How to Fix Cracked Shadow Box Glass

What You'll Need
Replacement Glass
Glass Sealant
Wood Glue
Safety Gloves

For owners of shadow boxes, the biggest problem is a cracked or chipped glass inside the box. With damaged glass, the shadow box loses its elegance and appeal, and will also fail to show off your prized items to their full effect. If you choose to, you could simply replace the shadow box with a newer one, but for antique or vintage boxes, it is a good idea to try and replace the glass, before the damage is too severe. This sort of replacement is not to difficult to do, and can be managed using a few household tools.

Step 1 - Assess the Damage

Before you can remove and replace the glass, you need to work out how bad the damage is. If the crack is the result of an accident, then you should take the time to inspect the wood around the edges, as this could be broken or split. Look at the glass, and try and work out whether it is repairable using a glass sealant, or if you need to replace the entire pane. Press down on the glass lightly with your finger, to assess how deep the damage has gone.

Step 2 - Using a Glass Sealant

If the crack is not too wide or too deep, then you may be able to repair it using a glass repair sealant. Look for a tube at your local hardware or craft store. Run a small bead of the sealant along the edge of the crack, to seal it. Leave to dry for a few hours, or overnight, and then return and remove any excess sealant on the surface of the glass.

Step 3 - Replacing the Glass

If the crack is too extensive, then you need to remove the glass completely and add a new piece. Put on some safety gloves, and unscrew the side of the shadow box which contains the cracked glass. The screws for the shadow box should be found at the corners of the side which holds the broken pain. You can unscrew these to lift out this side of the shadow box. Take care not to allow the broken pieces to fall inside the box. If necessary, use a pair of pliers and a hammer to knock out some of the broken glass. Discard this in a safe place. 

Step 4 - Adding the New Glass

Take your new pane of glass, and place it into place on the shadow box, making sure that all sides of the glass touch the internal edge of the box. Take the wooden frame which you removed earlier, and place the glass into it. You may already have some metal attachments designed to hold the glass in place. If you do not, then you can find them at your local hardware store. Press these around the inside of the box to secure the glass