How to Reglaze a Window

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If you have ever owned or lived in a home built prior to 1960 or 1970, you probably have some experience with traditional wood frame windows and the attendant restoration duties. The glazing, or sealant, that lines the exterior edge of the window frame to prevent moisture and cold from seeping inside, may be cracked, weakened or missing altogether. While it takes some patience and occasionally a replacement pane of glass, window glazing is a straightforward process.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife Glazier's points Window glazing Caulking gun Paper towels and rags

Reglazing Wood Windows

  • Remove the old glaze. A putty knife is the best tool to remove old glaze, but some finesse is required: Scrape gently, trying as best as you can to insert the putty knife under the old glaze and pry it upwards.

  • Leave in place those sections of old glaze that cannot be removed; this means that a particular section of glaze is still viable, and doing its job.

  • Remove as much of the old glaze as possible and insert metal glazier's points at the edge of the glass pane where the pane meets the wood frame. These small metal points have a flat edge, and this edge is where you can place your putty knife to push the point into the wood; it is this point that essentially will be holding the glass in place.

  • Apply a new glaze. Glaze is available in a tub, and, more recently, in a tube similar to a caulking tube that can be applied using a caulking gun. Dap® is a well-known brand of window glaze and is available in most hardware stores.

  • Scoop out an amount of new glaze contained in a traditional tub and rub it around in your palms until it is warm and pliable. Roll it into a strip to place along the exterior edge of the pane up against the wood frame. Repeat this process over the entire edge of the window, placing new glaze over any remaining old glaze. Smooth the entire glazed edge with your finger or putty knife.

  • Cut off the tip of a tube of glaze in the newer caulk-style tube per the desired thickness and use a caulking gun to apply a thin bead of glaze around the entire edge of the exterior window pane up against the wood frame. Smooth the bead of glaze with a dampened paper towel or rag, or even your fingertip, until it is smooth and uniform and conforms to the edges of the pane against the frame.

Tips & Warnings

  • When removing old glaze, make sure to check for old glazier's points. These can catch on your putty knife and crack the glass. Remove old glazier's points with the edge of your putty knife before applying new ones. If you do crack a pane, measure the size of the opening and go to any hardware or home improvement store, which can cut a piece of glass to your exact measurements. Apply new points, and glaze according to directions. Look for window glaze in your hardware or home improvement store in the same area as the caulks and sealants.
  • Make every effort not to press too hard on the glass with your putty knife when removing old glaze, as this could crack the original glass pane.

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