Replacing screens

Replacing Screens

One of the things you have to remember about cats is that they are first and foremost hunters. Loki and Pixel are always hunting bugs, lizards and occasionally even a small mammal.


Now hunting doesn’t mean catching especially for our two felines. Most often, they catch moths and lizards. Nate and I do our best to rescue whoever we can.


Since moths flock to the porch light, the cats are often crouched near by. It doesn’t seem to matter if there may be a screen between them and a potential prey. They will attack without remorse for their victim or the screen. After four years of torture, our front window screen was finally done and ready for a replacement.

Buying spline for my screens

Replacing window screens

For this project, the only thing I needed to buy was spline (cording that holds the screen to the frame). I had already purchased the screening and had all the tools from the first time I replaced the screens five years ago.

Spline buying

I took the old spline to the hardware store with me so I could make sure to get the right replacement. The spline comes in a variety of sizes and colors. I liked how there were samples to compare the old piece to. This is easier than trying to measure through the plastic bag of the products.

One I was back home I compiled all my tools and got started.

Use the old screen as a pattern to cut the new one

1) Use the old screen as a pattern.

After taking the old screen out of the frame, use it to cut your new one out. I usually give myself another 1/2″ of clearance just in case.

Clamp the new screen to the frame

2) Clamp the new screen to the frame.

This was my ah-ha moment on the project. Last time I used tape to secure the screening to the frame which is really silly. Clamps work a lot better. Plus you can easily adjust them as you go.

Press spline into the frame

3) Press the spline into the frame.

After I was all clamped in, I started running the spline into the frame using my spline roller. This is a nice tool to have. The roller makes this process pretty easy once you get started. Press the spline in completely, but be careful not to cut the screen in the process.


4) Use a screwdriver to press in the corner.

When you get to the corners, use a screwdriver to secure the spline in. Sometime I will even start it on the next side and then go back and secure the corner. Whatever works for you.

Cut at the corner and press in.

5) Cut at the final corner and press in the end.

When you reach the end, cut the spline so you finish with a tight corner.

Trim the excess screen.

6) Trim the excess screen.

If you have any excess screening, trim it as close to the frame as possible. I used scissors, but a straight-edge would also work well. The screen will be visible in the window so you want the edge to be as clean as possible.

Once the screen is done, pop it into the window and you are good to go.

Finished screen

Ta da. What a beautiful sight. An untarnished screen.

Finished window screen

Glorious. So pretty I almost didn’t want to put it in because you and I both know it’s only a matter of time until the screen comes between a cat and moth.

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