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How To: Reglaze Your Old Windows (Video Tutorial)

How To: Reglaze Your Old Windows (Video Tutorial)Learning to reglaze your old windows is something that scares the pants off of many homeowners. But fear not! It does require practice and a bit of an artist’s touch to get it just right, but like anything, practice makes perfect. You can learn to reglaze your old windows yourself with just a little practice and some good training.

However, describing how to reglaze your old windows in a blog post is a bit like trying to teach someone to dance via cell phone. So, I’ve put together a short video to walk you through the steps of bedding and reglazing an old window. Along with a few tips and resources I’ve included in this post, you should be able to reglaze your own windows with confidence.

 That’s right! The Craftsman has its own YouTube channel! And I’ll be posting lots more videos to teach you all kinds of new skills. So, stop by YouTube and subscribe to our channel for updates whenever we post a new video. And don’t forget to like our video and share it with your friends if you find it helpful.


    1. Always prime a bare sash with an oil-based primer prior to glazing.
    2. Wear gloves when handling antique glass. It is very brittle and can easily break.
    3. Wait until the glazing putty has formed a skin (3-4 days for Type-M putty or 2-3 weeks for Dual Glaze putty) before you attempt to paint.
    4. Do not prime the glazing putty after you have glazed your window. Just add 2 coats of a quality enamel paint.


    • Sarco Glazing Putty – This is the only brand of glazing putty I recommend. It is linseed-oil based and as close to the old stuff they used to use. If you are glazing your windows in a garage or shop, use Sarco Type-M putty. If your windows will be glazed outside and exposed to the elements prior to painting, use Sarco Dual Glaze.
    • Diamond Glazing Points – These points are the smallest and easiest to hide under the glazing putty which allows you to have the cleanest glazing lines.
    • Speedheater Cobra – For removing old paint that may contain lead paint, infrared heat is a safe way to get the job done. It’s expensive, but most things that work well usually are.  *Always use proper protection and follow the EPA’s rules when dealing with lead paint.
    • Glazier’s Tool – For me, this tool provides the best angle to get a nice smooth line and allows me to cut in to get perfect (most of the time!) corners.

If you’ve got more tips or suggestions I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

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157 thoughts on “How To: Reglaze Your Old Windows (Video Tutorial)

  1. great Discussion. thank you for keeping it alive.
    I have been restoring my old wooden windows. I use sacro multi glaze and love it. My question. Most of the windows do not have glazing between the rabbit and the glass. from everything I have read it seems that it is best practice. The windows are probably 1940 ish and are in good shape wood wise-no rot. Can you comment on if this is absolutely necc.

  2. I live in an old house that has 35 double hung windows and 35 wood storm windows. The paint that can be purchased today is inferior in quality and the storm windows need to have the glazing repaired and need to be repainted about every five years. It doesn’t get done that often but that is how long the paint lasts.

    Many years ago the paint store in town carried a line of paints called Bronzite. Bronzite was a line of green paints. It held up very well and lasted for many more years than today’s best paints available to homeowners. When I was a kid my father, who was a carpenter, had me mix up dried out glazing compound by hand. Knead whiting (calcium carbonate) and linseed oil with dried out glazing compound until the desired consistency is reached. What a mess.

    I have used Dap 33 glazing compound for as long as I can remember only because that is all that was available in stores. I am not thrilled with Dap 33 as I find it can flake off, pull away from the glass and does not seem to hold up as well as I would like.

    I know a little about glazing windows from years of experience. I own three houses with old windows so I often find myself replacing broken glass. You haven’t had fun glazing until you try to remove white lead that was used for glazing compound.

    Two questions:

    1) What is the purpose of the bedding before the glass pain is installed in the windows? I have never seen old windows that were installed in a bed of compound and I have never bothered to bed glass when making repairs.

    2) What happens if you don’t wait the two weeks for the glazing compound to skin over before painting? This is not practical when you are repairing the glazing and painting 35 storm windows. I generally wait a few days, but two weeks in not practical.

    1. Joe, the bedding, air seals the individual panes of glass and also helps prevent rattling windows and guards against condensation damage. As for the 2 weeks waiting time that is what Sarco recommends for their putty. If you paint too soon the oils in the putty will cause the paint to fail almost immediately. There are other options like Aquaglaze which is paintable the next day. Also you can use linseed oil putty and linseed oil paint which allows you to paint immediately after glazing.

  3. When restoring my first set of sash, I used the Dap 33. That window sat in my basement with my dehumidifier running, along with fans, and 10 days later it still hadn’t set up!

    I had a window restoration expert send me the Sarco. That was like day & night.

    After removing all paint & shellac from my frames, I like to give them a coat of a linseed/turpentine mix. Rehydrates the wood & the turp assists in dry time & helping the oil to soak in.

    I lay a bead of the Sarco in the rabbet & carefully lay the window inside. Next, I take my palm sander & with a thick rag underneath, I run the sander into all the corners of the glass. This sets the glass into the bed of putty.

    Trick to assist with the diamond points: I take a sharp, pointy steak knife & slide it into the wood, push the point into that, the carefully take a pair of 90 deg angled needle nose pliers & push on the diamond point…seating it into the wood until it’s no longer visible from the underside of the frame.

