Installing Glass Panels in a Front Door

  • 5-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Glass panels
Measuring tape
Safety goggles
Circular saw
Utility knife
Corner or decorative mold
Finishing nails
Nail set
Silicon Caulk
Caulk gun

Adding glass panels to your front door can provide a new look and let more light into a living room or foyer. With some household tools and the proper measurements, adding your own glass panels to a front door can be accomplished.

Step 1 - Take Off Front Door and Plan

Use a screwdriver and hammer to remove the pins from the hinges of the door. It’s important for the door to be off the hinges when you cut the wood so you don’t make any mistakes. You don’t need to remove the rest of the hinges from the front door. Once you’ve removed the door, plan out where you want your glass panels to be positioned. Use a measuring tape and pencil, mark out the outline of the panels. You’ll need to have 1/8 inches on each side of the glass panel to make room for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood and glass.

Step 2 - Score and Cut the Holes for the Glass

Before you use any type of saw, you want to make sure you are wearing safety goggles and gloves. Use a utility knife to score the holes where the glass panels will go. This will make the cutting go more smoothly. Use a circular saw to cut each side, but do not cut all the way to the corner. Use a jigsaw or utility knife to cut out and remove the corners. Once you have the holes cut, use paint to paint any bare wood so it will not mold or rot. This would also be a good time to repaint the entire front door if it has faded or peeled over time.

Step 3 - Install the Glass

A corner mold will be used on both the inside and the outside to secure the glass in place. The mold will be where the glass is attached to the rest of the front door. You’ll want to find a corner mold that will match the profile of glass panel holes. Once the corner mold is in place, apply a bead of caulk to the corner mold. Place the glass panel into the hole and use caulk around the perimeter of the glass. Wipe off any extra caulk when you are finished.

Step 4 - Finish the Front Door

Install the outside corner or decorative molds and secure them with finishing nails. Make sure you don’t hammer any nails into the glass. Use a nail set to sink the nails into the holes. When the caulk is finished drying, reattach the front door to the hinges using the hammer. Clean the glass panels with glass cleaner.