How to fix holes in a wrought iron screen door frame
the door knob strike hole, and
Replace the screen
was working on the front door as part of my
doors project, I took a really
good look at the wrought iron screen door
that shares the same door frame.
Besides the obvious replacement of the
screen, I wondered where the heck all of the
holes in the frame came from.
The answer was behind me on the garage
screen door. There had been a screen
guard (protector) on the door before.
This did not make any sense for our doors
because the dogs are usually on the inside
of the house.
I don't remember when the screen guard had
been removed. All I knew at this point
was, I had a lot of holes to repair.
in screen door frame after being grinded down by Dremel
tool. Big tear in screen.
guard on garage screen door. What created all
of the holes on front door screen.
While I was grinding off some
rust on a neighboring piece of wrought iron a couple
of months ago, I grinded down the hole areas of the
screen at the same time. A little surface rust
had started appearing, which I will sand off before I do the
The other problem with this door was the door knob.
The latch does not go into the hole properly which
means, if you don't have the deadbolt locked, the
door pushes open easily.
This is great fun for the dogs because they love to
push the door open a few inches and watch it bang
closed. They also used to get stuck outside when
they all push through the door to get out to the
front patio. They have just learned how to open it
on their own from the outside by pulling on the
bottom rail with their paws. I had told them to
figure it out because I was tired of getting up to
let them in.
Needless to say, this had to be fixed. I will be
grinding the hole larger at the bottom of the hole so the latch
will extend all of the way into the hole. The
other option is to lower the frame on the left side
so the hole is lower. I will not use this
option because the bolts on the frame are welded on.
Welded on you ask?
What makes wrought iron such a good option for
security is the way the wrought iron is mounted.
The bolts are usually 3" long mounted into the
frame. The bolts are then welded onto the
frame after the frame is attached. Wrought
iron workers usually use a torch to remove the
wrought iron. If a DIY'er does not have a
torch, you have to grind the weld off the bolt to be
able to screw it off. I already did this on one
door. It was not easy. I wonder how many
burglars ever carry around a socket wrench and
sockets to remove 3" screws around windows or
Patching the Holes
Many years ago while I was in my 20's, I restored a
1965 Chevrolet Nova. I purchased the car, which ran
great, for only $100. I lived in an area near the
ocean where rust eats through cars as soon as there
is a crack in the paint. The Nova had a lot of rust
around the wheel areas. Fiberglass and Bondo were my
best friends for doing this work. So I knew that
Bondo would probably work best for filling the
First thing I had to do was re-sand the hole areas
to remove the surface rust that had appeared on the
surface. With Bondo, you need to have a clean
surface that has been sanded down to the bare metal.
First, I sanded down all of the hole areas with 80
grit sandpaper. I then wiped off all of the
dust with a damp micro fiber cloth.
door with hole areas sanded down to bare metal
I then mixed the Bondo per the instructions on the
back of the can.
Is it just me? I swear the font size on these
cans are getting smaller and smaller as the years
pass. In bright light, I was just able to read it.
It said for a golf ball size amount of filler, use 1
1/4" of the hardener. Then mix the two
parts together until the color
I save plastic vegetable containers for projects
like this, where I will just throw away the container
So I mixed the Bondo as instructed.
Golf ball size gray filler with 1 1/4" of red
It says it will harden quickly.
I was not prepared for how quickly it hardened.
Before I could get the first hole section on and
smoothed out. The whole batch had already
hardened. So back to the can I went and made a
smaller batch. This time I worked quickly and
just slapped the Bondo on the areas as fast as I
could, not being too neat about it.
Honestly, I do not remember Bondo setting this
quickly 30 years ago.
Screen door with hardening Bondo
until the Bondo had started to harden and
then went to each hole area and scraped
around the holes to remove the excess Bondo.
The Bondo only took
around 30 minutes to set.
I then sanded the areas smooth with 100 grit
Then sanded again with 180 grit sandpaper.
The door was then painted with back enamel
paint. The same black I use on all of
the wrought iron around the house.
Fix the Door Knob
While the Bondo had been setting, I got to work
on fixing the door knob strike hole.
