Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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How to Repair a Roller Shade


Window shades can be great for providing privacy and blocking out sunlight, but one of the biggest problems with a roller shade is that they have a tendency to pop out of their brackets. Over time, the pin at the end of supporting rod becomes sheared down from spinning in the bracket.  ...More




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How to Repair a Roller Shade

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Window shades can be great for providing privacy and blocking out sunlight, but one of the biggest problems with a roller shade is that they have a tendency to pop out of their brackets. Over time, the pin at the end of supporting rod becomes sheared down from spinning in the bracket.

A new roller shade could cost more than $20 and while you can’t buy a replacement pin you can remove the old pin from the roller shade with a pair of pliers and insert an eight-penny nail in its place. Tap the nail in about a 1/2″ then use cutting pliers to nip the nail head off. Once you have the nail in place, put the shade back in its brackets.



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40 Comments on “How to Repair a Roller Shade”

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  1. gillian springer Says:
    April 25th, 2007 at 8:39 am

    good video. cut off before it is finished. The bottom of my roller shade is torn where you grab it to pull down. Can I trim it off and somehow finish the bottom edge so it looks neat?

  2. joe Says:
    May 3rd, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    where can i buy replacement roller rods

  3. Anel Says:
    June 2nd, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    My roller won’t has lost it’s tension and won’t keep the shade up. I’ve tried taking it down and rolling by hand to increase tension – several times. Nothing. Is there a way to take the roller apart to repair the spring? If not, where can I purchase a new roller. The shade is in good shape, only about 2 years old.
    Thanks for your help!

  4. Beth Says:
    June 4th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    It looks like you can get replacement roller rods from this website.

    http://www.blindsparts.com/servlet/Detail?no=1452

  5. Beth Says:
    June 4th, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Here is another possibility for replacement roller rods:

    http://www.blindservice.com/parts.html

  6. Carolyn Says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Anel, no need to replace anything – you can tighten the spring by taking a pair of pliers to the “flat end” of the rod – should be on the left. Turn the pliers about a zillion times & you’ll feel the spring inside tighten! Poof! Fixed. MSU Home economist says to pul the sahre down 2 ‘, get it to wind up, repeat, repeat, repeat but it’s not necessary— just turn the flat pin with the pliers while the right side is held fast in its holder & you’ll wind that spring up like a clock!

  7. Bev Hillis Says:
    May 6th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you for this opportunity! When I added a piece of wood and denim-like heavy trim to the bottom of two gigantic shades, they worked for a year or so. But now I can no longer roll them up. My hardware store guy SAID the springs broke. He had no solution. Can the springs be replaced? If not, what must I do?

  8. Dave Richardson Says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 8:32 am

    My roller has lost its tension and won’t keep the shade up. I’ve tried taking it down and rolling by hand to increase tension – several times. Nothing. Is there a way to take the roller apart to repair the spring? If not, where can I purchase a new roller. The shade is in good shape, only about 6 years old.
    Thanks for your help!

  9. Laurie Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    The solution above does not seem to deal with my window-shade problem. I can increase tension only a little bit, and then as I’m winding it just “lets go” and unwinds inside. This happens multiple times as I’m pulling the shade down. I don’t understand shade mechanisms, but it seems like the clutch releases it when it’s not supposed to? Does anyone know how to fix this problem?

  10. Frank Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I am having the same problem as Laurie of Dec. 4 above, except that this is a brand new shade. Have already returned it once for this problem and now the replacement has the same problem. Is this a poor quality brand, or is this a common defect? The brand is “Perfect Home” distributed by Home Depot. Winding the flat pin on the roller will only go a short while, then the tension gets unsprung again either before the shade gets hung or at the first attempt to lower the shade. I’m not seeing an answer to Laurie, could I get one?

  11. Kristine Siwa Says:
    June 7th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    My shade will not roll up or down it is stuck what should I do? Kristine

  12. Susan Says:
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Plastic ends Breaking

    Please need help… I have some older shade in my salon and the plastic ends are starting to breaking. They are R. O. S. PAT. NO. 13746. Can someone tell me where I can buy these parts.

  13. Elaine Says:
    June 19th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Didn’t answer my question at all. Answer was too limited

  14. Dixie S. Says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    My problem is with roller shades is the small end with the pin wears out after many uses and falls off. I believe they are made of aluminum. The shades are still perfectly fine but I have never been able to finds ends to replace these broken off pin parts. Any suggestions as to where a person can find the ends for roller shades?

