Do-It-Yourself Glass Repair and Replacement Guide

Published: 23rd March 2009
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Anything from simple accidents to acts of nature can damage any part of your home but since glass windows are such easy targets, it's no surprise that a broken glass windowpane is a typical household problem. If you are dealing with a large broken glass pane, it may be best to get professional glass repair service. If you are one of those do-it-yourself types, then repairing a single or small glass pane would be manageable for you but remember to proceed with caution.

Before starting any glass repair, always wear your work gloves and put on safety goggles. Have a newspaper ready by your side where you can safely place the glass shards as you carefully remove each broken glass from the window frame. Be extra careful in pulling out the glass by laying over it a small cloth even if you are already wearing gloves.

After removing all the broken glass pieces, you may want to set aside a few shards so you will have an accurate sample for when you go to a glass store to purchase a replacement. Dispose of the glass shards properly by wrapping them up in paper and placing it in a container.

The next step is very important in any glass repair - take accurate measurements of the window's opening. Once you have the exact size, subtract an eighth of 1 inch from the window's length and width. A glass shop will cut a replacement glass pane for you using your exact size requirements.

For metal window frames, use pliers to remove the spring clips from the frame, insert the new glass pane, and then put the clips back on. For vinyl window frames, use a screwdriver to pull out the splines. Then, simply insert the replacement pane and reinsert the splines.

For wooden window frames, you will need to take out the old putty with a putty knife. Do this bit by bit to avoid damaging the frame. This task will be easier for you if you soften the old putty with a heat gun. After this, remove the glazier's points with a pair of pliers. Clean then gently sand the frame.

With a small paintbrush, coat the wooden frame with linseed oil. Using a glazing tool, apply glazing compound thinly around the window frame. The glazing compound will serve as a cushion to the glass pane so it should have a thick doughy consistency to provide good support.

Insert the new glass pane into the frame and press the glass firmly. Hold it securely in place and then use the glazing tool to put glazier's points into one corner. Continue inserting glazier's points four inches apart around the replacement glass and press them into the frame using the glazing tool.

For all three types of window frames, apply pencil-thick glazing compound around the pane's edges and, using your fingers, press it in place between the pane and the window frame. Smooth the compound with the glazing tool. Make sure it is not noticeable in the glass pane. It will take about a week to cure the glazing compound. Afterwards, you can paint the window frame to finish off your glass repair.
Eddie Frank is an editorial staff member of, to learn more about emergency board up services and glass repair visit or call (877) 30-40-555.

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