How to Replace Entry Door Window Glass

What You'll Need
Finishing nails
Caulk (clear silicone)
Replacement glass
Leather work gloves

Replacing an entry door window does not require that the entire door be replaced. Replacing the glass on an entry door is much the same process as replacing any other pane of glass. Entry door glass is typically more specialized since the glass tends to be more decorative or custom shaped. If the glass needs to be replaced, take specific measurements of the glass to a professional to help you determine what would be a good option for replacement. Often they can help you to create a one of a kind piece that is custom made for your home's decor and your own personal style. If it is a standard piece of glass, frequently a replacement can either be purchased or created quickly in a local window or glass shop and is much less expensive. Once you have your replacement glass, you are ready to begin.

Step 1 - Remove Old Glass

Take a moment to stop and inspect the current method of installation on the existing piece of glass. Sometimes the glass is held in place by a combination of materials and mechanisms, but most often it is held into place by trim and caulk. Start by removing any nails in the trim pieces and gently pry these away. Frequently they will also be caulked in, at least to some degree. You will want to preserve the existing trim pieces so that you have them when you are reinstalling the glass. Once the trim piece is taken off, scrape as much of the existing caulk or adhesive away as you can. If needed, use a solvent to dissolve any stubborn spots, and the glass should simply pop out. You will want to remove as much as possible so that there is a clean, even surface on which to install the new glass.

Step 2 - Install New Glass

Dry fit the new piece of glass to ensure a proper fit in the existing opening. Incremental adjustments can be made at this time if need be by removing small parts of the surrounding frame with a chisel. Apply caulk to the edge of the window that was left intact and insert the new glass. Apply a bead of caulk around the edge of the glass on the side of the door on which the trim was removed, and replace the trim around the window. Using finishing nails, reinstall the existing trim carefully. Use the same nail holes that the previous nails occupied and take care when hammering them in that you do not damage the new glass.

Step 3 - Seal New Glass

Run a thin bead around the edge of the trim, between the trim and glass on both sides of the new glass. Smooth the caulk with a damp finger remove any excess. Remove any protective film that is on the glass. Once caulk has had time to cure, clean the new glass with window cleaner.