How to Replace a Window Screen

To replace a torn window screen:

  1. Place the screen frame on a flat surface.
  2. Insert a small screwdriver or the point of a utility knife under the end of the rubber spline.
  3. Pry the end of the spline out and remove the spline around the frame.
  4. Remove the screen wire from the frame.
  5. Position an oversized, new piece of screen over the frame.
  6. Use the convex end of a spline roller tool to push the screen into the groove at one end of the frame.
  7. Place the spline over the groove, and use the concave end of the roller tool to push it into the groove.
  8. Pull the screen tight at the other end of the frame, and use the roller tool to push the screen and spline into the groove.
  9. Pull each of the other two sides tight and press the spline in, being careful to avoid wrinkles.
  10. Trim off excess screen with a utility knife.


  1. Ok, I’ve done this. I am actually replacing the screens on my porch. However, their setup is identical to the video. However, I am not able to get them even close to as tight as the original job. Any tips, tricks to making the screens nice and taught? Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi John, Yes, it can be difficult to pull screens tight, but here’s one trick you can try: Put 1-by wood blocks under each end of the screen frame, then clamp down the middle, creating a slight bow. Next, roll in two opposite ends of the screen and release the clamp. The frame will straighten out and pull the screen tight.

    Just be sure the wood blocks aren’t too thick or you might bend the screen frame.

    This technique is typically used on wooden screen doors, but it can also be used on window screens, if they’re not too small. Check out the following video:

    Hope this helps. Good luck!–Joe T.

  3. Joe T, that’s a great tip! I hadn’t found that video. Thanks! Problem Im having is that my panels don’t come down. They are structural, to heavy duty to bend with clamps and they areholding up the porch and cannot be removed. So, the screen has to be reapplied with them in their vertical position.

  4. Oh, ok, John, now I understand. If your screen frames are permanently attached, then that’s makes the job much more difficult. Wrapping the screen fabric around a long wooden dowel will allow you to pull the screen tight. And remember to fasten the screen in the following order: top, bottom, one side, then the remaining side.

    You might also want to consider a product called, Screen Tight, which is a system of vinyl channels, splines and snap-on covers that work great for pulling screens tight. The system is ideal for porches, and it provides an easy way to replace screens if they get damaged.

    Good luck!–Joe T.


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