How to replace broken glass by yourself (with pictures)

Posted in Home Improvement on June 19, 2018

How To Replace Broken Glass

Fragile, thin, nearly invisible — glass is the weakest link in our solid homes of concrete, brick and wood. And sooner or later one of those weak links is going to break.

Fortunately, replacing a pane of glass is a task most homeowners can do. It involves few tools, little time and not much expense.

It's quickest to repair windows in place (though you may elect to first remove, then repair simple storm windows).

Wear gloves and eye protection when removing the broken glass. A pliers will give you even more distance from razor-sharp, jagged edges.


  1. Soften the old putty with a heat gun or heat lamp. Remove the old putty, glass, and glazing points. Gloves and a pliers will help you safely remove the old glass.

  1. Lay a small bead of compound (about 1/4 in. in diameter) in the rabbet. Prime and paint the rabbet beforehand to help protect the window from moisture damage.

  1. Press the new pane of glass firmly in place. The glass should be cut about 1/8 in. smaller than the opening in both directions.

  1. Push the glazing points in place, snugging them firmly against the glass every 4 in. along the perimeter. The small “ears” on these glazing points make it easy to press them into the wood frame with a stiff putty knife.

  1. Apply and smooth the compound on the exterior of the window. After the compound cures (in about a week of moderate weather), paint it to protect it.

Final Tips and Reminders

A heat lamp or heat gun will help soften old putty. To make sure your new window pane seals tightly, thoroughly scrape and remove all the old putty and paint.

Repaint the opening before installing the new glass to prevent future moisture damage.

Have your hardware store cut your new pane of glass 1/8 in. smaller in both height and width than the actual opening. If you have a lot of windows all the same size, have an extra pane cut as a spare.

Run a 1/4-in. dia. bead of caulk or glazing compound along the rabbet of the opening, then press the new pane in place.

Install the glazing points and compound as shown.

Wait about a week for the compound to cure, then paint the surrounding frame and compound, lapping the paint onto the glass about 1/16 in. to seal and protect the edge of the compound.