen in time for Summer Breezes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My friend Sarah asked me if I could re-screen a few of her screens. Of course I said yes and I thought what a great opportunity to blog about the process. I’m sure it’s been blogged about before – probably a million times, I’m not sure, I haven’t checked, but I’m going to blog about it anyway! As you can see from this pic, these screens are in pretty bad shape. Besides being torn, the screen was dry rotted – many years exposed to the elements. Replacing screen is not really a difficult thing to do. I remember many, many, many years ago, before I knew you could even buy the stuff to do things yourself. Before DIY was a popular catchphrase. My first time in a big box home improvement store really opened my eyes. I never realized I could walk in there and come out with screen, spline and the tool to install it. So now, many, many, many years later I try to look at projects with a DIY mindset. Can I do this? You can definitely do THIS project. Let’s get started. Obviously you have to gather your supplies. They look something like this.
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When you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s to look for your screen, you will see many types, sizes and colors. They usually come in rolls. They come in gray, charcoal, black. I’ve even seen a copper and a very shiny aluminum. They come in fiberglass and aluminum. They range from 25ft in a roll to 100ft. Measure your screens to make sure you get enough so you don’t have to run back to the store. Then you will need spline. That’s the stuff that holds the screen on the frame. You will also need a spline tool. It usually has two wheels, one on each end with a handle in the middle. One wheel is like a thin blade (but not sharp) and the other is like two wheels sandwiched together. It’s used for flat spline and the other is for round spline. I like the double wheel the best. I feel like I have more control. I already had the spline tool, but I did three screens for $20. Not bad. So the first step is to remove the old spline.
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I used my screwdriver and started in the corner.
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Just keep pulling until you pull the entire length out. As with the spline, push the screen out of the channel and keep pulling until you get it all out. Your frame will be very unstable and flimsy at this point so try to keep it flat on your work surface.
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Now is the perfect time to clean your frames, if they need it. I just used a soft sponge and some dawn. I really wanted to spray paint them white, but there just wasn’t enough time. The weather is perfect and I knew she wanted to get them back in her windows.
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Now comes the fun part! Lay your screen over the frame. Make sure you center it over your frame so you have enough to push down into the channel.
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Now it’s time to start pushing your spline which is on top of the screen, down into the channel. You always want to start in the corner and work your way all the way around, back to where you started. Is there a reason for this? I don’t know. It’s what I’ve read you should do and it’s what I’ve always done. I think using one piece gives it stability. Once I get it started, I like to pull it tight as I roll. It thins it out and makes it easier to push into the channel.
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Now, this is where I need to caution you. You must go slow and stay steady as you roll. Depending on the type of screen you get, if you go off track, there is a chance you will tear the screen. There is nothing more frustrating than having to start all over again and wasting screen. So take your time. Once you go all the way around, cut off the spline where it meets in the first corner and push it down. Now you can take your exacto knife and very gently cut as close to the spline as you can all the way around the screen.
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Viola`, you are done!
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Congrats on a job well done! Now, stick it back in the window and enjoy the beautiful Spring breezes before it’s 100 degrees out there and you have to close up the house and turn the air on!

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