Window Glazing Compound
You said in one of your articles not to use latex window glazing in a caulk tube. Why? I have used DAP33, available only in cans, and I hate it. It takes forever to develop a skin so it can be painted. And it takes even longer for it to harden enough so it doesn't dent when even slightly touched. I used it on a window last fall, and when I removed it this August, it still wasn't hardened. A DAP representative suggested the tube. Is there another brand that's easier to work with and will harden more quickly?
I would appreciate your help as I need to start glazing immediately. I have an eight-paned sash and a plain sash to do before it gets cold in Illinois.
CK from Kankakee, IL
You can use the latex glazing product if you want to experiment. I have just found it to very sloppy, sticky and difficult to work with. However, if appearance is not as important as drying time, the latex glazing products win hands down!
Let's talk a little about window putty. First, regarding window putty drying time, it is definitely very slow drying. Even after weeks of remaining unpainted, putty in a cool, shady area will remain soft. However, believe it or not, this is a good thing!
Glazing putty is a mix of boiled linseed oil, calcium carbonate and probably other additives that remain the secret of the conspiratorial, world-dominating putty industry. It is mixed at the factory to a consistency that can be worked to a smooth surface without excessive sticking to the tool, or putty knife. Other putties, such as painter's putty, are chemically similar but often have a creamier consistency more suited to exterior hole filling. They are stickier and thus are difficult to use for window glazing.
Predating caulk by decades, window putty was designed to make a seal between dissimilar materials (glass and wood), to remain flexible for a long time, and to be paintable. This is a tall order, to say the least!
Putty's slow drying time is a byproduct of the way it dries, which is oxidation. The linseed oil reacts with oxygen in the air to harden the putty. Once the surface hardens slightly, called "skinning," the rate of drying decreases as the source of oxygen is diminished.
You mentioned that the putty took "forever" to skin over. Skinning is in the eye of the beholder. Skinning is surface hardening, not the type of rubbery layer that is typical of caulk. Skinned putty will no longer stick to the fingers, even though it may still be soft to the touch.
Putty that is painted very quickly, say within a day of application, may take years to harden since the paint (oil only) will further diminish the supply of oxygen.
Putty is not an adhesive, but does exhibit adhesive properties for much of its useful life. Then, as it becomes totally dry, it cracks and loosens, needing either touch up or replacement.
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here naturalhandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links naturalhandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page naturalhandyman.com/friends.
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at naturalhandyman.com/contest. Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Downsizing to a smaller house
- How to clean a stone fireplace
- Clear out Christmas clutter
- Romantic bedrooms on a budget
- Cleaning dryer vents
- Helping a packrat get organized
- Convenient floor cleaners
- 6 reasons you shouldn't overimprove your home
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 7 green ways to save money on laundry
- 6 ways to organize your home in the new year
- 6 ways to save on home heating
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?