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window putty removal

CaseyR's picture

Some time back there was a thread on removing hardened window glazing compound. The primary tool discussed was a heat gun. I am faced with the removal of glazing compound but discovered that the term I needed to search on was "putty softener". Doing so gives the following:

The CRL Putty Softener who price is given above has a "home" web site of

Doing the Google search on "putty softner" will give several more but I didn't look beyond the above. Happy unputteying...

(post #124595, reply #1 of 13)

You need the Fein Multimaster

window putty removal (post #124595, reply #8 of 13)

There is a new oscillating blade that fits most brands and works great! Try

(post #124595, reply #2 of 13)

Why the "unputtying" ?
reason I ask, there are different ways to do it depending on circumstance. Heat gun works well, torch even faster but both will probably crack glass (unless you carefully warmed glass up to temp before applying intense heat -I've tried, but I'm not patient enough). If the pane is cracked or broken already, just heat the glass right next to the glaze with a gun or torch and when the glaze/paint bubbles, shovel it out with a blade. A utility knife blade works well for separating the warm glaze from the frame; but don't cut into the wood.

If the glass is intact but your glaze is failing, proceedwith caution. I've found that glaze either falls right out in big clean chunks, or not at all. When it still has a firm bond it can be very tenatious, and you might consider scraping it clean and leaving it. You can rough up the ends where the new glaze will go, and use a little paint thinner to meld them together.

I'll. Be. Back.

(post #124595, reply #3 of 13)

The main reason for the post was just to put up the info I had run across after remembering that a previous post failed to come to a resolution. The two windows that I have to remove the glazing compound are one in which the glass is broken, so that shouldn't be a problem and a second one in which a previous occupant of the house broke a window and replaced it with a sheet of Lexan or similar plastic. I want to remove that and replace it with glass. I assume that the plastic is not too friendly with heat.

I do need to improve the appearance of the glazing on several of the aluminum framed windows but I assume that a skim coat of more glazing compound should help there.

However, this will give me the final nudge to buy the Fein Multimaster that I have been thinking about buying for a year or so.

(post #124595, reply #4 of 13)


Multimaster GOOD


(post #124595, reply #6 of 13)

regarding the lexan pane- More often than not, "new" glazing work is really easy to undo. I don't know if this speaks to the quality of the glazing, the craftsmanship (or lack thereof), or the fact that window glazing can take a looong time to fully cure.

I've used a number of different power tools for glaze removal, including a cordless circular saw (carefully). But when the conditions allow, nothing works better than a sharp utility blade between the wood and the putty. A heat gun may warm up the wood and glaze enough to loosen this bond ithout melting the plastic, and you can use a wide taping knife to direct the heat and shield the pane.

Not that I would ever discourage someone from buying a new tool, that is..,

BTW- just to add for those reading, aluminum frames call for a slightly different product than the standard wood sash glazing. The DAP product name is "1022" or something like that, I think it bonds better than the '33' which is made for wood.

I'll. Be. Back.

(post #124595, reply #5 of 13)

I unputtied a lot of windows last spring.  I didn't spring for the expensive methods (silent paint remover, multimaster), but I experimented with the heat gun, carbide scrapers, etc.  I ended up using a utility knife for most of the putty.  If you can feel your way in between the hardened putty and the wood, you can shave off some big pieces of putty. 

It's important to work with the grain of the stiles and rails, so you don't split out wood.  Done righ, it leaves a nice bare wood surface, ready for linseed oil and primer.


"so it goes"


"When we build, let us think that we build forever.  Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone." --John Ruskin

"so it goes"


(post #124595, reply #7 of 13)

As a paint contractor with over 35 years of experience, I've had good results with a chisel, bevel side down, and a hammer (especially for that really hard putty). The chisel needs to be sharp and you have to be careful, but with experience and patience, you get pretty efficient removing the putty.

For removing putty simply (post #124595, reply #9 of 13)

For removing putty simply heat it with the heat gun and after that scrape the rabbet with sharp tool thats it.

You can refer this tuorial detailed instruction :

In a perfect world, maybe.  (post #124595, reply #10 of 13)

In a perfect world, maybe.  Old oil putty can be hard as a rock and the frame will catch fire before heat softens it.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I dunno (post #124595, reply #11 of 13)

I've done a fair bit of this; heat gun and a knife or chisel is the best way I've found, never burnt or scorched any wood. If the glass is not broken I put a tile of some kind of composite (can't remember what they are off the top of my head; a bit rubbery, but anything non-ceramic I would imagine would do) as a heat sink. Very rarely if ever break the glass now, and it's mostly old glass too. I did buy one of those Prazi Putty chaser tools, hoping for good things, but if the wood is even a bit soft, I found it did more damage than good.


BS again (post #124595, reply #12 of 13)

Not if you know how to use your tools



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

Around 1970 I reglazed about (post #124595, reply #13 of 13)

Around 1970 I reglazed about half the windows in the 1905 farmhouse my parents bought.  Some of the windows had apparently been replaced over the years, while others appeared to have been recycled from an earlier house, so the glazing was all over the place.  Sometimes the glazing compound came out with a flick of a scraper, sometimes it resisted but came out cleanly with a little work, and sometimes it was like solid rock. 

Heat guns weren't that common then, so I used a soldering-iron-like contraption (which probably is better than a heat gun anyway) to soften the glazing compound.  On some windows it was quite effective, on others, not at all.  (Keep in mind that folks were apt to mix their own glazing compound out of whatever was at hand.)

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville