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 as to 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-M
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
2. 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
3. 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
4. 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
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
6. 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
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104 thoughts on “Which Glazing Putty is Right For You?”
Hi Scott! I’m thinking of undertaking the restoration of my old Craftsman’s windows. I really like the look of natural wood finish inside and out, but I don’t know how practical that would be. Do you have any suggestions for glazing putty that can be stained along with the wood or am I better off just painting?
I am working on some top sashes that are impossible (for me at least) to remove. I’m removed much of the paint and going to have to replace a few panes of glass and some of the glazing. Because they will not be in a shop but already in place and I am still in a hot day/cold night late summer northern NY climate, which glazing do you recommend? They are wooden sashes. Should I brush linseed oil, then prime, then begin the glazing process? Thanks in advance!
Would you be able to recommend best putty for new steel casements that we are leaving with a sealed raw steel look rather than painting? Ideally don’t want to have to paint the putty and need to make sure it’s tight and straight. Thank you!
Please can you let me know whether windows need to have putty applied to the inside as well as the outside?
They do not need putty on the interior.
My windows were “stick glazed” or whatever the term is (I have no idea). In other words, the panes are held in with wood trim instead of just a buildup of glazing compound. But presumably the glass was originally sealed to the wood somehow. Is glazing compound the right thing to use, and if so what’s the ideal compound for this use case?
Yep, bed the glass in putty and glaze with the wind glass bead.
It is terrible and that is why it got a rating of 5 out of 10. I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t exist. Since so many people use I would rather acknowledge it is around and it isn’t very good. It’s called my a review and it’s all about my opinion here.
You make a distinction between the suitability of putty for working in a shop and working outdoors. Can you elaborate on this? Is it just a case of the quicker skinning putty requiring painting promptly?
I notice one local company here makes a “professional” linseed putty that skins in 2-3 days but also has another linseed putty that takes a month. Would the durability of each be similar?
Durability is similar, but some putties shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight much while they skin to keep them from drying prematurely. All putty should be painted for long term exposure.
I made the mistake of painting some wood windows on the inside before putting the glass in. This means that after I put the glass in, I will need the putty to stick to latex paint-covered wood. Will any of these putties work for this?
The painting should cause a problem.
I have a beautiful mahogany French door with beveled glass panes, as my storm door on the front of the house. The other day I noticed that the compound used between the glass and the panes to keep them from snug, is falling out. It is black in color and still flexible, like regular glazing putty. Is that was it is? Is that what I should use to refill the gaps?
In the process of making a pine loft bed I mistakenly used Glazol glazing compound (putty) thinking it would harden like wood fillers(I was going to sand it when dry) .What can I do (if anything!) to remove all this Glazol from the knot holes,etc? I would like to paint the bed with Shellac before its stained or painted to avoid blotches.Thanks!
Interesting that, if 1 is + and 10 is -, you don’t cover a really good putty.
Is there one?
Hello and thank you for taking my question; Can glazing compound be oil base stained to match a stained wood frame that is be placed on the inside of traditional window sash?
I have old aluminum windows from the 1950s. The putty is missing in places and is hard as a rock. I do not want to remove th3e old putty as I am afraid I will break the glass. Can fill in and I go over the old putty with new. Which putty do you recommend?
Dual Glaze or the Austin’s putty you sell in your store?? I’ve got three 9:1 windows to reglaze in-situ
You asking me if I like the putty that I worked with them to custom engineer for my needs? Ha! Austin’s Glazier’s Putty all the way!
I have the sarco type m putty and would like to know the best way to tint it to match wood. I am restoring an old cabinet with glass doors and will be using garnet shellac as the finish.
I spoke with a gentleman at Sarco and he thought the shellac would be fine to use over the putty once it has skinned over. The shellac is not “dewaxed” so I thought it would be safer to prime the glazing rabbet with an oil primer first. He agreed though he thought the shellac wouldn’t be a problem either. Any thoughts on either of these? Many thanks.
I have the same situation: Single pane aluminum casement windows with diamond grid, and they all need reglazing. I was reading on the NPS historic window restoration site https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/tech-notes/tech-notes-windows22.pdf that they used a”contemporary glazing tape” instead of traditional glazing compoud..
What did you end up using on the diamond grid? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Bob Yapp recommends using UGL Glazol, but with pouring out the oil that comes to the top and moppng up the rest with a paper towwl, and then adding/kneading in boiled linseed oil as needed. I took his class and this is what we used and it was easy to work and sets a lot more quickly than the Sarco Type M and can be used in place. He has been doing this for decades, and it appears to hold up well.
For a detailed discussion of different type of window putties, see http://windowstandards.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=168