Repair or Replace? How To Fix a Broken Window Glass

A broken window glass is a security hazard and allows wind and dust into your house. You can repair broken window glass by applying a simple glass adhesive, but it is frustrating to have cracked windows around your home. Installing a replacement window glass is the best option because it maintains the beauty of your home. Here are some considerations when replacing a broken window pane:

Choosing the Right Tools and Materials

Below is a list of materials and tools you need when replacing a broken window glass:


  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Clear wood sealer
  • Glazing compound
  • Glazing points
  • Exterior-grade paint


  • Leather work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Pencil
  • Putty knife
  • Chisel
  • Paintbrush
  • Tape measure
  • Glass cutter

Fixing a Replacement Window Glass

Below are steps to follow when replacing a broken window pane:

1. Remove the Broken Glass

Using the putty knife, remove the hardened glazing compound around the broken glass. You can remove the glazing compound in large chunks because it is usually dry and brittle. If some glazing compound is still stuck on the wood, scrape it off. Put on eye protection and leather work gloves and remove the broken glass.

Pry out the initial glazing points using a putty knife or pliers. Smooth out the wooden frame with fine-grit sandpaper and apply a clear wood sealer on bare wood. Allow the sealer to dry before you continue.

2. Measure the Frame and Buy Replacement Window Glass

Measure the window opening’s width and height. Make sure the measurement is smaller than the actual size of the opening. An undersized pane makes installation easy and gives room for contraction and expansion. Take the measurements to a glass manufacturer and request a glass that size.

3. Alternative: Cut the Glass

If you already have a sizeable window pane, you can cut the replacement window glassyourself. Place the window pane on a flat surface and measure the height and width of the replacement piece. Use a permanent marker to mark the cutting points. Run the glass cutter on the marks while pressing it down. Slide the glass on the edge of the working surface and push down the waste part to remove the required piece.

4. Mount the Glass

Place the window frame flat on a work surface. Push glazing compound ropes into the L channels of the window frame where you will place the glass. Use the tip of a putty knife to press down the glazing compound around the perimeter of the glass.

Space new glazing points evenly around the frame and use the tip of a putty knife to force them into the wood. If you need more force, use a rubber mallet to tap the handle of your putty knife. Check at the back of the window and remove any excess glazing compound that seeped out.

5. Glaze the Window

Apply more ropes of glazing compound on the space between the window frame and the glass. Press the glazing compound with your finger against the wood and glass. Hold the putty knife at a 45-degree angle and run its blade along the bead of the glazing compound to form a flat-angled wedge. If you notice gaps as you run the blade, apply more glazing compound and rerun the blade.

After forming a flat-wedged glazing compound shape, remove any excess compound pieces with a putty knife. Try not to touch the smooth flat wedge. Leave the glazing compound to dry. The glazing compound can take several days to dry.

6. Paint After the Glazing Dries

After the compound has dried and hardened, apply exterior-grade paint. Apply the paint with a clean brush in thin layers. Add additional layers until you’re happy with the look of the frame. Clean the glass after the paint has dried, removing any dried paint spots.

Replacing a Broken Window Is the Best Option

It is possible to repair a cracked window glass, but replacing it with a new one is the best option. You can do it yourself if you follow the replacement window glass process prescribed above. But if you aren’t confident that you can do an excellent job, contact an external service provider. A glass company can replace the window quickly and make sure it looks great and works well.

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