9 Steps to Replace Broken Window Glass

The Things You Will Need To Do

If you can learn how to replace broken windows, then you will save time, money, injuries and effort. Removal and replacement of broken window panes isn’t difficult. However, it’s important to have the proper skills and knowledge to do the work safely.

Replacing broken windows is not just about inserting a brand new glass window and applying putty. There is more to it!

Read on through this article for tips on preparing window panes, installing glass, adding the final touches, and replacing glass panes on doors.

1st Step: Removing the Broken Glass

The first step to remove a broken window pane is removing the putty on the glass. Once done, remove putty applied on the frame using a putty knife, jack knife, or wood chisel. Ensure all traces of putty are removed.

Regardless of how small the windowpane might be, it is important to wear protective gloves whenever you are removing the frame. Once you remove it, place the frame on a safe and flat floor surface and remove the glass.

Protective gloves will ensure your hands are protected from cuts. Although it might seem monotonous, the easiest way of clearing pieces of shattered glass is plucking each piece one by one.

2nd Step: Remove Putty

You can remove putty from stubborn areas by heating it. Heating putty softens it. You can run some heat along stubborn putty areas ahead of the putty knife or chisel and make it easier to remove putty from the frame. Blow dryers are a good source of heat for softening putty.

Some putty might be quite difficult to scrap off especially where there are glazier’s points. These are metal triangles that are driven into a window frame right beneath putty. Their purpose is to hold glass firmly in place. In this case, you may need to remove all glazier’s points to make it easier to remove all the putty.

Upon removing the points and putty, smooth any rough spots on the wooden frame using a chisel or putty knife.

3rd Step: Oiling Old Frames

Replacing window panes in old frames generally requires oiling. Use a paintbrush to help you apply a thick coat of an appropriate linseed oil on all wood sections of the frame.

Linseed oil is a great option because it can extend the life of the putty while increasing the strength of its hold. Give the oil time to soak before proceeding.

Applying linseed oil will also prevent the oil that comes in the putty from drying out or evaporating quickly. Saturating a wooden frame with linseed oil before you apply putty will make the putty last longer and remain pliable.

4th Step: Applying a New Layer of Putty

Apply new putty around your window frame where a new glass pane will rest. This layer should be very thin as it acts as the bottom layer.

It provides cushioning for the glass pane that will be placed on the frame. The cushioning also prevents air leakage around the pane and offers a buffer between the glass and the frame.

If you apply a thick putty layer, it will swell, smudge, and become visible around the window pane periphery. This may impact on the visibility and clarity through the window pane.

5th Step- Installing a New Glass Pane

i. Cutting

The new replacement glass should be cut into the correct size. You should use a glass cutting machine to cut it correctly. Typically, the glass should be one inch smaller as compared to the frame area you will set it. Once done, place the pane on the frame very carefully while pressing it firmly.

ii. Placing

Although it’s very possible to use one hand to put the new glass in place while using the other hand to install glazier’s points to secure the glass firmly, it is not advisable. You should get help to do it safely. Ask a friend or neighbor for help to avoid accidents.

Glazier’s points should be inserted with some pressure. Having a friend helping you will make it easier and less risky to do the work. Remember you already have an old broken glass and you would not want to break the new one too.

Tip: By having an extra pair of hands helping you to place the glass on the frame, you will stand a better chance of fitting it properly.

6th Step- Using Glazier’s Points

Each glazier point should be laid flat on the glass. Drive them into wood frame using the putty knife. You should be careful while working with the tools to ensure you don’t break the glass. For instance, you should slide the tool along glass to avoid breaking it.

7th Step- Preparing Putty

While preparing putty, ensure it is consistent in terms of thickness and dryness. Prepare it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Prepare the putty on a kneading surface such as an old glass pane and make it into the recommended consistency and shape.

While kneading putty, ensure it is fully pliable and doesn’t have any lumps. Then make pencil-size putty rolls. Take one roll and apply it on any corner of your window frame. Then lay the putty strip all along the glass.

Once you have put it in place, use the putty knife to smoothen it using even strokes. Ensure you hold the putty knife at a slanting angle for the best results. Only use a clean tool since any corrosion would not do a good and smooth job.

8th Step: Planning on Putty Placement

Ensure the putty covers all glazier’s points. Set the putty at a slanting angle to ensure it will hold the glass pane firmly onto the frame. This way, it will also be invisible from the other side.

9th Step: Final Touches

Check for a label or sticker on the packaging that came with putty for instructions on painting. This will give you guidance on how to paint it the right way. You should apply two or more coats of paint for the best results.

While painting, some paint may touch the glass pane. Don’t panic! Use a sharp razor blade to scrap off any excess paint off the glass pane.

Just like that, you’re done! Congratulations on replacing your window!