Which Glazing Putty is Right For You?

By Scott Sidler September 7, 2015

There are a lot of options when it comes to finding the right window glazing putty for you. A lot depends on the type of window and where you will be doing your gazing (outside or in a shop).

So, I’ve put together this list of my six favorite window putties to help you in your search. All of these putties will help you get the job done right, it just depends on your personal preferences and situation which will be the best putty for your project.

I’ve also included links for each glazing putty so you can purchase them if you’re interested. The Sarco putties are sold right here on The Craftsman and other putties are affiliate links which means I get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to buy the putty, but don’t buy unless you think it is the right one for you!

 

1. Sarco Type-MSarco Multi-Glaze Gallon

This is the most common glazing putty that professional window restorers use and it’s what my shop uses about 90% of the time. It is relatively easy to use, not too oily, or too dry and tools to a nice smooth finish. The putty is also fast to skin over which means it is ready for paint (in most conditions) in as quick as 3-4 days. It is only recommended for glazing in a shop and is only for wood sash (not for steel windows). Despite this I have had decent success using it sparingly outside as long as I get it painted in the 3-5 day range after application. All in all this is my favorite putty!

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 9

 

Sarco Dual Glaze Gallon2. Sarco Dual Glaze

Sarco has been making putty for a long time and they have a lot of different varieties of which Dual Glaze is one of the most versatile. This is the first putty I learned to use because it can be used almost anywhere! It is designed for wood OR steel windows and can be applied outside or in a shop. This makes it a good choice for spot glazing touch ups outside. Dual Glaze is almost identical to work with as Type-M except that it’s a bit oilier which makes it a little messier to work with, especially on hot days. The downside is that it takes a long time to cure (2-3 weeks). But that slow curing makes for a putty that stays flexible much longer than most of its competitors.

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 8

 

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dap 333. DAP 33

Good ole’ DAP 33 is available at almost every hardware store which is one of the reasons I think so many people use it. I used it sparingly at the start of my business since it was easy to find. I found it a little bit chalkier than Type-M but just as easy to work with. The curing time until it was skinned over and ready for paint was closer to Dual Glaze in the 2 week range, though slower in cold temperatures, which was one of the reasons I quit using it. It’s neither here nor there for my tastes.

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 5

 

aqua glaze4. Aqua Glaze

Unlike the other oil-based putties so far Aqua Glaze is an acrylic glazing putty. I keep a can of this around the shop for special circumstances. The thing that makes Aqua Glaze special is its super fast curing time. It can be ready for paint in as quick as 1 hour! This can be a big help if you are in a time crunch. Of all the putties here it is probably the most temperamental to work with. It has to be mixed thoroughly before being used otherwise it can be pretty sticky. It may not be my main putty, but it is invaluable for those special cases.

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 8

 

glazol5. Glazol

I tried a gallon of this at a friend’s urging and found that it works rather well. It has been around long enough and has been tested enough that I feel comfortable putting it on my windows too. Glazol seemed to me to be somewhere in the middle of Type-M and DAP 33. It was ready for paint in about 4 days which was great, but it was a little chalkier than I was used to with Type-M.

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 6.5

 

Allback linseed oil putty6. Allback Linseed Oil Putty

Possibly the most traditional of all these putties is the Allback. If you want to be true to the old school ways this is glazing putty in its purest form. It’s made mainly with whiting and a purified linseed oil that has had the proteins removed (this helps fight mildew). Allback putty is pure as the driven snow. The biggest advantage of this putty is that it can be painted immediately if you use a linseed oil paint which can be a major time saver. The down side is that it is expensive.

Scott’s Rating (1-10): 7

 

For more on glazing and restoring historic windows visit my resource page How To: Repair Old Wood Windows

 

39 thoughts on “Which Glazing Putty is Right For You?”

  1. I will be reglazing several very large windows on an old building that must be done in place. Can type M be used since its not technically a shop?
    Secondly, some glazing putty products tend to dry out and become hard once the can is opened, if this is true for type M as well, what’s the best way to preserve its working life?

