With a little practice and a lot of patience, replacing glass in a wooden frame window is a job most anyone can do. The trick is to remove the window frame from its casing so the frame can be laid flat on a stable surface.
Step 1: Lay the window frame on a flat, level surface and carefully remove the cracked or broken glass completely. Wear leather palm gloves and eye protection when removing the broken glass to avoid injury.
Step 2: Once the glass has been removed, scrape away all the old glazing with a glazing tool or putty knife. Use pliers to remove the old glazier points. If you expose bare wood, prime it with an oil based primer.
Step 3: Next, measure the opening — twice. Make sure you measure all four sides of your opening and choose the smaller of the dimensions. To be safe, subtract about an eighth of an inch from your final measurements to give yourself enough play to fit the glass into the frame without breaking it.
Step 4: Once you have all your supplies — glass, glazing compound and glazier points — you are ready to begin.
Step 5: Set the glass in the frame and push one or two glazier points into the wood along each side to hold the glass in place. If you have a glazing tool, use the tool to set your points, otherwise a flathead screwdriver should do the trick.
Step 6: Once the glass is in place, start knifing in the putty. Glazing compound has a very low melting point, so do not touch it with your hands or you will have a sticky mess. Use your knife to scoop out about a tablespoon of putty and lay it in along the frame edge inch by inch. If the putty is a little dry, mix a small amount of linseed oil into the putty to achieve a smooth and workable texture.
Step 7: Once you have puttied all the way around the frame, hold the flat edge of your glazing tool at a 45-degree angle and smooth the putty down between the frame and glass (this is the hardest part).
Step 8: Remove the excess putty from the frame and add a layer of water atop the glazing compound before storing it. Wash your window and admire your handy work. You are now a glazier.
— Have a question? Email Linda Cottin at firstname.lastname@example.org.