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How to Change Glass on a Front Door

Updated February 21, 2017

At some point in time it may be necessary to change the glass window of your front door. You may want to replace the existing glass door window because it is broken, slightly cracked, outdated, ugly, or not energy efficient. Whatever the reason, reglazing a window does not mean you have to hire a handyman. You can save money and replace the glass of a front door window yourself.

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  1. Apply masking tape to the window glass. Criss-cross generous amounts of tape over the surface of both sides of the glass pane. If the window happens to break, the masking tape can prevent the glass from flying everywhere or causing injury.

  2. Put on a pair of heavy duty work gloves and safety glasses.

  3. Use a putty knife to cut through the existing paint and caulking that seal the glass and window frame. A corner of the putty knife blade can cut through the glazing. You can apply white spirit to the caulking to soften it if necessary.

  4. Use the putty knife to remove all of the old glazing material and loosen the small, metal glazing points. Remove the glazing points. The glazing points are located between the window frame and the glass.

  5. Carefully lift the glass pane from the window frame. Set the glass on a flat surface. Use a measuring tape to measure the thickness of the glass. Store the window pane in a safe area or throw it away. Do not drop the glass into a garbage can. The glass can shatter and fly upwards, causing injury.

  6. Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of the window opening. Subtract 1/8 of an inch from the length and width. The extra room makes it easier to install the new window safely. The new glazing and glazing points hold the pane in place.

  7. Purchase replacement window glass and glazing points.

  8. Use a caulking gun to apply fresh glazing compound to the gap in the door window frame. Use the flat side of a putty knife to press the glazing compound into the gap.

  9. Set the replacement window glass into the opening. Have a helper hold the pane in place from the opposite side of the door.

  10. Slide metal glazing points between the replacement glass pane and the window frame. Space the points 5 inches apart all around the glass. Place points close together in the corners.

  11. Apply another layer of glazing compound all around the edges of the glass window. Do not forget to completely cover the glazing points. Use the putty knife to wedge them further into the gap if necessary. Press the compound firmly into place with the flat edge of a putty knife.

  12. Use a damp cloth to clean excess glazing compound from the new window and window frame. Pour a small amount of white spirit on a clean cloth if the glazing compound has begun to harden. Avoid applying pressure to the newly set door window.

  13. Warning

    Always wear personal safety equipment when working with glass.

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Heavy duty work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Putty knife
  • White spirit
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Measuring tape
  • Replacement glass
  • Glazing compound
  • Glazing points

About the Author

Dee Davies

Ms. Davies owns two websites, has published one ebook and has previous writing experience with psychological research teams. Ms. Davies has a psychology degree, 11 FEMA emergency response certificates and 1 terrorism response certificate from the National Fire Academy.

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