How to Paint a Screen

What You'll Need
Paint (multiple colors)
Paint brush
Wire brush
Painters tape
A stencil (if creating a design or painting letters)

Screen doors serve a valuable purpose in the home. They allow you to have the front or back door open in the summer months, letting nice breezes carry fresh air into the home. This helps air circulate better than dry, stale, air conditioned air. Unfortunately, plain screen doors are boring. For something that is the first impression on a home, there is no panache in a regular screen door. That is why many homeowner have begun painting designs on their exterior screens to add more character to their homes. This is a very simple thing that can add a lot of character to the exterior of your home for not a lot of money.

Step 1: Cleaning

Before starting, the screen needs to be cleaned thoroughly. This can be done in your sink with simple soap and water. Be sure to use the wire brush to eliminate any rust that was on the screen before starting. Allow the screen to dry thoroughly before moving to Step 2.

Step 2: Remove The Screen

If possible, test your skills or any potential designs on a smaller screen. This will save time and frustration as you get used to painting with screens. Remove the screen from the door and place on a flat, dry surface where it can stay between coats of paint. A darker surface will allow you to see through the holes. Tape the edges of the frame and any other surface that you do not want to paint with painter’s tape.

Step 3: Start Painting

Be sure that you apply each coat of paint very lightly, especially as you get started. Laying paint on heavily will lead to clogged holes and an unattractive design. Clogs can easily be cleaned out with the toothpicks. Each screen you are painting needs at least two coats of paint. The first two coats will be your base coat and background for any design you have in mind. This still needs to go on very lightly.

Step 4: Prepare Your Design

Once the first coats are dry, prepare your design by using the painter’s tape to create an outline for what you have in mind. The painter’s tape can also hold down any stencil you have.

Step 5: Paint Your Design

Again, use light strokes to avoid any clogs in the holes. Multiple colors will take longer, as do more complex designs. Time is a luxury with this step, so be patient as you use different colors. When complete, coat with a coat of polyurethane in order to seal the design against the elements since it will be on the outside of your home.

Now that your screen is painted, you have a conversation starter for anyone who comes to your home. To be particularly adventurous, paint some of the other screens on your regular windows for an added touch.