    1. Dual glaze would be a better fit for your project I think. Keeping the putty covered with wax paper when not in use helps keep it from drying out. All putties will dry up if left exposed.

  2. I’m quickly becoming a fan of you, Scott! Problem: my husband has been hired to paint Windows maybe 60 or more years old. Someone else dipped them (unfortunately) to strip we don’t know when, but more than two weeks ago, then the dipper guy glazed them.apparently when still wet inside! My husband painted them including the glaze, then paint rubbed & peeled off. When he removed glazing, the wood underneath was damp. Nightmare! Now he is removing all glaze and lightly sanding them. The person hiring him gave him can of sarco M, What if anything can he do to help prevent brown ooze? can he prime before applying new glaze, and if so what exact kind of primer? And how long should he wait for wood to dry inside? At present, the paint owners have chosen is a charcoal latex. Please help us as we are desperate and in a hurry! Thankyou!

    1. Suzanne, I would get a moisture meter and put some fans on those windows. Let them dry until the moisture content is below 15% and then you can start priming and glazing again, until then it’s best to leave them bare for a while. I had success beating the brown ooze that way.

      1. Thank you so much! He is working inside the garage, not outdoors.We will get moisture meter, and when dry, prime with oil based primer, then apply sarco M putty to reglaze, then use latex paint over putty and wood. Does this sound like I have understood the many posts you have written? I must get this right. Thankyou again…

  3. I have been in the construction business for 41 years ,as a carpenter and contractor. Have done some window re glaze jobs through the years. I have used Dap glazing compound and never with any problems.We have always used oil based primer on the muntins before setting the glass in a thin bed of compound , and then putting glazing in the entire “L” cut of the rabbet. When skinned over , anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, usually the latter, yes I said that, we would PRIME the glazing with oil base. Then ,when dry,we would put on a coat of finish paint , usually latex. Back in the day , oil base was not a bad word for some exterior work. Well , now I am currently working on a large window restoration job where the sashes are being removed, and are in shop conditions. and was using Dap at the beginning , but I decided to go with the Sarco type M because of the websites ” 5 to 7″ days ready to paint claim. And, it seemed lots of those in the historic restoration trade supposedly use Sarco. So , I want to give it a try. All seemed ok until we used our oil primer on the 14 day well skinned over compound. Seemed to have a little wrinkling problem. Now the reps at Sarco tell me ,”We don’t recommend using a primer on our glazing , just go over it with a finish coat of latex !”. What ! No primer ! The first three things they use to teach us in construction was 1, payday was on Friday, 2 ,poop runs downhill ,and 3, always prime new wood, raw metal,any masonry etc, and uhhh oh yea , new glazing. So , we called Benjamin Moore techs, and they say we should prime the compound before any top coat….. so I am curios to any input of this problem.

  4. Why is the type M recommended for use only in a shop?

    I am removing old broken glazing from 50+ year wood windows.

    I learned that before applying the new putty, it is important to put some linseed oil on the wood. Is this still the case?

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Either out linseed oil in the glazing rabbet or use an oil based primer on the glazing rabbet before applying putty. The Type-M cures so quickly that if it is exposed to the elements is can fail prematurely. It should be painted before being put into service.

  5. Scott,
    I choose to go with the Sarco Type M glaze for our windows. We are pulling everything apart sanding them down staining the inside and painting the outside. That’s the way all the windows in the house were when we purchased the house. I have primed the windows with oil based primer and am waiting for the stain to dry before polyurethaning the inside portions of the windows. For the paint on the exterior side over the glazing do I use an oil based paint? I would like to use Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams or another quality paint but they say they don’t sell exterior oil based paint. Am I missing something is it called something else is shellack what I use instead? Thanks for all the information. I am trying so hard to maintain the integrity of our old farmhouse.

  6. Hi Scott,

    I have Hope windows I am restoring in place. I’m looking for a dark glaze. Would you please a recommendation? Thanks so much for your work and blog.

