How to Attach a Screen to a Window Frame

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Attaching a screen to a window frame can keep bugs out of your house, allowing you to open your windows more often.


Some window frames already have the capacity for screens in the form of strips called spline. Spline is a rubber channel into which the screen is forced and held in place. If you don’t have spline on your frames, you can attach the screen directly to the back of the frame itself. Either method is an effective and easy way to attach screens to your windows.

Things You'll Need

  • Screen
  • Pencil
  • Sharp scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Splining tool

Without Spline

  • Hold the screen against the window frame. Mark where you will need to cut the screen with a pencil. Make sure the screen covers the frame completely on all sides.

  • Cut the screen at the mark you made. Use sharp scissors to make the cut as straight as possible.

  • Press the screen against one edge of the frame and staple it down along the frame with a staple gun.

  • Pull the screen tight across the window to the side opposite from the stapled section and attach the screen with the staple gun. Stretch the screen to the two remaining sides and staple them down, ensuring the screen is taut and not sagging.

With Spline

  • Cut a piece of screen several inches larger than your window frame. The screen should hang over all four sides of the frame.

  • Lay the screen on the frame so the excess is distributed equally around the frame.

  • Start in any corner of the frame and press the screen into the spline with the splining tool.

  • Push the screen into the spline along each side of the frame. Make sure you pull the screen tight as you push it into the spline or you will be left with a sagging screen.

  • Trim away the extra screen sticking out of the spline with scissors. Cut as close to the spline as possible for a neatly finished screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a tight, fine screen to keep out as many bugs as possible.
  • If the screen is cut too small, the mesh will pull under the strain and fall off the frame.

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