Direction of screen spline?

by Lisa

Hi - I recently ordered new aluminum-framed screens for my screen porch. The openings were out of square so the measurements of all 4 sides are different. The plan was to make the screens so that the spline faced the outside of the porch but due to a mix up in production, they were made so that the splines faced inward. I can't just flip them around since the measurements of the sides are different.

I don't like the way this looks as much (we spend more time in the porch than looking at it from the outside and the black spline against the white frame is very noticeable), but I am wondering if it is better to leave it as is. Getting them remade would be costly to the company (though they would cover it, as it was their mistake). More importantly, it would delay my project by a few weeks and with winter approaching, I want it done asap! But I am also wondering if it would be better to face the spline inwards for longevity reasons -- the porch is on the west side of the house and gets brutal direct sun in the summer. Is screen spline UV and weather resistant? Would there be any benefit to "sheltering" it a bit by facing it towards the inside of the porch. The screens are large and while I am installing them so they can be easily removed to be resplined, I'd rather not have to do that any more often than I have to.

(Oh, and if I opt to accept the screens as is and face the spline inward, can I paint the spline so the black stripe is not as noticeable?) Thank you!


If you know you are going to get a lot of sun you are right to have the spline on the inside. It will help protect it from the UV radiation. The only spline that is UV resistant is EPDM and it is not available in every size and can be expensive. Black foam spline spline will eventually turn brittle in the sun. I would expect it to last at least 2 years in really hot environment.

No harm in painting the spline, you would have to repaint if you ever pulled the spline out because the old paint will flake off. You might be able to use a wide inside claet to cover the spline channel and then just paint the cleat.

Hope this helps

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Feb 02, 2020

by: Adrian

Paint would not stick to spline very well but coloured caulk should work. Rubberized paint might work too. If you mask off both sides of the spline groove all the way around it would be time consuming but possible

Jul 19, 2018
Painting spline
by: Anonymous

Hi we also did a almond color aluminum screened porch. I do not like the look of the black spline inside of the room. I feel like all the railings are outlined in black. We I look at it all I see is the black spline against the almond railings. The installer said the spline only comes in black and that paint will not stick to it because it is rubber. Can it be painted and what kind of paint do you suggest?

Nov 14, 2017
Thank you
by: Lisa

Thank you for your response. We decided to keep the screens and install them spline-in. As I thought, I am not thrilled with the look of the spline so if it is still bugging me, I guess I'll try painting them in the spring. I am not sure exactly what a "wide inside cleat" is -- can you link to an example? Thanks again for a great site!

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