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Screen Door Restoration

Home repair expert Henry Harrison helps a guest replace the screen and trim strips on her screen door.

Materials and Tools:

miter saw
spring clamps
work gloves
silver clamp
combination stapler / tack gun
5-in-1 painter's tool
putty knife
needle-nose pliers
hacksaw blade
tack puller
cat's paw pry bar
utility knife
tape measure
hammer and a nail set
replacement screen, wood and nails


1. Remove the screen door and place it across a couple of sawhorses. Remove the screws holding the tension rod or turnbuckle and remove.

2. Measure the trim pieces so you can cut replacements.

3. Put on some work gloves and get to work taking apart the door. Use the cat's eye pry bar and hammer to remove trim pieces. Be careful so you don't damage the pieces, and mark them as you remove to make putting the replacements back in easier. Remove any tacks with the needle-nose pliers.

4. Pull out the screen and remove any lingering tacks or nails. Use the painter's tool to scrape off any old paint or debris. Smooth out the surfaces with a file, then clean up using a hand broom and dustpan.

5. Unroll the replacement screen and staple one end at the bottom of the door. Have a friend hold the screen taut as you staple. Once the bottom is secure, work your way up the screen with the staple gun and remember to keep the screen taut and work out any wrinkles.

6. Using the old pieces as templates, cut new pieces using the miter saw. Once they're all cut, begin reassembling the grid work on your door.

7. Switch the staple gun to tack mode, and start tacking down the new strips. Use a hammer to lightly tap down any tacks that stick up a bit so that they're flush.

8. After the trim is secure, go around the perimeter with a utility knife and trim away excess screen.

9. Re-hang the door and admire your work. Stain or paint the new trim pieces to match, then reinstall the turnbuckle.

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