How to Replace Broken Glass Panes

Rigby Window Replacement, CK's Windows and Doors

How to Replace Broken Glass Panes

Idaho Falls Window Replacement

If you have a defective or broken glass window pane on your hands, good news is coming your way! Glass window panes are easy to replace yourself and don’t require you to replace your whole window.

The signs below offer suggestions to know when glass panes may need replacement. Read on to learn how to replace the glass window panes yourself.

Signs Window Pane Glass Needs Replacement:

  1. Discoloring
  2. Moisture in between Glass panes
  3. Cracks or Blemishes

If you find that your window planes need to be replaced, don’t wait to replace the broken glass. Putting the task off may cause further damage to the window and if the pane has cracks in it, may break and cause injury. 

To replace the window pane, you’ll only need a few supplies and follow a few easy steps.


  • Protective Gloves
  • Utility Knife
  • Putty Knife
  • Pliers
  • Window Nail Fasteners
  • Outdoor Caulking
  • Window Glaze
  • Weather Strip
  • Paint

Steps to Replace Broken Glass Pane

  1. Gather Supplies, Protective Clothing: Gather together the necessary supplies needed for the job. With broken glass panes, it is important to make sure you keep safe while replacing the window pane. Wear protective clothing, including protective gloves, a long sleeve shirt, pants, closed-toe shoes, and protective eyewear.
  2. Remove Glass from the Window: If broken, remove broken glass shards from the window frame. Be cautious and careful when removing the glass; make sure not to cut yourself or drop glass on the ground. A floor covering is a good safety precaution to prevent small glass particles from falling where you may step.
  3. Remove Old Putty or Caulking: This step is one of the most time-consuming steps of the whole process. With a utility knife, carefully lift the old putty or caulking from every side of the window pane. Some putty may be easier to remove than others. Be sure all putty is removed and there are no bumps in the window pane. As you remove the old putty, be careful not to damage the paint or the pane itself.
  4. Remove Triangular Nail Fasteners: In addition to removing the putty, use pliers to remove old nail fasteners along the window pane. The fasteners hold the window in place, so it is important old ones are replaced with the new ones. Each window may have different amounts of nail fasteners, depending on who installed it, but there are generally about two or three on each side of the window pane.
  5. Measure Window Opening & Order Glass: Once the window pane is prepped, measure the size of the window opening to know the glass dimensions. Each side of the glass should be an eighth of an inch less than the opening, to easily fit into the pane. Make sure the glass is also the right thickness to fit within the frame.
  6. Dry Fit Glass to Frame: Once you have the glass for the window, dry fit the piece of glass to the window pane to be sure it will fit properly. Then put the new piece of glass aside for the moment.
  7. Add New Glazing & Place Glass: With the prepped window pane, free from bumps or other debris, add a thin new layer of glaze or putty around the entire window pane. The glazing helps to keep the window weather-tight. Place the glass in the window pane.
  8. Replace Nail Fasteners: Nail fasteners hold the window in place, old nail fasteners need to be replaced. Gently bend the tip of the new fasteners to hold the glass snug in place. If there is too much pressure or force, there is a chance you could break the new piece of glass; so be gentle. Glass shops will not replace the glass for free.
  9. Add More Putty: Once the glass has been set in the new glaze and new nail fasteners have been replaced, add another layer of putty against the window pane. To do this, put a little putty on your putty knife, and place a little section of putty at a time. Don’t worry about making it aesthetically perfect at first; you can smooth it up in the next step.
  10. Straighten Up & Paint: Time for the finish work. Take the painter’s tool at an angle and smooth the outer caulking. Then align the top of the caulking or putty so it is the same width and height all the way around the window. Apply at least two layers of paint to the putty to finish. Do not worry about getting a little extra paint on the glass, because it can easily be scratched off.

For questions or more information on how to replace your glass window panes, feel free to call CK’s Windows and Doors at 208-528-8070.  If you would like to place an order for glass window panes today, contact CK’s and we can also help with the installation, if needed. For more glass or window solutions, check out our website today.