Asked on Apr 29, 2017

I have French doors that are at least 75 years old...



The glass panes need to be replaced but they do not have that piece of trim that can be removed. The glass pane seem to be embedded deep within the wood. Any advice? Please note I just moved in!
This piece of trim is not nailed in it is part of the larger trim.
6 answers
  • Linda McKinney
    on Apr 29, 2017

    They will have to be redone by a professional .They know to take apart the frame .I would just replace with French less headache over the winter months of freezing up in tracks . I had same problems . Got French doors instead way less costly .
  • Joan
    on Apr 29, 2017

    I think you're probably right but they are French doors and they are original to the house. I'm trying to save them but that may not be budget friendly. Thanks.
  • William
    on Apr 29, 2017

    What does it look like on the other side. The trim looks like it holds the glass. Any trim or glazing putty on the other side? So much paint it may look like its part of the frame.
  • Cujo
    on Apr 29, 2017

    Please note: I am not a professional glazier; I have owned and restored countless historic homes. I did the majority of the work.

    For single pane windows:
    If it is glazing putty and you want to do the work yourself instead of paying a window company, take doors off hinges and lay flat on sawhorses. Pool some water over glass (this helps the glass stay cool and not crack in the next step), use a heat gun with low setting to heat/soften the old glazing putty. Use small scraper and clean old putty out and then remove the old glazing points. The glass should pop out...a razor knife can be used to score paint first.

    Measure glass to replace and have window/glass store cut to old measurement.
    To re-glaze:
    I prefer the old style glazing compound (Crawford's glazing and painter's putty in a quart size) which is mostly whiting and linseed oil.
    Though today, a lot of people use the glazing in a caulking gun which is acrylic.
    For my taste it's too sticky and doesn't hold up as well in areas of freeze/thaw zones, so proper painting after glazing is key. But it is what you get use to.
    (I always follow the instructions on the product label as to when a finish coat can be put on.)
    I always put a bed of putty first on the wood receiving the glass to seat it and the putty moves as wood expands and contracts during the Seasons...the panes are less likely to crack. I roll old putty in hands to soften into long "snake", push into chanel position points and push in to hold glass, then roll "snake" again, and finally using small FLEXIBLE Putty Knife*** to smooth out at angle from pane to corner of wood. Trick is not too thick or thin. Roll excess and save in container. (Future use: add drops of linsed oil to thin dried out putty in can. to thicken leave some out in open air.
    Prime then paint with top coat after recommended dry time on label.
    ***Note: old timers showed me how to use pliers and bend one corner 1/4" of the 1" to be flat to smooth glazing . Now that's another story!

  • Sue
    on May 1, 2017

    What a thoughtful and clear reply. I'm sure that would be helpful to the homeowner. 👍
  • C.B.
    on May 1, 2017

    Great share there Cujo !!!
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