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How To: Make Your Own Glazing Putty

How To: Make Your Own Glazing Putty

You may have thought that you can only buy glazing putty from us here at The Craftsman Blog, but did you know you can make your own glazing putty in a pinch? That’s right! It just take a couple basic materials available at home improvement or paint stores and you can make traditional glazing putty just like the old timers did.

The commercial putties on the market like Sarco MultiGlaze that we sell are a little better than homemade recipes and always more consistent, but the homemade stuff can work great when you just need a little batch. Or maybe you are one of those hardcore DIYers who like to make everything yourself. Either way, it’s a fun project.

Glazing putty doesn’t keep forever, so just make a batch large enough to handle what you plan to glaze in the next week or so and then make some more if you need it later.

The Recipe

Traditional linseed oil putty was made from only 2 items.

  • Boiled or Raw Linseed Oil
  • Whiting
  • Zinc Oxide (optional)

You can find linseed oil at most hardware and paint stores. Using boiled linseed oil will result in a faster curing putty, whereas raw linseed oil putty results in a longer lasting flexibility with the putty, so, there is a trade off. Whiting is a little scarce these days, but I do sell it in my store if you can’t find it locally.

You can also add Zinc Oxide to help control mildew growth on your putty if you live in a region that is particularly hot and humid like we are down here in Florida. I find that adding about 1/3 cup of zinc to 1 quart of putty does the trick.

How To: Make Your Own Glazing Putty

This is about as easy as it gets. Mix some linseed oil with the whiting until you get to a workable consistency like Play-Doh or if you are a baker, actual dough. The consistency of your putty is completely dependent on your preferences. You may want it softer or firmer depending on your needs.

Personally, I have found that the best consistency for glazing with a putty knife is thicker than you initially think. The putty should be firm enough that it won’t slump or sag when rolled into a ball.

Mix the two together in a bowl or other container to initially blend the ingredients. Eventually, you will have to pull it out and spread it on the table to knead by hand like a baker to get it all mixed thoroughly. Knead the putty and work it until it is a consistent texture throughout.

Once you learn how to mix your own putty, you’ll never be in a pinch for putty again. Like I said before, homemade glazing putty isn’t quite as easy to use or as long lasting as the commercial stuff, but for the ease of making a small batch, you can’t beat this recipe. Happy glazing!

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14 thoughts on “How To: Make Your Own Glazing Putty

  1. Hi,
    Found this very helpful article and was wondering if you could use calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) instead of “whiting” which I have learned is calcium carbonate (chalk).

  2. I read somewhere, many years ago, that metal casement putty can be made by adding gold size to normal glazier’s putty. Do you have any info on this or is my memory playing tricks.?

  3. hi
    the putty I’ve made doesn’t get stiff no matter how much whiting i’m adding, after mixing it still running like porridge
    what to do?

  4. whiting is what we call chalk or calcium carbonate, its the same stuff we use for line marking in the soccer field.. here in canada hone hardware carry’s it ,,or can order it,, if you can not by whatever means get it, find some powerd hydrated lime and a tank of Co2, blow the Co2 thru the lime , it will heat up, and release moisture, and eventually turn to calcium carbonate…
    mix the calcium with boiled linseed oil, if you want a faster cure, regular linseed oil for a slower cure, both will work. mix to a stiff dough, when you roll it to a ball it keeps shape and does not slump… mix enough you can use within a week.. a good rule is to mix it thicker than you think you need it to be.

  5. Would like to ask how your glazing putty compares to DAP and Allbeck. I do not trust DAP, but have heard good things about the other. I remember when the old linseed oil stuff was sold exclusively until it was replaced by DAP in maybe the 1970’s.

    I have seen DAP used to putty seams of both new and old wooden boats that were first caulked traditionall ( only way, BTW ) with first cotton, then ( hemp ) oakum. Then it was all covered with bottom anti- fouling paint. I never trusted the stuff, but it was a damned sight cheeper than marine grade seam compound.

    Can your putty be used on both underwater and above water seams of boats as ONLY seam putty, not as a substitute for proper caulking materials professionally done. ?

    Please, also, what is the cost and container sizes available?

    Thank you.

    Joe Chetwynd

    Shipwright / Caulker
    House Restorations

    Pembroke, MA

  6. Are there other uses for window glaze? Can you use it to patch stuff like missing mortar on brickwork or use it instead of caulk in certain situations?. Did the old timers use this recipe for other things? …..I work for a decorative art restoration company and I investigate what old timers used back in the day and try to copy it. Once in a while I can’t figure out what they used for patching or substrate coatings. I’m a geek for this stuff.

  7. Is powdered calcium carbonate the same thing as whiting? What are the differences if any between food grade calcium carbonate and what you sell?

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