The door frame also has a deadbolt hole
above it, which works fine.
You will notice in the picture to the right
that the wrought iron screen door frame does
not have any strike plates.
I set my Dremel up with a grinding stone and
went to work on the lower hole. I only
needed to remove a small bit of metal along
I put on my safety goggles and then let the
sparks fly. You need to make sure
there is nothing flammable around when doing
of wrought iron door frame lock holes
Using Dremel to grind the hole on bottom
Strike hole is now larger on the bottom
The hole for the door knob strike
hole was grinded just until the strike would sink in
properly. Now the door no longer pops open
when you push on it.
I guess the dogs will have to learn how to turn the
door knob if they want to get out without my
assistance. Fat chance of that happening.
Replace the Screen
The screen on this door is held
on with a thin strip of metal that goes around the
edge of the door.
This metal strip is attached to the door
with 27 screws. I dreaded doing this because
screws are my ailing hands worst enemies.
Fortunately the screws are short. I used a
socket wrench for the stubborn screws.
In the picture to your right you can see all off the
screws around the edge of the frame.
After removing the screws,
I pulled out the old damaged screen. I left
the metal strip up on the frame with a few partially
screwed in screws.
I had to remove the door knob because the screen
went behind it. I only had to loosen the
deadbolt a little so the screen would slide out from
behind it. I wanted to avoid taking out the
whole deadbolt because it can be a
pain to get back on.
to be replaced
Close-up of metal strip holding screen
The other screen doors in this
house have little strips of metal around the
door knob section that holds the screen on.
This door does not.
Now that I had the old screen off, this was
the time to do the touch-up painting on the
wrought iron that lays flat against the
screen. Since I am hoping that this
screen will stay on for years, this was as good as time as any to paint
it. I had
already painted the outside when I repaired the
The new screen I was going to use
was the same screen that had been
removed. It is a brand that is
supposed to be resistant to pet
claws. It does actually work
better than the regular fiberglass
screens. But if you have dogs
you know, nothing is absolutely pet
I bought this some time ago, so I
was wondering why I bought the 48"
width when I only needed 36".
I believe this was the only width
they had of this type of
screen when I was at the hardware
store. The 84" length was
I did not like the silver screw
heads because they look awful
against the black frame. I
thought about spray painting the
screws before putting them back on.
I knew I would probably scrape most
of the paint off putting the screws
back in. So I planned to paint
the screw heads after the screen was
Door frame after screen and door knob removed
Door frame after painting. Look at the bottom rail
to see the difference
After the paint had dried on the screen door
I started hanging up the screen.
If you have someone to help you with this,
that would be great.
I did manage to do this by myself though.
I started in the upper left corner. I put
the screen underneath the metal strip
leaving an excess of one inch of screen at
the top and left side. I knew I would
be cutting this off after. It was easy
to see that it was straight this way.
I held the metal strip with the screen
underneath it firm against the door and then
got the top left screw in. This is
where a third hand would have been handy.
Once this first screw was in, the rest was
easier. I put on the
screw in the upper right corner after
stretching the screen a little and making
sure I had one inch of screen extending at
I continued around the sides of the screen
stretching and placing the screws in.
Screen being installed. Screws at the
and 2 screws along the left side are in
Around the deadbolt, I cut out a section of the screen and slid the screen behind the lock. For the
door knob I cut a hole large enough for the
lock mechanism and screws. The
doorknob was placed back on over the screen.
I saved the bottom screws for last,
stretching the screen down before I inserted
After all of the screws were in, I went
around the perimeter of the screen with my
socket wrench and made sure all of the
screws were tight.
I then took a sharp cutter and trimmed off
the excess screen outside of the metal strip.
I then reattached the hydraulic door closer.
The last thing done was to paint over the
screws with my black paint. The screws are
no longer noticeable like they were before.
Repaired screen and painted screw heads
Repaired screen door with no more holes on frame and
Now if I can keep the dogs from tearing out
the screen, I will be a happy camper.
I have one other wrought iron screen door
with completely different issues.
See these repairs on this page...