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Repairing Screens

Martha Stewart Living Television

After a few seasons of wear and tear, window and door screens often need a bit of first aid. A damaged screen in a wooden frame can be replaced easily and inexpensively with the right tools. Try using brass screening, which develops a darkened patina over time, and make all repairs at the end of summer to prepare for the following spring. Martha uses the angled handle of a hive key, a beekeeper's tool, to easily pry up the molding.

Tools and Materials

  • Utility knife
  • Hive key or putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Bronze screening
  • Tin snips
  • Pushpins
  • Staple gun with heavy-duty staples
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail sink
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint

Repairing Screens How-To
1. Score around the outside of the decorative window molding with a utility knife. Carefully pry off the molding with a putty knife, and set aside. Using a hammer, tap out old tacks from molding. Loosen staples with a screwdriver, and remove with pliers. Take out worn screen, and set aside for lining flower pots.

2. Cut a piece of screen whose diameter is 2 inches larger than opening. Tack the screen over the opening with pushpins. Place the first staple in the center of one edge; pull screen tightly, and staple outward in 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals. Repeat with remaining sides.

3. Trim away excess screen with a utility knife. Hold moldings in place, and tack down with finishing nails; hammer in nails on a slight angle toward the outside of the frame. Use a nail sink to countersink nail heads. Fill in holes and nicks with wood putty, and allow to dry. Sand and repaint before storing.

Find brass screening at New York Wire Company.

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