  15. Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Dixie, If I understand your question, it’s the same problem shown in the video. The original pin gets sheared off over time by constantly spinning in the metal bracket attached to the window jamb. Simply pull out the shortened pin and replace it with a nail. Snip the nail to length and the problem’s solved. Good luck!–Joe T.

  16. Carolyn Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    When you get the pin replaced, or if you are installing new roller shades, replace the side brackets with ones that have a nylon washer inside the hole part that takes the pin. That makes an amazing difference. In looking to replace the pin end, I have found a website that sells the brackets (we originally got ours when we ordered new shades from Penney’s years ago. The parts can be found at this page on blindparts.com. That should take you to the page that has the bracket on the right side. If not, go to the main page at http://www.blindparts.com and in the little search box, type in shade parts, hit enter, then go to page 2. You will see the item on the right side.

  17. Nancy B` Says:
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    you never answered the problem of repairing the bottom of my shade. If I cut it off to repair what kind of glue (?) can i use for it to stick while I pull it down?

  18. Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    October 13th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Gillian (and Nancy B.), There’s no sure-fire way to repair the bottom edge of a shade, but you can try this:
    First, remove the shade and trim off the damage section, removing as little shade as possible. Next, thoroughly clean and dry the back of the shade. Now get two wooden sticks–1x3s or 1x4s would work–and cut each one slightly longer than the width of the shade. Also get some 100% clear silicone adhesive (it comes in a caulking-gun cartridge or smaller squeeze tube).
    Apply a continuous bead of adhesive along the back of the shade, then fold back the bottom edge, leaving enough of a “hem” to insert the original plastic or wooden slat.
    Use strips of masking tape to temporarily hold the folded-over shade in place, then sandwich the hem between the two wooden sticks and use clamps to hold the assembly tightly together until the silicone cures. To keep any adhesive squeezeout from adhering to the sticks, cover them with waxpaper prior to clamping.
    Keep in mind that this technique will shorten the shade; try this only if the original shade is slightly longer than necessary to cover the window. Hope this helps.–Joe T.

  19. marilyn dykes Says:
    October 17th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I have the problem with the spring in my shade no tension can the spring be replaced or is trying to rewind using pliers the only way

  20. Brad Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I have a 20 year old pleated shade(78&1/2″ x 56&1/2″) and it has two brackets that screw into woodwork(2&1/8th” long and 1&3/8th” wide). We took it in to get a new cord put on it. I saw two plastic brackets on each end on top of the metal on the shade that the bracket on the wall slid into and then you put a screw in to secure the two parts. they measured approximately: 1&10/16th” long and 1&1/2″ wide. I thought the two brackets were snapped in on the top so didn’t think to take them off when shade was taken to repair shop. Either they fell off somewhere or repair shop forgot to put them back on but they really didn’t need to take them off to replace the cord. The repair shop insists they never saw the two brackets on top of the shade.
    I don’t know if I could find the two brackets to replace the old ones on the shade or start over with a new wall bracket and the bracket that attaches to the shade.
    The shade was originally sold at “Wallpapers for Less” but can’t find any information on them.
    Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  21. janet dockery Says:
    February 27th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    You can cut off the bottom of the shade that is torn, dirty etc. and then use a hot glue gun – glue to rod, fold over and glue again. Or use another glue and padded clothes pins to hold while drying.

  22. Candy Roy Says:
    March 26th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I have day/night pleated pull-down shades in my 5th wheel trailer. One shade will not stay up. I’ve tried looking underneath the valance but I can’t see a thing. The strings seem to be all in tack.Could it have to do with the spring or tension if so how do I fix it or replace if necessry?

  23. HarryOrlick Says:
    April 21st, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    How do I repair the hem holding the wood strip at the bottom of my vinyl shade? The stitching has pulled loose. Thanks much for your help.

    Harry

  24. Robert Says:
    June 24th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I did the repair using an eight-penny Duplex nail. The inside head is left on to hold the end cap. Cut off the end head and while spinning the nail in a drill I used a file to shape the pin smooth and square. Tap the nail in and file the end off for accurate length (usually 1/4 to 3/8″).

  25. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Hey Robert, Very ingenious. Using a double-headed duplex nail is a little more work than using a common 8d nail, as shown, but the advantage is that the inner nail head will prevent the pin from slipping too far into the end of the roller shade. Although I’ve not had that problem with the 8d nail.
    In any case, I love hearing about DIY ingenuity. Thanks for writing–Joe T.

