How to Easily Replace the Mesh in a Screen Door

No matter who (or what) is to blame for the ripped mesh in your screen door, the good news is you don’t need to be an expert to replace it. We’ve put together a set of easy step-by-step instructions to quickly replace the damaged mesh before the insects find the welcome mat. Once you have everything you need, removing and replacing the mesh will take the average DIYer approximately 30 minutes. Let’s get started. 

Gather Your Tools & Materials

Make a quick trip to your local hardware store to pick up some essential items, starting with the mesh. Replacement screens are sold in rolls and are available in wire or pet-friendly fibreglass alternatives. Opt for meshing with smaller holes if you want more privacy; larger holes will seem more translucent but may let in smaller insects. 

Next, choose your spline, which is the flexible tubing that holds the screen in place. To install the spline, you will need a spline roller. A plastic spline roller will do the trick, but consider investing in a wooden spline roller if you are replacing multiple screens. 

Additional tools required include pliers, a utility knife with a fresh blade, paper towels and a flathead screwdriver. Clamps, scissors and tape are optional and might be good to have on hand.

Step 1: Remove the Existing Spline

Once you have removed the screen door from the door frame, lay it on a flat surface. To remove the existing spline, use the screwdriver in the corner of the door frame to pry out the old spline before pulling it out with your pliers. Pay attention that you don’t damage the frame while you lift and pull out the existing spline. Once the spline is removed, use the paper towel to clean the frame. 

Step 2: Add the New Mesh 

Unroll your replacement screen onto the door, making sure it overlaps all edges by at least one inch. Starting in one corner, use the grooved edge of the spline tool to gently push the spline and screen down into the metal groove. Use your spare hand to pull the mesh tight to prevent wrinkles. 

If you are struggling, use tape or clamps along the screen’s bottom edge to hold it taut against the frame. Cut the spline at each corner or roll the spline all the way around in one piece. If the screen bunches in the corners, use a pair of scissors to cut the excess screen diagonally in each corner to provide some relief. 

Step 3: Trim the Excess Screen

Use the flat end of the spline roller to firmly secure the spline and screen in place. Then, carefully cut the excess screen with a utility knife using the outer edge of the spline as a guide. Holding the utility knife at a 45-degree angle will prevent you from cutting the spline. 

You’re now ready to reinstall your screen door in the door frame and relax for the rest of the day because that is a job well done.