How do You Replace Glass in a French Door?

French DoorIf your French door needs a pane replaced, you can easily repair it yourself. Here are the steps on how to replace a pane on a French door. Remember when you are working with the door-frames and trim that these pieces are a bit delicate, so treat them appropriately. Be very gentle about taking the broken window frame out for repair. Be just careful, putting things back together.

The supplies you will need to do the glass replacement includes a large piece of glass, a utility knife, a putty knife, grease pen, ruler, glasscutter, particleboard, liquid nail solution or small replacement nails, hacksaw (optional), protective eyewear and gloves. In completing the work, you will need a space to lay the particleboard flat in order to cut the glass. Use drop cloths inside the house to protect surfaces from debris and dust. When preparing to start this project, make sure you have an open space that you can lay out the particleboard and piece of glass you will be cutting. Use drop cloths inside the house to protect surfaces from debris, dust and broken glass, according to Do It Yourself.

Remove Damaged Frame

  • Use a screwdriver to remove any screws around the frame. Use a utility knife to scrape off any caulking that is stuck to the trim. Also, remove any other broken glass pieces that remain.
  • Use the utility knife to cut the paint from around the window, cutting all the way around it.
  • Pry up any trim that has been nailed down. You may need to use a hacksaw to cut nails.
  • Label each piece of trim, so that you can put it back in the correct place.

Cutting the Glass

  • Wear protective eyewear and gloves while working with glass.
  • Measure the inside setting of the window with a ruler. Reduce number by ¼ inch when you are ready to cut. This gives the wood room to expand. If you might the fit too tight, you will have another broken window frame before too long.
  • Lay glass on a large particleboard. Use the ruler and a grease pen to mark the measurements on the glass.
  • Start in upper left corner. Measure from the long edge of the glass, width at top, middle and bottom. Mark each point.
  • Use straight edge to line up against three points on glass. Put a spot of oil on glass-cutter edge. Cut along the straight edge. Tap lightly to snap it. Repeat on other cuts.

Replacing Glass in Frame

  • Clean the frame and trim of all caulking and debris. Put new caulking around the settings to hold the glass in place. Placer the glass in the setting. Replace the trim around the frame.
  • Use liquid nails to hold the trim in place. If you use nails, use small nails. Blunt the ends to prevent them from splitting the trim.
  • Put a thin layer of caulking around the outer trim seal. Leaky or cracked windows are a major cause of air and water getting into your home. This is the biggest cause for heat loss or cool air loss for your home. It is a major reason for high-energy bills. When using caulking do not use silicon, as you will not be able to paint it.
  • Fill the nail head holes with nail filler and repaint ti match the rest of the french door windows.

If you have double pane glass in your French door, both panes will have to be replaced. The space between the two panes is filled with an inert gas and sealed to prevent moisture from getting between the two panes. If you do not replace both pieces, you will end up with a foggy window once moisture seeps in.

Leaky or cracked windows are a major cause of air and water getting into your home. This is the biggest cause for heat loss or heat entering your home and increasing your energy bills. After the new window is secured in place, seal around the perimeter of your window frame with chalk. Do not use silicon chalk, as you will not be able to paint it. In this how to replace glass in a French door step-by-step guide, it is estimated that the time to complete the job is about one hour. If you are new at DIY projects, take your time. It may take you a lot longer than one hour.

Related Resource: How to Paint the Plastic Frame on an Entry Door