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My garage door is perfectly sound but will need re-painting. There is a small window at the top of the door and the putty is all cracked. How do I go about changing the putty? before I paint the door.

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Most likely you want to use window glaze more then caulking. eHow has an 'ok' article on the differences, but is lacking some better detail. However, there was a similar question on yesterdays contractor.com and the answer from Billy NY is excellent. He covers the main reason to use glazing over caulking in certain situations, primarily when mixing substrates such as glass and wood. He also mentions that silicon caulking can work well in some instances, but can't be painted where as window glaze can.

If you do re-glaze your window, popular mechanics has a great 'how-to' article with step by step directions.

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I haven't looked at the links, but would like to emphasize the high risk of breaking the glass when removing old glazing compound. And with that comes the risk of severely cutting muscles and tendons in your hands and fingers ... especially for a newbie. Be very careful. Alternative is to remove only loose pieces of glazing compound, then patch in those spots with new glazing compound, then use paintable caulk to fill in any small cracks remaining in the old glazing compound that were to narrow for new compound. Let the new paint lap onto the glass by 1/16" or so to provide a good seal. – mike Aug 18 '13 at 22:16
I agree that with any plate glass there is a risk of cutting yourself, especially when scraping products of it. Something neither of us mentioned is that this glass in a garage door is going to be raw around the edges. By this I mean there is a risk of getting cut even if the glass doesn't break since the edges will still be very sharp. Please do be very careful. – John Smith Aug 19 '13 at 2:30
true, though removing the pane would takes this project to another level. – mike Aug 19 '13 at 5:02

It sounds like you need to recaulk. You need to first remove all of the old caulk, with a knife or there are specialized tools for caulk removal (sold near the caulk you need to buy).

Get a paintable door and trim caulk. DAP is a popular brand in the US.

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