  26. Susan Says:
    August 1st, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Your solution for replacing the round pin looks great, but my pin sheared off and all that is left is the plastic piece with the remainder of the sheared off metal incased in the plastic. How do I remove the pin?

  27. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Hi Susan, If I’m understanding you correctly, the protruding metal pin has sheared off and the base of the pin is stuck in the plastic plug in the end of the roller shade. All you need to do is use a pair of pliers to pull the sheared off pin from the plastic plug, and then replace it with a nail, as shown in the video. If you can’t grab the pin, use the smallest slotted screwdriver you can find and pry out the broken metal piece. If you still can’t get the pin out, pull the plastic plug from the roller shade, drill a small hole through the rear of the plug and then use a nail and hammer to tap out the pin. Hope this helps. Good luck!–Joe T.

  28. Sharon B. Says:
    January 25th, 2012 at 12:13 am

    The bottom of my roller shade has an aluminum hem bar that holds the shade fabric inside. The shade has started to come detached and when I try to stick back inside, it won’t hold. Thank you for your assistance! S.B.

  29. Gregg Charest Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for such a simple trick. I couldn’t believe that there were no replacement parts for this at our local (Big Box) home center.

    I, like Susan, had trouble removing the pin from the plastic sheathing. I used my Dremel to cut away the topmost plastic – just enough for me to get the claw of my hammer around the pin. Once that was done, it popped right out, and there was plenty of plastic to hold the nail in place.

  30. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hey Gregg, You’re very welcome. Glad you were able to repair your roller shade using our Simple Solution. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  31. Bernie Lussier Says:
    January 26th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you, thank you…your website was a God-send….
    I was able to fix our curtain. Saved us a trip to the
    curtain shop, plus a bit of change.

  32. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    January 31st, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Bernie, So glad to hear our tip saved you some time and trouble. Not to mention money! Thanks for writing and good luck.–Joe T.

  33. Lissa Says:
    February 6th, 2013 at 7:27 am

    WOW! I have searched high and low for the replacement part for my roller shade pins. I have called the manufacturer but no luck. I always end up buying a new shade and robbing the part out. You ‘nailed’ it and helped me tremendously by suggesting an eight penny nail. Then you even demonstrated how to replace the pin with the nail. Can’t wait for my hubby to come home and find an eight penny nail(what ever that is). I’m sure I could fix it myself then. Thank you!! I have these shades in every window and atleast one breaks every year.

  34. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    February 6th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Lissa, I’m so glad you liked our roller-shade repair tip. The video shown above was shot in my home, so I can attest to the fact that this simple trick really works. By the way, an 8-penny or 8d nail is just a 2 1/2-in.-long common nail. Good luck!–Joe T.

  35. Wendy Says:
    July 6th, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    This was just what I needed to know to fix my roller shade! Now I will be able to get some sleep. Thank you!

  36. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    July 8th, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    You’re very welcome, Wendy. It’s often the simplest solutions that bring the greatest joy. Pleasant dreams.–Joe T.

  37. Jackie Mcglothlin Says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Brand new Levolor cordless roller shade will not retract. We have tightened the spring. One time it retracted too fast. How to fix?

  38. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Jackie, assuming the winding mechanism in your roller shade isn’t broken or damaged, here’s how to reload the tension, so the shade goes up and down smoothly. First, lift the shade from the two mounting brackets. Then, unroll the shade. Look at the ends of the cylindrical shade tube. One end will have a round pin, the other, a flat tab. Insert the flat tab into the slot in the mounting bracket and rotate the shade tube in a clockwise direction. Don’t over rotate it; turn it just two or three revolutions. Place the shade back onto both brackets and pull down on the shade to test the tension. If it doesn’t go all the way up, repeat, rotating the shade two more revolutions. If there’s too much tension and the shade goes up too quickly, simply remove it, unroll a little of the shade (12 inches or so) and replace it. If it’s wound still too tightly, repeat. Hope this helps. Good luck!–Joe T.

  39. Richard H. Says:
    June 14th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Very helpful. Solved my problem. I didn’t have nails but did have the right size screw with a long smooth neck above the threads. Just screw in until only the smooth neck protrudes, snip off the excess (I used a bolt cutter), and good as new. Sharing this kind of knowledge is one thing that the internet is great for. Thanks.

  40. Official Comment:

    Joe T. Says:
    June 16th, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hi Richard, so glad you were able to use our Simple Solution to repair your roller shade. This tip has become one of our most popular Simple Solutions, mostly because it’s easy and effective, but also because there’s no other option, other than tossing out the shade and buying a new one. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

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