How to Repair a Roller Shade

Window shades can be great for providing privacy and blocking out sunlight, but one of the biggest problems with a roller shade is that they have a tendency to pop out of their brackets. Over time, the pin at the end of supporting rod becomes sheared down from spinning in the bracket.

A new roller shade could cost more than $20 and while you can’t buy a replacement pin you can remove the old pin from the roller shade with a pair of pliers and insert an eight-penny nail in its place. Tap the nail in about a 1/2″ then use cutting pliers to nip the nail head off. Once you have the nail in place, put the shade back in its brackets.


  1. My roller won’t has lost it’s tension and won’t keep the shade up. I’ve tried taking it down and rolling by hand to increase tension – several times. Nothing. Is there a way to take the roller apart to repair the spring? If not, where can I purchase a new roller. The shade is in good shape, only about 2 years old.
    Thanks for your help!

  2. Anel, no need to replace anything – you can tighten the spring by taking a pair of pliers to the “flat end” of the rod – should be on the left. Turn the pliers about a zillion times & you’ll feel the spring inside tighten! Poof! Fixed. MSU Home economist says to pul the sahre down 2 ‘, get it to wind up, repeat, repeat, repeat but it’s not necessary— just turn the flat pin with the pliers while the right side is held fast in its holder & you’ll wind that spring up like a clock!

  3. Thank you for this opportunity! When I added a piece of wood and denim-like heavy trim to the bottom of two gigantic shades, they worked for a year or so. But now I can no longer roll them up. My hardware store guy SAID the springs broke. He had no solution. Can the springs be replaced? If not, what must I do?

  4. My roller has lost its tension and won’t keep the shade up. I’ve tried taking it down and rolling by hand to increase tension – several times. Nothing. Is there a way to take the roller apart to repair the spring? If not, where can I purchase a new roller. The shade is in good shape, only about 6 years old.
    Thanks for your help!

  5. The solution above does not seem to deal with my window-shade problem. I can increase tension only a little bit, and then as I’m winding it just “lets go” and unwinds inside. This happens multiple times as I’m pulling the shade down. I don’t understand shade mechanisms, but it seems like the clutch releases it when it’s not supposed to? Does anyone know how to fix this problem?

  6. I am having the same problem as Laurie of Dec. 4 above, except that this is a brand new shade. Have already returned it once for this problem and now the replacement has the same problem. Is this a poor quality brand, or is this a common defect? The brand is “Perfect Home” distributed by Home Depot. Winding the flat pin on the roller will only go a short while, then the tension gets unsprung again either before the shade gets hung or at the first attempt to lower the shade. I’m not seeing an answer to Laurie, could I get one?

  7. Plastic ends Breaking

    Please need help… I have some older shade in my salon and the plastic ends are starting to breaking. They are R. O. S. PAT. NO. 13746. Can someone tell me where I can buy these parts.

  8. My problem is with roller shades is the small end with the pin wears out after many uses and falls off. I believe they are made of aluminum. The shades are still perfectly fine but I have never been able to finds ends to replace these broken off pin parts. Any suggestions as to where a person can find the ends for roller shades?

  9. Hi Dixie, If I understand your question, it’s the same problem shown in the video. The original pin gets sheared off over time by constantly spinning in the metal bracket attached to the window jamb. Simply pull out the shortened pin and replace it with a nail. Snip the nail to length and the problem’s solved. Good luck!–Joe T.

  10. When you get the pin replaced, or if you are installing new roller shades, replace the side brackets with ones that have a nylon washer inside the hole part that takes the pin. That makes an amazing difference. In looking to replace the pin end, I have found a website that sells the brackets (we originally got ours when we ordered new shades from Penney’s years ago. The parts can be found at this page on That should take you to the page that has the bracket on the right side. If not, go to the main page at and in the little search box, type in shade parts, hit enter, then go to page 2. You will see the item on the right side.

  11. you never answered the problem of repairing the bottom of my shade. If I cut it off to repair what kind of glue (?) can i use for it to stick while I pull it down?

