How to Replace A Mesh Window Screen

Javi Calderon

How to Replace A Mesh Window Screen

Mesh window screens tend to give long before the metal frame needs replacing, allowing insects and even small pests to enter the house during those hot summer months. Instead of paying to replace a perfectly good frame, learn how to simply replace the window screen. It’s a simple task that you can accomplish without a pricey contractor, and will save you money and trips to the hardware store.

You will need a box cutter or utility knife, scissors, a special tool known as a spline roller, spline and replacement mesh screening. 

1. The first step is to gently take the frame down. If you break it or bend it beyond repair, the project is over. So be careful. If the frame has bowed, you can straighten it by using a flat surface to gently bend it back into place. Use your box cutter to cut the screen out, then pull out the rubber wire that holds the screen into place. This is called spline, and it comes in different widths. Take both the spline and the screen with you to the hardware store so you can be certain you buy the right replacements.

2. Once you have the replacement spline and mesh screen, lay the screen over the frame and cut around the edge with the scissors. Leave plenty of over hang, as this isn’t a final draft. 

3. You can then put the frame back into the window. From this point could also do the project on a worktable or other surface, but the window provides sturdy support to keep the frame in place while your working.

4. Cut four small sections of spline to use as anchors. Then, hold the screen up to the frame and use the spline roller to push the four pieces of spline into the groove, one on each of the four sides of the frame, to keep the screen securely in place. 

5. With the screen held firmly in place, you can now calmly role one edge of the spline into the groove using the spline roller. When you reach one of your spline anchors, simply pull it out, and role the spline into place. When you reach the corner, simply cut the spline and start off a new line on the adjacent edge. 

6. You’ll find that it will be most convenient to cut the excess screen off as you go. Pushing the screen into place in the corners will be awkward with extra screen hanging off. At the corners, simply cut the screen at an angle, don’t bother trying to edge out a corner. 

7. At the end you should have your screen firmly secured by 4 separate lines of spline, one on each side of the screen. Make sure the screen and the frame are both firmly in place.

You have successfully replaced your window screen without having to buy a new frame. 

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