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.
Traditional linseed oil putty was made from only 2 items.
- Boiled or Raw Linseed Oil
- 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!