  12. Dear Gillian (and Nancy B.), There’s no sure-fire way to repair the bottom edge of a shade, but you can try this:
    First, remove the shade and trim off the damage section, removing as little shade as possible. Next, thoroughly clean and dry the back of the shade. Now get two wooden sticks–1x3s or 1x4s would work–and cut each one slightly longer than the width of the shade. Also get some 100% clear silicone adhesive (it comes in a caulking-gun cartridge or smaller squeeze tube).
    Apply a continuous bead of adhesive along the back of the shade, then fold back the bottom edge, leaving enough of a “hem” to insert the original plastic or wooden slat.
    Use strips of masking tape to temporarily hold the folded-over shade in place, then sandwich the hem between the two wooden sticks and use clamps to hold the assembly tightly together until the silicone cures. To keep any adhesive squeezeout from adhering to the sticks, cover them with waxpaper prior to clamping.
    Keep in mind that this technique will shorten the shade; try this only if the original shade is slightly longer than necessary to cover the window. Hope this helps.–Joe T.

  13. I have the problem with the spring in my shade no tension can the spring be replaced or is trying to rewind using pliers the only way

  14. I have a 20 year old pleated shade(78&1/2″ x 56&1/2″) and it has two brackets that screw into woodwork(2&1/8th” long and 1&3/8th” wide). We took it in to get a new cord put on it. I saw two plastic brackets on each end on top of the metal on the shade that the bracket on the wall slid into and then you put a screw in to secure the two parts. they measured approximately: 1&10/16th” long and 1&1/2″ wide. I thought the two brackets were snapped in on the top so didn’t think to take them off when shade was taken to repair shop. Either they fell off somewhere or repair shop forgot to put them back on but they really didn’t need to take them off to replace the cord. The repair shop insists they never saw the two brackets on top of the shade.
    I don’t know if I could find the two brackets to replace the old ones on the shade or start over with a new wall bracket and the bracket that attaches to the shade.
    The shade was originally sold at “Wallpapers for Less” but can’t find any information on them.
    Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  15. You can cut off the bottom of the shade that is torn, dirty etc. and then use a hot glue gun – glue to rod, fold over and glue again. Or use another glue and padded clothes pins to hold while drying.

  16. I have day/night pleated pull-down shades in my 5th wheel trailer. One shade will not stay up. I’ve tried looking underneath the valance but I can’t see a thing. The strings seem to be all in tack.Could it have to do with the spring or tension if so how do I fix it or replace if necessry?

  17. How do I repair the hem holding the wood strip at the bottom of my vinyl shade? The stitching has pulled loose. Thanks much for your help.


  18. I did the repair using an eight-penny Duplex nail. The inside head is left on to hold the end cap. Cut off the end head and while spinning the nail in a drill I used a file to shape the pin smooth and square. Tap the nail in and file the end off for accurate length (usually 1/4 to 3/8″).

  19. Hey Robert, Very ingenious. Using a double-headed duplex nail is a little more work than using a common 8d nail, as shown, but the advantage is that the inner nail head will prevent the pin from slipping too far into the end of the roller shade. Although I’ve not had that problem with the 8d nail.
    In any case, I love hearing about DIY ingenuity. Thanks for writing–Joe T.

  20. Your solution for replacing the round pin looks great, but my pin sheared off and all that is left is the plastic piece with the remainder of the sheared off metal incased in the plastic. How do I remove the pin?

  21. Hi Susan, If I’m understanding you correctly, the protruding metal pin has sheared off and the base of the pin is stuck in the plastic plug in the end of the roller shade. All you need to do is use a pair of pliers to pull the sheared off pin from the plastic plug, and then replace it with a nail, as shown in the video. If you can’t grab the pin, use the smallest slotted screwdriver you can find and pry out the broken metal piece. If you still can’t get the pin out, pull the plastic plug from the roller shade, drill a small hole through the rear of the plug and then use a nail and hammer to tap out the pin. Hope this helps. Good luck!–Joe T.

