Recondition Wood Blinds To Save A Bundle On Window Coverings
Wood is the king of blinds materials, but wood blinds can be quite expensive. A viable alternative for the decorator on a budget is to purchase older blinds and refurbish them to fit into your home. It might take some time to get the blinds into usable condition, but your efforts will be well rewarded.
1) Determine the Condition of the Blinds
Create a spot where you can hang and test the blinds, whether it is an unused wall or a window near your work area. Look for broken or damaged slats, blinds that can't open and close, or ones that won't open and shut. You can also inspect the valance to see if it is damaged or loose. Finally, decide if you want to repaint or refinish to slats themselves. If you do, you will need to disassemble each blind so you can paint the slats individually.
This inspection should tell you what hardware you need. There are plenty of places to get parts, but if you are having a difficult time sourcing them, try talking to a local wood blinds installer. They may be willing to assist you in finding the parts you need. Things to look for are replacement slats (if you didn't get your hands on an extra set of blinds), tilt mechanisms, and cord locks. Most problems can be resolved with just a pair of scissors and a screwdriver. Remember that if you are going to refinish the slats you will need new strings, regardless of their condition.
2) Disassemble the Blinds to Work on Them
If you are going to paint the slats, or you need to replace damaged wood, cut the string that holds them together. Be careful, however, to pay attention to how the slats were strung together so you can replace the string when the time comes. You might even want to take a couple pictures with your phone to help you remember. Once you have the pieces apart, you can replace the damaged parts or change the color. Carefully restring the blinds and make sure they are even before you continue.
3) Replace Worn Out Mechanics
Before you hang the blinds back on the window, make sure all the mechanical components are working properly. If the cord lock is jammed, there is a good chance you can pry it open with a flathead screwdriver. Once it is opened up, you can see if the the mechanism will behave in the future, or if you need to replace it. If the blinds won't open and close, the solution is simple. The tilt mechanism is a single part that you can simply replace.
4) Rehang and Test
While you should do your best to adjust everything before you put up the blinds, there is no replacement for hanging the blinds in your test window and trying them. Make sure to check each slat to make sure it is hanging evenly, as well as opening and closing the blinds. If you replaced the tilt mechanism, try it a few times to ensure that the new piece closes the blinds completely. If necessary, take the blinds back down and fix the last few small problems before hanging them in their new home.
Refurbishing a set of wood blinds isn't too difficult but it is very time consuming, especially if you need to take the slats apart and reassemble them. If this project just isn't for you, don't worry. You can always save up and get the wood blinds you want brand new. You can even do one room at a time to spread the cost out as much as necessary. One other idea is to contact various retailers like Aero Shade Co. Inc. and see if they have a discount or clearance section.