How to Replace a Broken Window Pane
By Gene and Katie Hamilton
- Heavy-duty leather gloves
- Putty knife
- Safety glasses
- Small paint brush
- Wood chisel
- Canvas drop cloth
- Bucket and newspaper
- Exterior primer
- Glazing (glazier) points
- Window glass
- Window putty
Before You Begin
Below are the steps involved in replacing a broken window pane. Looking for a handyman to do the job? Click here to get to
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Step 1 : Remove broken glass
Protect the area around the window with a canvas drop cloth. Wear heavy-duty leather work gloves and safety glasses and carefully remove as much of the broken glass as possible. Drop the glass pieces into a bucket, then dispose of them by wrapping them in newspaper. Tape the newspaper shut and put it in the trash.
Step 2 : Clean out the rabbet and measure for replacement glass
The hardest part of this repair is cleaning out the rabbet (the 90-degree notch) in the window frame that the glass sits in. You'll find glass fragments and glazing points--the small triangular steel wedges that hold the pane of glass in place--embedded in the putty. Use a wood chisel, old screwdriver or putty knife to remove the hardened putty and glazing points. In some cases, you may find it easier to soften the putty with a heat gun -- but be careful. Too much heat may damage the paint and create more repair work. Measure the height and width of the opening and then subtract 1/8 inch from these measurements. Order glass cut to fit at a glass or hardware store.
Step 3 : Prime the rabbet
Apply an exterior-grade primer to the rabbet when it's cleaned out. The primer seals the wood and prevents the putty from drying out.
Step 4 : Install the new glass pane
Press the glass pane into the opening. Hold it in place with a temporary glob of window putty. It will be removed after the glazing points are installed.
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