  22. The bottom of my roller shade has an aluminum hem bar that holds the shade fabric inside. The shade has started to come detached and when I try to stick back inside, it won’t hold. Thank you for your assistance! S.B.

  23. Thank you for such a simple trick. I couldn’t believe that there were no replacement parts for this at our local (Big Box) home center.

    I, like Susan, had trouble removing the pin from the plastic sheathing. I used my Dremel to cut away the topmost plastic – just enough for me to get the claw of my hammer around the pin. Once that was done, it popped right out, and there was plenty of plastic to hold the nail in place.

  24. Hey Gregg, You’re very welcome. Glad you were able to repair your roller shade using our Simple Solution. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  25. Thank you, thank you…your website was a God-send….
    I was able to fix our curtain. Saved us a trip to the
    curtain shop, plus a bit of change.

  26. Hi Bernie, So glad to hear our tip saved you some time and trouble. Not to mention money! Thanks for writing and good luck.–Joe T.

  27. WOW! I have searched high and low for the replacement part for my roller shade pins. I have called the manufacturer but no luck. I always end up buying a new shade and robbing the part out. You ‘nailed’ it and helped me tremendously by suggesting an eight penny nail. Then you even demonstrated how to replace the pin with the nail. Can’t wait for my hubby to come home and find an eight penny nail(what ever that is). I’m sure I could fix it myself then. Thank you!! I have these shades in every window and atleast one breaks every year.

  28. Hi Lissa, I’m so glad you liked our roller-shade repair tip. The video shown above was shot in my home, so I can attest to the fact that this simple trick really works. By the way, an 8-penny or 8d nail is just a 2 1/2-in.-long common nail. Good luck!–Joe T.

  29. You’re very welcome, Wendy. It’s often the simplest solutions that bring the greatest joy. Pleasant dreams.–Joe T.

  30. Brand new Levolor cordless roller shade will not retract. We have tightened the spring. One time it retracted too fast. How to fix?

  31. Hi Jackie, assuming the winding mechanism in your roller shade isn’t broken or damaged, here’s how to reload the tension, so the shade goes up and down smoothly. First, lift the shade from the two mounting brackets. Then, unroll the shade. Look at the ends of the cylindrical shade tube. One end will have a round pin, the other, a flat tab. Insert the flat tab into the slot in the mounting bracket and rotate the shade tube in a clockwise direction. Don’t over rotate it; turn it just two or three revolutions. Place the shade back onto both brackets and pull down on the shade to test the tension. If it doesn’t go all the way up, repeat, rotating the shade two more revolutions. If there’s too much tension and the shade goes up too quickly, simply remove it, unroll a little of the shade (12 inches or so) and replace it. If it’s wound still too tightly, repeat. Hope this helps. Good luck!–Joe T.

  32. Very helpful. Solved my problem. I didn’t have nails but did have the right size screw with a long smooth neck above the threads. Just screw in until only the smooth neck protrudes, snip off the excess (I used a bolt cutter), and good as new. Sharing this kind of knowledge is one thing that the internet is great for. Thanks.

  33. Hi Richard, so glad you were able to use our Simple Solution to repair your roller shade. This tip has become one of our most popular Simple Solutions, mostly because it’s easy and effective, but also because there’s no other option, other than tossing out the shade and buying a new one. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  34. Dear Joe T.,

    I looked high and low for new parts and even bought a replacement shade (which I’m going to return). Finally, I happened upon your video.Thank you for the very simple fix for my roller shade. My pin had to be drilled, hammered, and pulled out, but it worked!

    Now, off to Walmart to return the replacement shade!

  35. Hi Joe,
    What a great tip! I was trolling the internet trying to find replacement end plugs when I came across your video. I didn’t have the right-sized nail handy, so I used a drywall screw, and it worked fine. It took me less than 5 minutes and $0! Thank you very much!

  36. OMG – I’m so glad I found this site. I didn’t even have to pull the pin completely out – as I was pulling I felt I had enough pin for it to work and so far – so good. It works better than it has in years – again – so far. Thanks so much!!!!

