Window Reglazing How to Restore Old Windows in
Sure, replacement windows are a fast and
efficient way to maintain your home?s windows. But there are
times when restoration is the only sensible alternative. Many
homeowners are proud of their old bungalow home?s architectural
character, and wouldn?t dream of putting replacement windows
in. Even so, drafty winter nights and high energy bills can get
old real fast. That?s when it?s time to consider reglazing your
To reglaze, you?ll need to remove the old
putty around the glass. This usually entails stripping away
some or all of the layers of paint that may have accumulated
over time on your window. It?s possible to just sand way the
paint locally in order to get the old glazing putty off, but as
long as you?ve removed the sash and have it in front of you to
work on, you may as well strip all of the paint off. This will
have the added benefit of making it easier to open; old windows
usually have so many paint layers on them that they no longer
slide freely in their frames. Plus you can apply some good
wood-preserving primer before re-painting.
Use caution if you are using a heat gun to
help strip paint from the sash; you risk the glass breaking
from sudden expansion. For this reason also, wear eye
protection and gloves during the process. A heat gun will also
help in the next step, removing the old glazing putty, but many
restoration specialists advise against it, especially if you
wish to use your old glass.
When removing the glass, watch for metal
glazing points that hold the glass in place. These should be
taken out. The glass panes can then be removed for cleaning.
Also excess putty can be detached from the
Sashes should be sanded, patched, and primed
with an oil-based preservative primer. When the primer is dry,
and prior to reinstalling the glass, lay a bead of oil-based
glazing putty around the rabbet to seal and cushion the glass.
Next place the glass firmly in the window and replace the
glazing points. Now you can apply the final glazing compound.
Knead the compound for a minute, and roll it in your hands to
create a bead of glazing putty.
Place the compound bead along the edge of the
glass, then using a stiff putty knife, flatten it against the
sash and window. Try to do this in one smooth motion, and avoid
going back and forth over the compound bead. Use the edge of
the putty knife to remove the excess.
Your reglazed window can be repainted on the
inside and outside once the putty has set has set, which is
usually after about 48 hours.