Window Putty, I Mean Glazing Compound

When we started scraping the trim on the cottage so it could be repainted, to our horror we discovered all the putty holding in the window panes was dry, cracked and dislodged. No problem, we’ll just reputty the windows, all 24 of them.  Yikes!

Window scraped clean of old putty

First problem, getting the putty.  We went to Home Depot and started in the “Window and Door” area.  No putty there.  Then we asked a fellow and he said, “Try paint”.  OK, so in the paint area there are all kinds of caulk, spackle, putty, etc. but no window putty.  Oh, yes there is.  In its own special area within the paint department they have (da-da-da-daah) Glazing Compound. (Don’t bother asking the paint mixing guy because he won’t know.)

A tub of Glazing Compound (Window Putty)

 Before we could actually begin to putty, Charlie had to scrape and chip away as much of the old putty as possible with his 14-in-1 tool. I’m pretty sure a 5-in-1 will work just as well.

14 in 1 Tool

Then (after a few failed attempts and reading “How to Replace a Window Pane” on “This Old House” website) we learned to make a long snake of the glazing compound and push it securely around the glass pane.

Apply a rough rope of putty and press it into the wood.

Dip the end of your impeccably clean narrow putty knife in mineral spirits and cut a 45 degree angle between the window frame and the glass. Scrape away excess putty and return to tub because it can be reused.

Remove excess by scraping along wood.

 Clean your putty knife after each pass.

Draw the putty knife at a 45 degree angle and press hard to make a clean beveled finish.

Go over it again if you need to. Remember to dip the putty knife in the mineral spirits.

Pressing hard on the blade makes a nice, neat cut.

According to “This Old House” don’t clean up the windows for a couple of weeks until the glazing compound dries and sets a bit.

Puttied window. One down 23 to go.

A BIG job. Now that we know how AND have all the tools, maybe we would tackle it again (but I doubt it). This is the kind of project that makes a house a better place to live but it’s time consuming and has minimal aesthetic value.

Newly puttied and painted - Glade Cottage

Do you have an unlovely but necessary job hanging over your head? We encourage you to git ‘er done!

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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