    Yes, this can be tricky, but I have never broken a single pane doing this. When the wood has been treated with the linseed oil, it’s softer (until it fully soaks in) & makes seating those points very easy.

    I then follow up by adding the putty to the rabbet over the glass.

  4. Dear Scott,
    Great article but I found it too late. I just completed reglazing 45 panes of storm windows and the main double hung windows with Dap 33 and really don’t want to start over. I live in NJ where it is starting to get cold. I have the storm windows inside where I thought they would dry quickly but that isn’t happening. My question is can I hang the storm windows back up for the winter and then prime and paint everything in the spring or am I looking for trouble. I see discussions of minimum time to wait but don’t see the maximum time. I am not concerned about the appearance since the storm windows and double hung windows are all white anyway. Thank you very much.

    1. Paul, DAP 33 is just fine. It’s not my favorite but it definitely gets the job done. In my experience DAP can be left out for a month or so before you may have problems. Here are the recommendations from DAP’s site regarding painting.

      1. DAP® ‘33’® Glazing must be painted after it has skinned over and attained a firm set. Firm set is
      typically demonstrated when a light finger touch to the surface does not leave a fingerprint. Firm
      set may occur in as little as 7 days after application, but more likely 2-3 weeks after application.
      Painting must be done only after firm set is achieved.
      2. When painting, use only (i) a high quality exterior-grade oil-based paint, or (ii) prime with a high
      quality oil-based primer and topcoat with a high quality exterior-grade acrylic-latex paint finish.
      The paint line must overlap onto the face portion of the glass, as well as the bedding area where
      the sash and glass meet.

  5. I’m doing my double hung windows one sash at a time as time allows – which isn’t much these days with two little ones and a busy work schedule. But my two cents on the topics above are:

    – I’ve been fully restoring the sashes so far, including removal and re-bedding of each light in 6-light sashes, stripping off all old paint, patching and filling damage muntins, priming, and re-painting. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be done with all 40 windows in about 20 years. It may be easier to start leaving some of the glass in and not being so picky with the perfection of the paint finish.

    – Probably need to try Sarco. The Dap product isn’t terrible to work with, but I would like the re-glaze to go a little faster.

    – The M-glazing points are too tall for all of my windows, had to order diamond points on Amazon.

    – I’ve not had to use whiting at all, the drywall dust trick has worked really well. Just applying it with a dry brush seems to do the trick.

    – I’ve been finishing the windows except for the exterior painting, and then letting the putty cure in place. I paint the exteriors after they’ve been hanging for a couple of weeks. It’s a little annoying because you’re not 100% done as you’d like to be. But I noticed that if I went less than a week, the paint wouldn’t take well to the putty because of the remaining oil on the putty.

    – I also need to think about how much prep work I need to do on the openings. If you really want to, you can take every last piece of old paint off. But it’s really not worth it unless the paint is lose.

    – Parting stops have been a pain. The old ones tend to split either during removal of don’t want to go back in if they’ve been out for a while. When I’ve replaced them, I’ve had to run the material through the table saw because the stop material I get at Home Depot is just a hair to thick. Its almost as if the stop seat closes up when you pull the beads.

    1. Joh, sounds like you’re on the right track. Fully restoring old windows can be a lot of work. Some things to make it go a little easier would be:

      1. Get a pair of duck-bill Vice-Grips to help you get the parting bead out easier.
      2. If the putty bed isn’t in bad shape you can certainly leave it and not remove it completely. I’ve found that steam or infrared heat will soften the putty enough to make removal a lot easier.

      Good luck and fight the good fight!

  6. Sarco glaze is great, the question I have is what is the “dusting powder” product that professional glazers use right after glaze is applied. I’ve seen this and it looks like it cleans and seals the glaze.

    1. Ed, it’s called whiting and it absorbs all the extra oils on the putty and cleans the glass after you’re finished glazing. It’s the only way to go. In a pinch you can use powdered drywall compound for the same effect.

  7. Hi Scott, If I don’t want to buy Sarco to glaze just a window or 2, should I use the basic DAP glazing material or their Painter’s Putty 53?

    1. Cara, You can, but I’m not a fan of DAP’s glazing products. I find they fail prematurely. I’ll soon be offering Sarco putty on the blog in small quantities if you can wait a another month.

  8. Hi Scott,

    We used Sarco Dual Glaze in-situ and let it set for 3 weeks. We primed the sashes only (not the glazing) and then applied multiple coats of oil-based white paint. One month later, there is already mildew. It does not seem that the putty is mildewing, but more just mildew on the surface of the paint. We are in a very hot and humid climate. Might the mildew be a result of using oil-based paint? Or is it inevitable that mildew will show up if the windows stay wet (there is constantly condensation forming on them)? Thanks for any insight.

