How to Replace a Single Window Pane

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Hickory smoke and laughter fill the air. You savor the joy of family gathered and the traditional game of softball in the backyard where you grew up. "One of these days you all are going to break a window," Mom says every game; before you can reassure, her glass breaks. Cousin Margie hit a fly through the kitchen door pane. No worries, a single window pane is easy and inexpensive to replace.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Replacement window pane
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Masking tape
  • Putty knife
  • Linseed oil
  • Paintbrush
  • Silicone caulk
  • Glazing compound
  • Glazing points
  • Glass cleaner
  • Measure the broken pane and order replacement glass. If the break is minor, pick up the new glass before removing the broken window.

  • Make an "X" from corner to corner with masking tape to prevent the glass from falling out unexpectedly; remove the sash and set it aside. Remove the masking tape and jiggle the broken glass back and forth to free it.

  • Use a putty knife to scrape the old glazing compound off the window frame and the glazing points, the small metal fasteners that hold the glass in place.

  • Paint the exposed wood with a liberal coat of linseed oil. Dry wood will absorb the oils in the glazing compound and jeopardize the stability of your replacement window pane.

  • Ensure your window pane has weather-tight seal. Apply a layer of glazing compound to the exterior perimeter of the frame and press it in place with a putty knife or use a thin bead of silicone caulk to weatherproof the replacement.

  • Install the replacement glass. Press it into the frame until it sets firmly against the bed of caulk and glazing compound. Secure the window pane with glazing points. Place a glazing point flat against the glass about two inches from a corner with the point towards the frame and press it into the frame with a putty knife. Repeat to place glazing points every 8 inches.

  • Roll a scoop of glazing compound between your hands to form a pliable rope about 3/8 inches in diameter. Press the compound against the perimeter of the replacement window pane; smooth it out and remove any excess with a putty knife. Reinstall the sash, clean the glass and you're done.

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