Replace Your Window Pane

Simple Steps to Repair or Replace Your Window Pane

Windows are an important facet of your home, so you want to make sure they’re always clean, intact, and well-maintained. However, incidents occur that you simply cannot anticipate. Or maybe you want to replace the old glass in your windows with a sturdier and more reliable option. So we’ve compiled a simple guide to DIY broken window pane replacement. This is a fairly straightforward home improvement project that you can finish in less than a day.

DIY Replacing Window Pane

The process of replacing your window panes is very simple if you follow these steps.

Step 1: Measure Before You Order the Replacement Glass

measure the window

Before you order your replacement glass, you want to make sure you have the correct size and dimensions. Take your measuring tape and measure the area where you will put the putty. Be as precise as possible and take multiple measurements to double-check if you can. Write everything down so you can remember it when you place the order.

Step 2: Scrape off the Old Putty and Prep the Rabbets

scrape off old putty

You can start prepping your window frame for the installment. So remove the old putty with a scraping tool. Then take a brush to clean off any residue. You can also use a primer to lay the ground for the re-glazing. Knead your new putty until warm and malleable. Then knead it some more into long thin strands.

Step 3: Apply the Putty and Install the Glass

apply new putty

Now that your putty is ready, you can start applying it on the sides of your window frame. Push it with your paint blade and make sure it’s in place. Then get your replacement glass panes and wiggle them into the frame. Next, take the glazier’s points and apply two on each side. Apply pressure to make sure they stay in place. Follow it up with more putty.

Step 4: Clean up and Polish

clean up window

With a knife or a blade, clean up the edges and let the glazing dry. Once everything looks in order, get your primer and paint to finish off the window frame. If there’s any excess putty or leftover film, you can use a dry cloth and some oil to remove it. And you’re done!

DIY Window Pane Repairing

An accident happened and now your windowpane is broken. Maybe it was a tree branch falling off, or your kids playing football. And now you’re frustrated because it’s one more thing to add to your list of chores. However, don’t worry, even if you have no idea where to begin, this is a fairly easy project. It will take you less than a day and all you need is your trusty toolbox, and maybe some patience.

Step 1: Remove the Broken Glass

broken glass

Put on some thick gloves and remove the broken glass. Some shards will easily come off. For the stubborn parts, you can use either a hammer or a heat gun. If you opt for the hammer, you should probably wear some protective goggles to protect your eyes. On the other hand, using a heat gun is safer. The heat will soften the glazing, which will make removing the glass much easier.

Step 2: Clean the Frame and Repair It If Need Be

clean the frame

You can use a painter’s tool or a razor scraper to remove the old putty. If some parts of the glazing compound remain intact, use your heat gun to soften them. Then go over the putty again with your painter’s tool. 

Keep in mind that you want to be as gentle as possible to avoid ruining your frame. Once you’re done, you can smooth out the wood using some sandpaper. Then, apply a tiny bit of linseed oil with a brush. This will prep the wood frame to bond better with the glazing you will apply later on.

Step 3: Extract the Old Metal Glazing Points Out of the Rabbet

extract metal glazing point

For this step, you want to pry the old metal glazing points out of the grooves in which the glass sits. Shave off the outer layer then use some sandpaper until there’s only bare wood left. Get a brush and a paint primer. Then go over the bare wood to prevent oils from coming out of the putty. This step will help extend your glazing’s lifespan.

Step 4: Apply the Putty

apply the putty

Next, you have to warm up your putty by kneading it. This takes a bit of practice and a few tries to get those perfect pencil-thin ropes. Once your putty is warm and supple you can start applying it. Start with the rabbets first until you fill them completely.

Step 5: Install the Glass

install the glass

Place the glass pane into the putty while applying even pressure on all sides. Keep pushing the glass with the tips of your fingers until it’s in place. Make sure that there’s at least ⅛ inch (3mm) between the glass and the rabbet. If you notice any gaps, you can take the pane off, fill them up, and wiggle the glass in again. Now take your glazier’s points and put two on each side of the glass pane, then two more on the bottom corner. Repeat on the remaining side, and don’t be afraid to use a little force to hold them in place.

Step 6: Finish and Clean up

clean up window

Take more thin ropes of your putty and push them into each side of your frame. Then put some more on your exposed rabbets until they’re fully covered. Next, take your putty knife at a 45-degree angle, and smooth out the putty. Clean out the excess with your knife until the putty lines up with the edges of your window sash. Wait for it to dry following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Now you can prime and paint the putty along with any exposed wood so you can have a polished finish.

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