The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Replace Glass in a Window

Unfortunately, accidents happen and sometimes you’re left with a broken window pane. Whether the damage was from a rogue baseball or a branch during a storm, replacing a window pane is relatively easy and only requires a few tools. Here, our window experts give you the steps for how to replace glass in a window.

  1. Put on your thick gloves to protect your hands from sharp glass.
  2. While the window is still in the frame, place large pieces of tape over the areas that have broken. This will help prevent glass from falling out and make clean-up easier.
  3. Carefully remove the window from the frame and place on a flat surface.
  4. Next, remove the broken pieces of glass that can easily be pulled from the frame.
  5. After that, use a heat gun to slowly heat the putty that holds the glass in the window. (Be careful not to burn the wood.)
  6. Once the putty is pliable, remove the last pieces of glass from the window.
  7. Using sandpaper, sand the grooves to get rid of any old putty or paint.
  8. Next, measure the area for the new window pane and purchase a new glass pane.
  9. Knead your putty and apply a thin bead of it around the area where the new pane will be placed.
  10. After that, carefully press the glass into the soft putty and into place.
  11. Ask a friend to hold the pane in place.
  12. Using your putty knife, press a Glazier’s point into the channel between the putty and the glass. (Place a point every 8-10 inches and make sure you don’t press them too hard.)
  13. Knead your putty and apply a slightly thicker bead of it around the frame to cover your Glazier’s points.
  14. Use your putty knife to smooth the putty down, making sure it can’t be seen from the front of the window.
  15. Wait for the putty to dry completely, then paint your window if desired.

Tools & Materials

  • Duct Tape or Painter's Tape
  • Thick Gloves
  • Heat Gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Glass Window Pane
  • Putty, Putty Knife
  • Glazier's Points
  • Paint

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