Yes, glass is brittle. The basic nature of glass doesn’t allow malleability like metal does. Pressure caused by heat expansion is the main cause. The other can be of course an accidental crash. Either way, the result is either a cracked or shattered surface.
Replacing a broken glass pane is not as complicated as it sounds. It is in fact easy which makes it an ideal DIY project, not to mention the savings involved. Hence, here is a step-by-step guide for the replacement of a broken glass window or panel in your home or office:
STEP 1: CHECK YOUR TOOLS
A wood chisel or a knife, a heat gun or a soldering tool, linseed oil (especially if your window frame is an old one), a paintbrush, the new glass sheet which needs to be the exact same size as the old one or a fraction of an inch smaller than the area it will be covering, fresh putty, glazier points, glazing tool, sandpaper, putty paint and a razor blade scraper. Most importantly, good quality work gloves.
STEP 2: TAKE OUT THE OLD
- A shattered glass pane can be removed piece by piece commencing from the breakage point. This is where your work gloves and patience will play paramount roles.
- If the window is merely cracked, you will need to begin by removing the putty in which the glass is mounted. Use the heat gun to melt the hardened putty until the glass can be dislodged easily. This is where your wood chisel or knife will also come in handy.
- Even if you begin removing the glass from the point of impact, you will still need to scrape out all of the old putty from the edges once the glass is completely removed. Work on this bit by bit without damaging the window frame.
- Next, remove all the old glazier points, though a lot of them may come out once the glass is out and as you break off the putty.
- Once the old glass, putty and glazier points are off, apply a thin coat on linseed oil or recommended finish to the window frame, especially if it’s an old wooden one.
STEP 3: REPLACE WITH THE NEW
- Apply a very thin layer of fresh putty around the entire frame of the window where the new glass is to be fitted.
- Fit the new glass into the frame, firmly but carefully pressing it into the putty from all sides.
- Keeping the glass in place with one hand, begin to attach new glazier points along the entire circumference of the glass surface at 4 inch intervals.
- With the glazier points flat against the glass, begin to push the other end of the points into the wooden frame with the glazing tool.
- Knead more putty into strips which you can apply along all the edges.
- Once all the putty is in place, smooth it out evenly along the edges with the putty knife or glazing tool. You can even give it a neat finish with some sand-papering.
STEP 4: PAINT AND CLEAN UP
- You can wait for the putty to dry before you paint it. But some types allow wet painting as well.
- Carefully run the brush along the putty edge without getting too much on the glass.
- Once dry, scrape off the excess paint from the glass with a razor blade scraper.
Your new glass window is ready!
This is an efficient and cost-saving way to change any glass pane in any wooden frame. For a door panel, you may need to work with wooden strips instead of putty. Apart from which, the procedure is similar. So try it out and let us know how your experience was!