How to Replace an Old Screen Spline

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Spline roller
New screen spline
Dry cloth
Utility knife/razor knife/putty knife
Wire brush

A screen spline is found among most screen doors and windows. The spline is essentially a rubber tubing that is used for firmly securing the screen. Though the screen spline has a very long shelf-life, it can deteriorate over a period. This is particularly true for hotter and humid climates wherein the spline is subjected to extreme heat and moisture.

Old screen spline often expands and cracks which compromises the stability of the screen. In such cases, repairing the aged spline isn't a good idea—the best option is to replace it. Use the following guidelines to replace an old screen spline in an undemanding manner.

Step 1 - Remove Old Screen Spline

Using a screwdriver, disengage the door or window screen frame and lay it on a flat table. Using the sharp edge of the screwdriver, pry-out the loose end of the old spline. Firmly, grasp the edged-out bit of the spline. Carefully, pull-out the remaining length of the spline. Aged splines are prone to breaking into bits at this stage. If you find any bits of the spline embedded into the groove of the frame, scoop them out with a putty knife.

Step 2 - Remove Door Screen

Once the spline is removed, the screen can be easily lifted. Find the small, finger tabs that are usually located along the top edge of the screen. Grab these tabs and pull them downwards. This automatically presses down upon the clips, making it easier to slide-out the screen. Wipe the screen with a dry cloth.

Step 3 - Procure New Screen Spline

front porch with white pillars and brown screen door

Measuring the old spline can be a bit difficult. It is better that you carry the old spline to a hardware store. This is critical since even an inch of extra spline can spoil the fitting of the screen door frame.

Step 4 - Clean Screen Spline Cavity

Using a dry cloth, thoroughly clean the spline groove. You can also use a wire-brush or putty knife to scrape-away the debris.

Step 5 - Insert New Screen Spline

Place the screen over the door frame. Ensure the screen spline grooves are facing upwards. Using the rounded end of the spline roller, roll the screen into the grooves of the frame. Using a screwdriver, insert the free end of the spline into the spline cavity. Hold one free end of the spline, as you push the other end into spline cavity. Continue to do this until the entire spline has been inserted along the groove of the screen door frame. At the point where the two loose ends of the spline meet, cut-off the remaining spline with the utility knife.

Step 6 - Secure Newly-inserted Screen Spline

The spline tool has two ends—convex and concave. The furrowed end is the convex part of the spline tool. Use the furrowed end of the spline tool for further pushing-in the spline. Now, roll the spline tool along the entire length of the spline. Repeat this step until you feel that the spline has been comprehensively pushed into its groove. Using a utility knife, press upon any part of the spline that seems to be unaligned.