How to Replace Glass Windows in a Wooden Frame

Updated February 21, 2017

A broken window should be replaced immediately to restore the integrity of your home's environment. Glazing supplies are inexpensive, and are readily available at glass shops, home-improvement stores and many discount stores. Replacing a broken window is a simple job that can be accomplished in an hour or two. By replacing the glass yourself, you save the cost of a service call.

Put on protective gloves. Remove the wood strips used to hold the glass in place by gently prying them from the frame with a putty knife. Try not to break them, as they will be used to hold the new window pane in place. Use pliers to remove brads that hold the strips in place. Once the strips are removed, clean the frame to remove broken glass, dust and any debris left from previous glazing putty. Dust the frame with a paint brush.

Measure and note the inside dimensions of the frame. Take a small piece of glass with you to the glass shop to ensure the replacement pane will be the same thickness. Purchase replacement glass. Gather or purchase any necessary materials or tools needed to complete the job.

Roll a long, thin coil of glazing putty, about 1/8 inch in diameter. Gently press the coil into the inside of the frame to provide a cushion for the replacement pane, and to hold it in place while you insert glazing points. Put the new pane in place and press to adhere the glass to the frame.

Position a glazing point on the glass, near the edge of the window. Using the edge of a putty knife, push the glazing point into the wood frame. Modern glazing points are made to stop when 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the glazing point protrudes from the wood to hold the glass in place. If you are using an older triangle-shaped glazing point, push it in until 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the point is protruding to secure the position of the glass. Since wooden strips are used to permanently hold the glass in place, you will only need 2 or 3 glazing points on each edge of the pane.

Reposition a wooden strip on the window. Insert the tip of a brad in a hole in the strip that previously held a brad. If the wooden strips are old, making new holes may cause the wood to split. Using a tack hammer, gently tap the brad into the window frame. Continue replacing the wooden strips until the new window pane is held securely in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement glass
  • Glazing putty
  • Glazing points
  • Putty knife
  • Pliers
  • Paint brush
  • Tack hammer
  • Brads
  • Protective gloves
  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Denise Nyland "Denisen" is a long term resident of Panama City, Fla. She studied radiologic sciences and education and has published articles in multiple professional journals and contributed to various educational texts.