Many screen room dividers are made from materials that might sometimes tear or need mending. Oriental room dividers can be made from fragile rice papers and hanging room dividers from different types of fabric. They will all have a tendency to need repairs every once and a while. Repairing rice paper takes a gentle hand in order to conserve both the design and integrity of the screen.
Step 1 - Prepare The Hole
In order for the repair to work correctly you will need to clean the area around the hole. Use a soft bristled brush to sweep away any dirt that might be present. Clean both sides of the tear because you will be applying patches to both sides.
Step 2 - Measure And Cut
Measure the length and width of the tear and cut two pieces of rice paper that will overlap the area. Make the strip at least one quarter of an inch wide so that there is area for the glue to stick.
Step 3 - Apply
Apply glue to the brush and lightly coat the surface of the tear. Place the patch over the tear and apply more glue to the top of the rice paper with the brush. Use the end of the brush handle to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles in the paper.
Step 4 - Dry and Repeat
Allow the glue to dry and it will be see through. You will be able to see any design that is on the original screen. For a truly tough patching job you can repeat the same step on the back of the screen.
This process is fairly fast and easy. You might find that the tear is too much damage to repair correctly. You can purchase a length of rice paper to redo that section of the screen. Either you can order it with a design on it or have an artist paint on a similar design to the one that was ruined.
Repairing a tear in fabric is similar; however, being handy with a needle can also work. Just replace the rice paper with fabric. First locate fabric in the same shade or pattern. Try applying the patch to the back of the screen with the front of the fabric facing forward through the tear. You can use fabric glue or a multi-purpose translucent glue to attach the fabric patch. If there is a pattern be sure to match the pattern up. Unlike the rice paper it is not see through and will show through the glue. The glue will help to stop any fraying that the tear might have caused as well.
Repairing your screen divider can sometimes be tricky. There are many different materials that they are made of. Fabric, rice paper, wood and metal are some of the more popular materials. If your screen is an antique or has delicate artwork it might be best to take it to a professional for repair.