How to Replace Window Bead Glazing

Replacing glazing on a wood-framed window is an easy job that requires only a steady hand and simple tools to achieve professional results. The existing glazing compound, also called putty, and the glass are removed. The frame is cleaned prior to reinstalling the glass. The window pane, or a new pane, is installed with glazier's points and new putty is applied to seal the window and to help hold it in place. Depending on the size of the window, this job can be accomplished in a couple of hours or in one day.

Glazing compound and glazier's points are installed using only a putty knife.
  1. Pick loose dried putty from the window frame with a putty knife. Warm stuck-on putty with a blow dryer to loosen it. Scrape putty off to access the glazier's points that hold the existing window pane to the frame. Carefully pry the glazier's points out of the wood with a putty knife. Remove the glass. Scrape off any remaining putty and dust the frame with a sash brush to remove any residual debris from the frame.
  2. Apply a small amount of putty (a 1/4- to 1/2-inch ball) to the inner corners of the frame. For large windows, put a little bit of putty on the middle of the ledge that holds the window on all four sides. This will temporarily hold the pane in place while you install the glazier's points. Put the glass in place and press gently to adhere the pane to the frame.
  3. Install the glazier's points by pressing them into the frame, holding the glass tightly against the wood. Use the blade of the putty knife to push the glazier's points into the frame until they can go no further. Since this type of frame does not use wooden strips to hold the glass in place, install a glazier's point every 4 or 5 inches along the entire edge of the glass.
  4. Roll a lump of glazier's putty into a long rope on a flat surface. The diameter of the rope depends on the window frame, but a 1/2-inch diameter rope will generally suffice. Position and gently press the putty rope into the frame so it covers the edge of the glass and glazier's points. Continue until there is a rope of putty around the entire pane.
  5. Mix about a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent into a small, coffee cup-size vessel of water. As you smooth the glazing compound with the putty knife, you will have to periodically stop to clean the knife. The detergent will also act as lubricant and make the job go faster.
  6. Hold the putty knife so the blade forms a 45-degree angle with the edge of the frame and the corner of the blade rests on the glass. With gentle pressure, draw the knife across the edge on the frame, pressing the putty into the frame, where it meets the glass. Continue until the entire perimeter of the pane is adhered to the frame with the putty. Clean up excess putty before it dries.

Things You Will Need

  • Window glass, if needed
  • Putty knife
  • 2-inch sash brush
  • Glazing compound, premixed
  • Dish washing detergent
  • Small, wide-mouthed vessel of water
  • Glazier's points
  • Blow dryer

About the Author

Denise Nyland "Denisen" is a long term resident of Panama City, Fla. She studied radiologic sciences and education and has published articles in multiple professional journals and contributed to various educational texts.

Photo Credits

  • C Squared Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images