Venetian blinds are one of the most practical and long-lasting window treatments around, but they can eventually develop problems.
When the cords break or the tapes look frayed and shabby.
You can give your blinds new life by installing replacement cords and tapes, often sold in kits.
It’s a good idea to replace both cords–the lift cord and the tilt cord at the same time, don’t install only one new cord.
If you’re also replacing the tapes, make sure you buy tapes for the same width slats, and with the same number of ladders, as the old ones.
Replacing the Lift Cord
If the blind is clean and otherwise in good condition, and the old cord is not broken, you can install a new lift cord without taking the blind down.
With the blinds down, tilt the slats to horizontal. The ends of the cord are secured to the bottom of the bottom rail.
If the bottom rail is wood, the knotted ends of the cord are simply stapled under the ends of the tapes.
If it’s metal, remove the end caps and the clamps from the rail to expose the knotted cords.
Untie the knot on the side opposite the lift cord, and but the end of the new cord to this end.
Tape the two ends firmly together with light adhesive tape
Pull gently on the old cord to draw the new cord up through the slats on this side, across the top, and through the control pulley.
Leave a loop of excess cord for the new lift cord.
Then continue to draw the cord down through the slats on the lift cord side.
When the taped end of the new cord reaches the bottom rail, untape the old cord and discard it.
Cut off any excess cord at the starting end.
Knot both ends of the new cord, and secure them the same way the old cord was secured with staples if the bottom rail is wood, with the metal clamps if it’s metal.
Replace the end caps on the bottom rail, and slide the equalizer clip off the old lift cord and onto the new one.
Adjust the cord with the equalizer until the blind works smoothly.
Replacing the Tilt Cord
This procedure takes care of the lift cord, but not the tilt cord.
To replace the tilt cord, untie the knots at the ends of the cord, and remove the pulls.
The tilt cord is simply threaded over a pulley and out again, it doesn’t connect with the lift cord.
Remove the old cord by pulling it out: thread one end of the new cord over the pulley and feed it in until it comes out over the other side of the pulley.
Slip the cord pulls over the ends of the cord and knot the ends to hold the pulls on.
When To Take Down the Blinds
When the lift cord is broken, or the slats need cleaning or painting, or you want to replace the ladder tapes, you’ll have to take the blind down.
Lay the blind out fiat, all the way open, and untie both ends of the lift cord, as above remove the staples if the bottom rail is wood, remove the clamps if it’s metal.
Pull the cord entirely out of the blind, and set the equalizer clip aside.
Remove the blinds slats one by one stacking them in order if they’re dirty.
This is a good time to clean them, soak them in a bathtub, in a mild solution of liquid detergent, and then rinse and dry them thoroughly.
The slats can also be repainted if you really want to spruce them up: use a fast-drying spray lacquer for this job.
When the stats are ready, pull out the hooks that hold the tapes in place at the top of the blind, one hook holds the tapes on each side.
Position the new tapes in the top box and slide the hook into each pair of tapes, front and back, at the sides of the box.
Slide the slats into place between the tapes. Make sure they’re all right side up, facing the right way.
Fold the ends of the tapes under and fasten them to the bottom rail under the last slat.
With the slats in place, thread a new lift cord into the blind, starting at the tilt cord side and working up that side, across the top, through the control pulley, and down the other side.
The tapes have woven strips-ladders-connecting the front and back pieces, on alternating sides.
Insert the new cord right at the center of the tapes, so that these ladders are placed on alternate sides of the cord.
At the control pulley, leave a long loop of cord for the new lift cord.
Then keep threading the cord down through the slats on that side.
When you reach the bottom rail, cut off any excess cord.
Knot both ends of the cord, and secure the ends to the bottom rail.
To finish the job, slide the equalizer clip onto the lift cord and install a new tilt cord, as above
Before you rehang the blind, check the control pulley mechanism to make sure it’s working properly.
If you can see dirt or lint in the pulleys, vacuum it out and wipe the mechanism clean with a soft cloth.
Then spray a little silicone lubricant into the pulleys to keep them working smoothly.