How to Paint a Fiberglass Window Screen

Trace a photo with paint to create an intricately-detailed scene on a fiberglass window screen.

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Materials and Tools:

pre-made wood frame
fiberglass window screen
photograph, sized to desired dimensions (computer printout or photocopy)
thick white glue
needle-nose pliers
acrylic paint
artist's paintbrushes
masking tape
spray paint
spray sealant
tag board
silver gel pen
5-by-7-inch wood picture frame
paper towels


1. Make two black and white copies of the selected photograph.

2. Remove the pre-made frame's backing, glass and mounting pins. Remove the mounting pins with needle-nose pliers.

3. Cut the fiberglass window screening to the inner dimensions of the frame.

4. Run a line of thick white glue on the inside of the frame along the longest edge. Place the screen on the glue and align the lines of the screen with the lines of the frame. Press pushpins through the screen along the glue line to hold the screen in place while the glue dries.

5. Apply glue to the remaining three sides of the inside of the frame. Align the screen grid with the frame edge. Stretch the opposite end previously glued side and secure it with pushpins for drying. Make sure the screen is aligned, as straight and taut as possible. Let the glue dry.

6. Cover the front of the frame with masking tape. Place the frame tape side up on a piece of cardboard. Spray-paint the desired color for the background onto the screen. For blue sky, use two colors of blue in gradation. Start with the lighter color and add the darker blue from the top down. Let dry.

7. Remove the masking tape.

8. Draw the outline of the major parts of the photo in black marker. Slide the photo under the screen to use as a guide while painting the screen.

9. Paint on the screen with acrylic paint, starting with the object farthest away in the background. Then paint the large areas of single colors, such as the brick area in the pictured project. To create texture, daub lighter shades on top of existing colors. Work around the screen, painting some sections while other sections are drying.

10. Paint details, such as stained glass windows, window treatments, marble windowsills and doors in the pictured project.

11. Paint shadowing for depth with gray and black paint. Remember to maintain consistency in the direction of the light source.

12. Paint the entire wood frame black to accentuate the screen. Let dry.

13. Cut black tag board for the backing of the screen.

14. Glue the tag board to the back of the frame.

15. Paint the peg that came with the frame black. Insert the peg into the pre-drilled hole so the frame will stand.

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