      1. Hi Scott, thanks so much for your reply. Will Sarco tiny the color themselves? Where would I find the color selection?
        Thanks again for your help.

  7. Scott. Thanks for all the great information. Can you clarify what is meant by the statement that the SARCO Type M is only “recommended for glazing in a shop”. I am going to be restoring a number of windows and working on them in a basement. Does working on them in a shop just mean that the window glazing needs to be protected from the elements or is their an implication that it needs the shop to be at a warmer temperature?

    1. Dan, sorry for the late reply! Any glazing putty needs temps above about 50 degrees to cure. Type M is no different and Sarco suggests is be for shop use while curing and before painting because it can cure too fast with UV exposure and the elements which can cause it to crack.

  8. Scott, I love the tint idea for, “the old white putty [that] can be seen from the inside,” how much tint is normal to use? Could icing tint coloring work, also? Your page on glazing mentioned black putty, but it’s bad cement quality, is there other cement powders like volcanic ash that shouldn’t be used?

    1. I’m not sure what icing tint is made from, but I would imagine that mixing a tint meant for water based products with the few water based putties or mixing an oil-based tint with an oil-based putty would work well. Just make sure to test it first and keep oils and waters separated.

  9. I saw your post that putty can be tinted to match a specific color. Is there any window glazes that would accept stains to match the window and door framing in my entryway?

  10. I’m going to be reglazing as the weather is dropping in temperature. Since I will be glazing the upper sashes in place, does the temperature affect which product to use? Also, for painting the primer and/or topcoat, does the temperature decide whether or not to paint on a given day?

  11. Scott, I tried to purchase a $42 gallon of Sarco Dual Glaze here on the site, but it kept adding a $20 quart to my gallon order, with no way to remove it, thereby increasing the charge to $62. So I didn’t buy it (yet).

    1. Never mind; I think I figured it out. The gallon is $42 more than the $20 quart. Kind of a strange way of presenting purchasing options!

  12. Thanks for the review. It’s very helpful. Still deciding between Sarco Type-M and Aqua Glaze. So Sarco Type-M is not supposed to be exposed to elements, hence the in-shop glazing only recommendation? I also read about the recommendation of waiting 2 weeks before painting. What would happen if I put the sash back into window right glazing with Type-M and not paint it until after 2 weeks?

    1. James, the Type-M only needs 3-4 days before it’s ready for paint. It’s the Dual Glaze that needs the extended time of 2 weeks.
      Aquaglaze is good in a pinch but for the long haul Type-M is a longer lasting and better option. I’ve seen a lot of testing to confirm that as well.

      1. Hi Scott,

        I know you say that typically Type-M only needs 3-4 days to skin over before painting, but I’m somewhat confused because according to Sarco, it says wait to paint at least 14 days for TYPE M. I’d like to go ahead and paint my sash that I glazed with Type-M Sarco putty, but I’m not sure how long I should wait. What will happen if I paint it prematurely? Thanks for your advice.

        1. Crystal Sarvo has been giving me conflicting dates too but after 3-4 days with fans on the putty and warming temps (over 65) I have never had trouble painting. If you paint to soon you will get a crackle finish on the paint because it won’t bond to the oils on the surface.

  13. I’m painting my wood window sashes (interior and exterior) a very dark charcoal/almost black color. I’ve already painted the interior, and the old white putty can be seen from the inside and it doesn’t look good. Even if I paint the white putty a dark color, the white will still be seen from the inside. The windows need to be reglazed and I haven’t had much luck finding a black putty. I was wondering if I could tint white putty, and if so, what do I use to do this? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Melinda
      I am a conservator who does lots of window restoration. Simply put, if you can see the edge of the putty from the inside, there is too much applied. We glaze the windows and knife the putty so that it is even with the inside of the muntin or a hair below that line. then you lap the exterior paint slightly onto the glass to create the perfect seal. no need to tint the putty if you are painting both sides and the putty isnt proud of the wood edge line.

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