    1. Courtney, we fight the humid rainy summers down here in Florida too. I have had this happen to me a few times and haven’t honestly figured out exactly what the culprit is. There are a few things that will definitely help. First, oil-based paint used outside in a humid climate can mildew quickly if you don’t add a mildewicide to it. Even then it can happen in wet areas. Latex paint doesn’t do this nearly as much. Second, Sarco Dual-Glaze can be very oily and if that is the case I add some whiting to the putty to absorb some of the excess oils before glazing. Not too much because you don’t want to dry it out too quickly. Then after glazing clean the glass and glazing gently with whiting and an old paint brush. This helps absorb any surface oil and jumpstart the skinning over process. The putty may need more than 3 weeks before it’s ready for paint. I’ve waited 4 and even 5 weeks (because I forgot or got too busy) and still been fine and sometimes even had better results since more of the oils had dried. Let me know how it goes.

      1. Thanks, Scott! Really appreciate it. Might start some testing for different methods will let you know what works for us.

  9. Scott, I really appreciate your video and tips, thanks for sharing your expertise! Question for you-we have old wooden casement windows, about 51″ high and 21″ wide. Two are joined together so they can be slid, opening to the outside. Problem is, they are on a cottage on a lake up north, they’ve gotten heavy wear over the years, and my husband is leery of even trying to repair the wood muttons and outside frames of the window (he thinks the wood is in too bad of shape, but, I would like to save them). I know we need to scrape old paint off, sand, and prime before reglazing, but what if some of the wood muttons are in poor condition? Can I use wood putty to restore? At what point do you think windows would not be worth saving? Thanks so much for your comments!

      1. Scott, thanks so much for your reply! I will definitely take a look at the epoxy tutorial. As we begin our project, I’ll follow up!

  10. My windows were removed to have the weight ropes replaced a few years back and I finally have gotten the inside trim all repaired from this endeavor and now my glazing is failing (I got some water seepage on our last big sideways rain). So I’d really like to make this repair in place. Can I reglaze the outside without removing the panes and replacing the interior “seating” portion?

    1. Amy, you can glaze the windows without removing them. Just dig out the failing putty and install new finish glazing in place. Make sure you don’t wait too long to paint because the putty will mildew if left unpainted.

  11. Hi Scott,

    How long can Sarco putty stay exposed before it is detrimental to the putty? We glazed the windows in-situ, and may not be able to get back to paint them for at least 3 weeks.

    Thanks very much for your expertise.

    1. Sarco DualGlaze can stay exposed (in my experience) for a couple months without being painted. Sarco Type M putty should not be exposed to the elements at all, but Inhave found it to be okay for a couple weeks max (though I recommend against it. Left in the elements you may have mildew and mold growth on the putty that shows up after painting. The less time it is exposed to elements the less chance of mold.

  12. In the middle of de-glazing my first sash, and I’ve already cracked two lights. I’m hoping I get better at this! I did discover one small surprise that is making things a little more difficult. In the upper sash, all six lights was glazed with putty at all fours sides. In the lower sash, the top of the upper three lights is not sealed with putty – there’s a thin slot the lights were slid into and then dropped onto the shoulder at the three other sided. I get the concept from a waterproofing perspective, but the installer packed putty in the slot which is holding onto the light pretty well. I strip the putty off the other three sides, but have a tough time loosening the putty in the slot. That’s how I broke one tonight. Ever had to deal with that one?

  13. Hi Scott
    I forgot to ask about the tool that you are using to set the diamond shape points, I linked to the web site to buy one and one of the comments said that the tool does not work on diamond points, is the one you use on the video the same one that I linked to amazon ?
    thanks frank

  14. Hi Scott.
    i forgot to ask about the tool that you are setting the diamond shaped glazing points, i linked to the amazon web site and
    one of the comments said that the tool does not work for setting diamond points, is the tool that you are using the exact same one that the amazon link shows ?

    1. Frank, I am using that same tool, but I had to modify it to make it work for diamond points. Using a bench grinder you can grind it down so that it fits diamond points. I’ll try to post some pictures soon.

  15. Hi Scott

    I am going to use the Sarco product on my glazing, I am re_glazing some old windows for an outdoor garden shed, which of the 2 Sarco products should I purchase ?
    Thanks for all your help and insight.

  16. hi scott
    thanks for a awesome video, I would
    like to acquire a gazing tool like the one you use can I get the name of the one that you are using ?

    thanks frank

  17. How warm does the temperature need to be for the Sarco glazing to set up properly? We need to reglaze a few panes in some French doors (stripped months ago, rehung, and being protected from the weather with storm doors.) But it has been such a cold winter. Can we do it now?

  18. Hi Scott, What a great video. I have insisted on saving the windows in our 1917 house much to the dismay of… everyone I have talked to. I was curious if you have any tips on removing the old glazing. I have broken many windows, including the large 30×40’s upstairs and it is breaking my heart. I really hate to just put new glazing over the old but I can’t’ keep breaking windows like this. I have tried heat gun at low setting. I have tried a clothing steamer with a director at the end fashioned out of a milk carton. I have tried just chiseling away with chisel, dremmel tool, and a similar tool that is powered with the air compressor so more powerful. It has been very cold outside with most of these attempts so perhaps the difference in the cold air and the heat tool would make it more likely to break? Thank you Lauren.

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