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!
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 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
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
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
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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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.