Removing paint from old window screens

ragshiniJuly 11, 2006

I am just beginning to think about restoring/repairing the old wood windows and screens in our small 1920's house. I am not coming up with any information on the internet on how to remove paint from old window screens. I am not just talking a spot here or a drip there. The screens look to have been painted over the years, possibly a couple layers, the top layer being black, and possibly oil paint. Is it possible to remove the paint? And if so, how would I go about this? I am prepared for hours of work if that is what it will take. The screens themselves are in fine condition. They look to be some type of metal underneath the paint. Are window screens suppsed to be painted? Once uncovered of paint, will they rust? any answers and suggestions to my questions are greatly appreciated.

also, what can anyone tell me about bronze screen if i were to consider that as a replacement option. or any other kind of metal that was used for screens back in the day? thanks, stephanie

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Hmmm, perhaps your screens are bronze that has aged to that beautiful dark blackish-green color of old bronze? If the screens are in fine condition why would you replace them, unless they are clogged with paint? If they are truly clogged I would just replace the screening, which is not hard to do, but does take some practice to get them really tight. Bronze screening is expensive (but worth it in my opinion because it gets to be such a nice dark color), but if you invested in a roll, that would lower the price some. You can find it on-line by googling, I'm sure.

Have you tried just scrubbing the screens with a stiffish brush? It's remarkable how much gunk accumluates over time. Vaccuum first, then scrub briskly with lots of water.



    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 1:07AM
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If the screening material is still in good condition, and not rusted out, it might be something other than steel wire. In that case, the excess paint can be stripped and the screen should clean up OK. When repairing/rebuilding screens, I like to use the grey coated fiberglass material. It looks good, and lasts for many years, even in Wisconsin.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:28AM
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I wish it was aged bronze. the screens definitely have layers of paint, the same black and green paint that i can see from paint chipping on the window frame. i would rather not replace the screens, but get them back to their original state. i have not tried anything yet to get the paint off, but will try the stiff brush and stripping, and see if that works. any tips on how to use paint stripper on a screen? thanks for the replies

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 6:28PM
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Back in olden times, before there was fiberglass screen, galvanised steel screen, or even aluminum screen, there was painted steel screen. You evidently have a real relic there.
Used to be you could buy screen paint at the hardware store, it was blended so as to not clog the mesh. It's very likely that their original state was, in fact, painted black or dark green.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:20PM
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