Window repair done right
Window Glazing Compound
The Natural Handyman
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.
for tools and supplies for your home improvement project Shop at AceHardware.com
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
Take the Next Step
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- Visit our Pinterest board for Home Improvement Tips.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- 15 mistakes to avoid when selling your home
- 9 ways to buy furniture for less
- Need a bigger home? How to maximize the space you already have
- 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
- Should I borrow from my home equity?
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?