Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Window Screen Mullions

Chris from Canada wrote:
Broken window screens, both metal and nylon, are a free source of mullioned windows for Tudor period windows in smaller scales, or even for use in a 1:12 china cabinet door. I made up seven 6" square window sheets from less than half of the mesh from a torn window screen last fall, and have used pieces of it in several HS and QS projects recently. Simply spray paint the mesh black or dark grey, blowing any paint out from the holes before the paint sets. (I hang it up somewhere with a clothespin so the air circulates to speed up the drying process.) Check for missed areas and respray if needed. When the paint is dry, lay the mesh flat on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap and brush it with a thick coat of any water-based craft sealer. Allow to dry completely, then apply a lighter second coat. When the second coat is hard, gently peel the wax paper or wrap off and leave it another 10 minutes to ensure both sides are dry. If just a few holes are not filled with "glass", touch them up using a toothpick, but if there are a lot, give it another coat or two of sealer. Some sealers are thicker than others and require fewer coats to fill the mesh holes. Also, don't worry if the glass has flaws because the original windows were handmade glass, which was never perfectly clear or even anyway. The resulting window panes can be mounted horizontally for a simple square paned look, or cut and mounted on the diagonal for a diamond effect, which was commonly done in the better Tudor Period homes. Store flat between layers of waxed paper and card stock in an envelope or office folder.