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 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-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

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

 

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

  1. Hi Scott,
    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.

  2. 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

  3. Is there a color glazing product or a method to tint the glaze prior to its application. I am refurbishing old metal casement windows and replacing the glass.

    Thanks.

  4. I’ve used Dap 33 to glaze (used a bit of mineral spirits to help with smoothing here and there). After waiting several weeks (sompound still soft,) I painted on Kilz2 primer. The Kilz2 is still tacky after more 2 weeks. I have dozens of sashes to do. 😕. I need to understand what is happening.

  5. Scott,
    I hope all is going well. I am re-glazing & restoring old wood double hung windows. I have typically been using DAP as I cannot seem to find SARCO locally & like to get that sort of thing in person so I can see that it looks good & is not dried out or something. The DAP has been performing reasonably well enough for the past several years. I strip down the windows completely to bare wood inside & out of the weather, apply Toxic Epoxy as needed, Prime with Oil Base, Paint with Acrylic, Re-Glaze, Allow for about a two week cure, then apply oil base primer over the glazed area, then perform a final Acrylic painting before complete drying & re-installing. However, on a recent project I observed the putty bubbling & chalking badly on the windows on one side of the home, out of the Blue along with heavy mildew growth. I looked at it & removed the chalked Putty & mildew. The remains appear solid & not molded or anything. Either the whole thing will have to be redone or I will need to find a putty that will work as a spot treatment before re-painting. What are your recommendations? Do you recommend going ahead & getting some SARCO or otherwise & using it to spot glaze effectively rather than having to completely re-work again? The weather here has been extremely hot & humid, more so it seems than usual, but always high with little air movement at times. The farmers in the fields have been using all sorts of unknown chemicals, etc. The Paint is Sherwin Williams Oil Base Primer & Exterior Duration in White. The paint seems to be attracting an unusual amount of dirt as well for such a new job. What do you think could have caused this to happen on just these few windows using the same technique as always?

    Thank you,

    Dave

  6. Hi Scott,
    A couple weeks ago, I scraped some older exterior wood windows down to bare wood, planning to reglaze and paint. Since then, we’ve had record-breaking rainfall and nonstop high humidity (average of 91%). The windows do get direct rain, and I’m concerned about their ongoing exposure to the elements. Do you have any recommendations on the type of glaze to use under these conditions, how long I need to wait after rain to glaze, how long to wait after glazing to paint, considering the conditions? I know you can’t get be exact, but any guidelines would help!
    Thanks,
    Alice

  7. Hi, so I have some old steal casement windows that I am restoring that I bought on Craigslist, they are Hopes, out of an old farm house. They have been a lot of work, I took out all the old glass and putty, (this was not easy!), stripped them, dealt with the rust, red oxide painted them and then finished them with black enamel paint. But now I’ve realized that it might have been a bad idea to totally paint them and am worried that the glazing putty may not be designed to stick to the paint. Could you advise me if it is ok to putty over the paint? Thanks!!

  8. Hi!

    This is my first window restoration, and I’m just about to the glazing step. Not knowing there were better products out there, I purchased DAP 33. Can the window be outside and exposed to the elements while curing? We are in northeastern Colorado and the window would be in full shade most of the day.

  9. Just took down several sash I had puttied with DAP 33 last October, ten months ago, and am astounded to find that the putty hasn’t hardened yet. Oh well, that means it comes off easily with a knife. I suspect they are putting more kerosene and less linseed oil in it nowadays; I don’t remember it taking years to set.
    Had some fun coloring DAP with an artist pigment.. 100g of Red Iron Oxide (B) will color one gallon (and probably more) of DAP 33. Now, do I have to paint it? They say it’s necessary to cover the seam between the glass and the putty. But I’ve seen old sash with unpainted putty in fine shape.

  10. Are you sure about the m type vs dual glaze? I have found the opposite on set up time after dozens of uses on both. The m type takes 2 weeks in the shop and the dual glaze takes 3-5 days after on site repairs. I agree otherwise on your top two choices. Thanks for compiling a great list!

  11. Fantastic content. Therefore, I will be reglazing several large windows by using an old developing that must be worn out place. Can easily type “M” be used as it’s not formally a shop? Thank you in advance.

  12. Hi! I am new to window glazing. I have four old wooden windows with diamond grid pattern. Does anyone make a pre-formed strip of glaze that I can lay down instead of glazing compound? It seems like this would be so much faster and easier, and I have a lot of diamond edges to fix. Trying not to replace windows wii new modern ones because I really like the look of these originals. Thanks!

    1. Oh my….please never replace old windows, they’re irreplaceable. I’d view several YouTube videos on how to glaze historic windows –then get the right tool, and practice. It’s not hard, just requires care and patience to learn. Good luck to you!

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