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Preparing Your Door For A New Glass Insert

If you have a beautiful wooden door with a full size glass insert and the pane breaks, then you may not want to completely replace the entire door. Decorative doors with glass inserts can cost as much as $2,000 to replace, depending on how ornate the door is. Fortunately, a piece of replacement glass will only cost a fraction of this price. You can make the replacement yourself, but you will need to make sure that you take care to prepare the frame so the glass sits inside of it properly. To learn about what you need to do to get the frame of the door ready for a new glass insert, keep reading. 

Release The Stop Molding

Doors and windows have a small piece of molding called the stop molding that keeps the glass pane in place. This molding prevents the glass from falling out of the door and it also helps to close off the seams around the glass so your door is as airtight as possible. Before you can release the broken piece of glass, you will need to remove the stop molding. Remove the door from the hinges first by releasing the hinge pins. You can remove the pins easily by placing the tip of a nail underneath each pin and gently tapping the nail with a hammer. Once the top of the hinge pin starts to move, use your fingers or a pair of needle-nose pliers to pull the hinge out. 

Gently pull the door away from the jamb and set it face down on a large table or two sawhorses. Place a blanket underneath the door so the wood does not scratch. Identify the stop molding that sits close to the glass insert, and use a utility knife to score the top and bottom of the molding. This is typically necessary because the molding will likely be stuck in place with either paint or stain.

Stop molding will be secured to the larger door frame with small finishing nails and these nails will easily release from the frame. Use either a small crowbar or the claw end of a hammer to pry off the stop molding. Do this underneath the molding so you do not shatter the glass door insert in the process. Pull up the molding and set it aside when you are done. Removing the molding will sometimes cause it to crack or fall apart. If this happens, then purchase new molding from your local home store that matches the door.

Remove Glazing

The glass insert is adhered to the door frame with the help of something called glazing compound or glazing putty. This compound sticks to both the glass and the wood door, and it creates a seal around the glass. Glazing compound is extremely durable and will not crack, shrink, or crumble over time. The material will remain in place around the door, and this can create an issue when you place the new glass insert into the door. Specifically, new glazing will not stick to the old glazing material and small openings will be present around the glass. This can cause draft problems and loose glass.

You can and should remove old glazing material before the new compound material is added. Cut the glazing around the glass pane with a utility knife so the glass can be pulled out of the door. Afterwards, use a hair dryer or a heat gun against the putty to loosen it. The glazing will become much more pliable when it is heated and you can then use your putty knife to scrape the glazing away. If small amounts of the putty remain, then use a medium grit piece of sandpaper to sand the compound off. For more information, contact a company like Beyers Window & Door Inc.