Window Glaze Basics

Applying window glaze
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100

Window glaze can be applied to older windows that need some attention. The glaze is applied to the outer edge of the exterior side of the window. This helps to keep the glass in the frame and can add a little extra insulation. Glazing a window yourself is much cheaper than having someone do it for you and it’s relatively easy to accomplish. Here’s what you need to know.

Dry Time

While the actual application process of the glaze can just take an hour, some glazes need to set for as long as two weeks to dry. Before you purchase your glaze read through the directions on the package to see how long it will take to complete.

Step 1 - Remove Old Glaze

Before you can glaze a window, you will need to remove the old glaze, a process that usually requires a heat gun or a torch. This step can be dangerous, especially if you have to climb a ladder to get to the window. Extreme heat can break or shatter glass, so you must take precautions to protect the glass from the heat. If you are uncomfortable working with extreme heat, you will want to hire someone to either replace or reglaze the windows for you.

Step 2 - Window Frame Inspection

scraping paint off a window frame

Before you glaze a window inspect the frame carefully. The window frame itself must be sound and free of defects. If you have a frame that is damaged or falling apart, you will want to replace it.

Step 3 - Select Putty Glaze

When it comes to choosing a window glaze you have several options. Putty glaze is the most common type of glaze because it's cheaper and easier to apply. Putty glaze must be softened before it can be applied. Usually you can soften it just by rolling it in your hand while you wear gloves.

Step 4 - Consider Caulk Glaze

You can find glaze that is applied with a caulk gun. This is more expensive than a putty glaze, but may be the better option for you depending on the location of the window. A hard-to-reach window will be much easier to glaze with a gun than the traditional method of using a putty knife.

While applying glaze to seal a drafty window is in itself an easy undertaking, the process can be complicated by situations such as working with heat, working on ladders, and manipulating heavy windows. Don't hesitate to hire a professional if you are uncomfortable working in these situations.