How To Replace Glass Panes In French Doors

If window glass has broken in your French door, you should fix it right away, but you don't have to replace the whole door. It is possible to replace glass panes. Here are some tips to replace glass panes in a French door.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • paper sack
  • felt-tip marker
  • tape measure
  • duct tape
  • pliers
  • small pry bar
  • utility knife
  • hammer
  • nippers
  • nail punch
  • straight edge
  • caulking gun
  • one-inch brads
  • glazing points
  • glazing compound (used to seal glass panes)
  • mineral oil
  • glass cutter
  • replacement glass

You will also need a broom or vacuum, paint, wood filler, and 150-grit sand paper. Sweep or vacuum as many glass pieces from the floor as you can, pull loose glass pieces from the frame, and discard them in the paper sack. If the glass is only cracked, make a criss-cross on the pane with duct tape to secure the glass.

Remove the Remaining Glass

Pull the four trim pieces, or stops, beginning at the bottom, with the pry bar. The stops are located on the inside of the door secured with wire brads. Mark each trim piece with a marker as bottom, top, left, right, to help you recall where they go.

Remove nails with nippers to avoid damaging the trim front. Use the pliers to pull glazing points, remove the rest of the glass, and discard the pieces in the bag. Scrape the old glazing compound with the utility knife.

Install the New Glass

Measure the height and length of the window opening, and subtract an eighth of an inch from each measurement, so the glass has room to move. Set the replacement glass on a flat work table, and use the felt-tip marker to mark measurements on the glass for height and length on both sides.

Oil the glass cutter, place a straight edge on the marks, and cut a line. Push the glass to the edge of the work table, and slightly tap the scored line on the side to snap the glass. Cut the other lines in the same manner; oiling the cutter in between cuts.

Use the caulking gun to apply a bead of glazing compound around the frame. Set the glass in the frame, and press it firmly against the compound. Push the glazing points in place with the utility knife, and reinstall the trim.

Hammer one-inch brads in the stop holes, then insert the stops. Use the nail punch to sink the brad heads, and fill nail holes with wood filler. After the filler dries, sand the brad, and paint the brads with a color to match the trim.

Your French door should look as good as new. If you don't trust your skill to install glass, or you would rather replace the whole door, visit your local home and garden center. Learn more over at this website.