How To Prepare A Broken Wood Framed Window For Replacement Glass

Did one of your children put a baseball through the kitchen window again? While you are waiting for the glass repairer to arrive, you can remove the existing glass. Not only will this make the installation process faster, but it could save you some money on the repair bill.

You Will Need:

  • A small drop cloth
  • A thick pair of work gloves
  • A cardboard box for the broken glass
  • A wood chisel
  • A putty knife
  • A heat gun
  • Medium grade sandpaper
  • A small tin of linseed oil
  • A paintbrush

All of these items can be purchased at your closest home hardware store.

How to Remove the Glass:

Now that you are ready to begin removing the glass, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Removing the Glass

  1. Drape the drop cloth around the area that you plan to work. This will catch any small splinters of glass that break away from the larger ones.
  2. Put on your work gloves, and begin removing the broken glass one piece at a time. Wear a long sleeved shirt for this task so that your arms do not get cut. Tug on each piece of glass gently. Exerting too much pressure will cause the glass to break apart in your hands.
  3. If you need to break the glass into smaller pieces for easier removal, punch the glass lightly from the outside of the house. This causes the shards to fall inwards, and they will land on the waiting drop cloth.
  4. Place each piece of glass into a cardboard box that has been lined with newspaper. Once you have completed the task, the box and glass can be placed into your recycling bin.
  5. Once you have removed as much glass as you can, it is time to start preparing the frame for the new piece of glass.

Removing the Putty

Not only will removing the old putty ready the window frame for the new glass, but it will also help to remove the final broken pieces of glass as well. To get rid of the putty:

  1. Choose one edge of the window frame to start with. Using the putty knife and the wood chisel, begin prying off the putty one small piece at a time. Try not to pry up large chunks of putty at once. Doing so could cause the wooden frame to develop splits, and these will need to be filled in before new putty can be applied.
  2. If you find the putty is being particularly stubborn, apply a short blast of heat using the heat gun. This will soften the putty, and make it easier to be chipped away.
  3. As you are removing the putty you will come across metal triangles that are embedded in the window frame. These are known as glazier's points. Glazier's points are used to keep the glass in place, and can be pried out using the edge of your putty knife.
  4. Once you have moved your way around all four edges, give each one a light sanding using the medium grade sandpaper. This removes all remaining traces of putty.
  5. The final step in the frame preparation is to paint each of the four edges with a light coat of linseed oil. New putty applied to a wooden frame can quickly dry out if the oil within the putty seeps into the wood. Applying linseed oil to the frame creates a barrier between the new putty and the wood frame. This makes the new putty last longer.

Now that the window frame is prepared, all you need to do is to wait for the glass repairer to arrive for the glass installation. Because this part of the task involves making sure the perfect sized piece of glass is used, it is best to leave this part to a professional. However, now that you have done part of the job for them, your new window from a site like will be installed ready to keep your house secure within a couple of hours.