Step 3: Prep the Rabbets

prepping the rabbets
Photo: Kindra Clineff
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Pry the old metal glazing points out of the rabbets, the grooves in the sash where the glass sits.

Scrape and sand the rabbets down to bare wood. Brush an exterior primer onto the bare wood so it won't draw the oils out of the putty and shorten its life.

When the paint dries, knead a handful of putty until it's warm and malleable, then press it into the rabbets, filling them completely (as shown). Neatness doesn't matter at this stage.
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    Tools List

    • putty knife
      ½-inch putty knife,
      For tooling putty; should be flexible and clean.
    • painter's tool
      5-in-1 Painter's tool,
      For scraping out old putty.
    • electric heat gun
      Heat gun,
      For softening old putty.
    • paintbrush
      1-inch paint brush,
      For priming sash.

    Shopping List

    1. GLASS
    For pane dimensions, measure the opening from top to bottom and side to side, then subtract 1/8 inch from each measurement.

    2. ALUMINUM FOIL
    Protects undamaged glass from heat.

    3. GLAZIER'S POINTS
    Hold glass against sash. Tom uses push-type points with shoulders.

    4. GLAZING PUTTY
    Seals the edge of the glass against the weather. Tom uses an oil-based product in a can.

    5. EXTERIOR PRIMER
    Seals wood against moisture; extends putty life.