  37. Thanks so much. When my window shade broke tonight I started searching for a replacement pin end and I came across your repair solution. It worked like a charm and it is up working once more. I’m not super handy but this was great and the morning sun that comes through that window will not be bothering me tomorrow.

  38. I was just about to order end plug from Amazon when I came across your video.
    Actually I turned off your video to scroll down for help, then it hit me…
    I turned it back on and there it was, my problem solved.
    I went to just about spending $9 to $10 plus shipping to $0.
    Thanks for the tip!

  39. I have a brand new shade, a replacement for an old one. The brackets are in, but the store cut it about 3/8″ too small. I’m not handy and don’t want to have to move the brackets or insert something.

    Both the people in the shop and the label on the shades say to pull the pin out with pliers to widen it.

    But the pin will not budge when I yank with all my might. Is it stuck? How can I fix this?

  40. PS, I am trying to extend the flat pin. Should I replace the round pin at the end with a longer nail? Sounds like it could help, but I’m reluctant to mess with that end, esp bc it’s brand new.

  41. I have a large shade (one of 8) in a sun room that I think the spring is locked and won’t release. Can it be fixed? Don’t want to have to replace all of the shades to have them match.

  42. I have a large shade (one of 8) in a sun room that I think the spring is locked and won’t release. Can it be fixed? If so, how? Don’t want to have to replace all of the shades to have them match.

  43. Thanks a lot Joe. I took part of your solution, only I used a screw with threads to keep it from pulling out and just ground down the head with grinder. Hardest part was getting the old pin out. Much thanks!

  44. France, the bottom rail of my roller shade broke (cause they are so flimsy) so I put my brain to work and purchased a standard adjustable curtain rod, they adjust by sliding the pieces to the length you need. I used a hacksaw to cut off the curved ends that hang on the wall. Slid them to the length and put them where the bottom rail goes. probably will last longer than the shade itself. good luck

  45. I have room darkening shades that the end pin sheared right off the roller. The tension side is fine but no way is there enough to pull the pin out and replace it with a nail like in the video,
    Is there a plastic insert piece that can be purchased?? Where?
    Shade is still perfect and large width and length.. Too costly to replace
    Thank you

  46. I have had my vinyl shades many, many year but being heavy the flat pin end popped off as I was trying to roll it back up, any suggestions, thank you Gail

  47. We ordered solar shades with out any pull tabs. Unfortunately, the open space is too high and I can’t reach it. Is there a way to modify this after the fact?

    • Hi, Debbie,

      Absolutely! Stick-on pull down cords use adhesive to attach the cord to the shade.
      You can find these at your local home center.

      Thanks for your question.

  48. Hi! would you know any tricks to replace the flat pin, which broke off on mine? I am trying to find a replacement spring online but haven’t managed to…thanks!

  49. Hi. I have two problems with a shade.

    1) it has become unstapled from the wooden roller. Tried to staple back with 1/4 staples, but some have pulled out.

    2) when rolling the shade up, and putting it back in the brackets, it rolls back down. I’ve tried working with the flat end, and sometimes (going too far?) I hear I suppose the spring recoiling
    Could the spring be broken?
    Do you know where I can buy a new roller bar?

    • Hi, Lori!
      These are available (like almost everything else, it seems!) on Amazon.
      While there, you’ll also find ‘Today’s Homeowner’ and ‘Checking in with Chelsea.’ (Watch them both on Prime Video if you haven’t already!) 🙂
      Thanks for your question.

  50. Two of my roller shades have been rolling crooked now for some time. The edge is wearing off of one and looking ragged because it’s hitting the edge of the window trim on one side. The other shade I’ve had much longer and it’s a room darkening one, but it’s rolling so crooked that I have to hang a black scarf over the one side to block out the sun.

    Please help me figure out how to rewind these straight again, if possible, and also, the winding is kind of sounding mechanical in the one, and jerking a bit as you roll it. I have no one to do these shades for me, as I had to hire a handyman to put them up. I have neck and shoulder issues but if I have to get them down and lay them flat, I could do that much.

    Thank you for any help you can give.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here