DIY Screen Door – Part 1
DIY Screen Door – Part 1

DIY Screen Door – Part 1

One of the things on my 2016 Projects list is to build a screen door for our bedroom door leading out to the deck.  It’s a non-standard size, so if we bought one it would have to be custom made.  So why not try to make one myself?  I wanted to use the Kreg Jig [#affiliate] that Abbie & Briggs got me for Christmas [love you guys!], so I found this awesome YouTube tutorial to use as a template.  Thanks to the video, I learned how to measure for the door using the indent in the door casing as my guide:


261b2        261c2

My measurements:

Width across the top = 2358
Width across the middle = 23916
Width across the bottom = 2358
Height on the left = 80516
Height on the right = 80¼”

According to the video I should subtract ¼” from my smallest width, so 23916” minus ¼” is a final width measurement of 23516”.  And I should subtract ½” from the smallest height, so 80¼” minus ½” is a final height measurement of 79¾”.  I’m going to have 4 cross pieces – one at the top, 2 at the bottom [to create a kick plate], and 1 in the middle.  I have to account for the width of each side piece, so I need to subtract an additional 7″ from my final cross piece measurements, for a final width of 16516”.  I’m using 1×4″ pine boards, which are 3½” wide.  I sketched out my design, then headed to Home Depot for supplies:


I bought 3-10′ lengths of pine – I only needed 2, but I tend to mess up a lot, so having extra wood is always a good idea.  I also bought a roll of fiberglass screen, 40′ of screen moulding [again, always good to have extra!], and a quart of black semi-gloss exterior paint.  The inside of the door will be white and the outside black, to match the rest of the condo’s exterior doors.

Yesterday I learned how to use TWO new tools:  the miter saw our friend Nat gave us [second-hand], and the Kreg Jig from Abbie & Briggs.  The miter saw rocked my world – the cat enclosure I built last summer would have been so much easier if I’d had a miter saw – OMG!  And the Kreg Jig is a miracle!

First I cut the pieces for the door frame:

261e        261f

Then laid the pieces out on the living room floor:


The video suggested glueing the 2 kick-plate pieces together, so I did – I don’t have any bar clamps [d’oh!] but I was able to use my WorkMate table as a vice to hold the pieces together [and a c-clamp on one side] while the glue dried:


I’m ashamed to admit we don’t have wood glue… I totally thought we did – I mean, who doesn’t?  But the back of the Elmer’s white glue said it works on wood, so…

Once the glue was dry, I was ready to use the Kreg Jig to create pocket holes to connect the cross pieces to the side pieces.  It was so easy to use!  I measured the thickness of my wood, which was ¾” thick.  Then adjusted both parts of the Kreg to match that measurement:

261i        261j

I used the included clamp to attach the Jig to my first cross piece, and used the Kreg drill bit [with ¾” “stopper”] to drill my screw holes:

261k        261l

261m        261o

It only took a few minutes to create pocket holes in all the cross pieces:

261n        261p

Once the holes were drilled, it was just a matter of laying the frame out in the hallway [off the carpet] and screwing the Kreg Jig screws [included] into the frame for a super secure fit:

261q        261r

Then I brought the completed frame up to the deck to test the fit:


Perfect – yay!

Then it was back down to the basement to prime it and glue in the Kreg hole fillers/plugs [a few are included with the Kreg, but I bought another package at Home Depot].   In hindsight I should have glued in the hole plugs first, because I didn’t realize they’d require sanding, wood filler, more sanding, and then re-priming:

261t        261u

261v2        261w

Today I went back to Home Depot and bought some shims, as I’d read last night that they really help center the door while you’re drilling in the hinges.  I also bought hinges and a door latch.  I tried out the door once more in the door frame, just to be sure:


Hooray!  Then finished re-priming it.  I also used the miter saw to cut the pieces of screen moulding, which I’ll nail to the frame once the screen has been stapled to it.  I made full use of the miter saw’s 45° angle cuts:

261y        261z

Once the moulding was cut, I laid it all out, labeled the backs [so I’ll know where each piece goes], then primed it:

261za        261zb

It took me a few tries [and a LOT of wasted moulding] to learn that I needed to cut each piece with the pattern facing DOWN, otherwise, this happened:


Live and learn!  Tomorrow after work I’m hoping to start painting the door and moulding.  Then I’ll need hubby’s help to staple the screen to the door frame.  Then I’ll nail the moulding to the frame, shim the door into the doorway, and attach the hinges.  Then, once the doorknob and latch are installed, it will be done and we’ll have a screen door in the bedroom!  So exciting!

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    1. Nine Dark Moons

      thanks, Jo!!! it just needs one more coat of paint and it will be ready to hang. i’ve never hung a door before (the catio one doesn’t really count), so hopefully it won’t be too horrid!

  1. Abbie

    It looks amazing. A bit of screen advice, be really careful not to pull it on the bias. Also I have upholstery stapler with non rusting staples in my shop if you want to bring the door over we can put it on my work table and staple it there.

    1. Nine Dark Moons

      Thanks, Ab! I will see how my stainless steel staples work… same ones I used on the catio. Any issues and I’ll bring it over when I see you later this week! And thanks again for the Kreg Jig – I LOVE IT!!!

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