I'm bringing a door in to a pro to strip the paint. The guy doing the work is suggesting that I remove the glass from the door to (1) make sure it doesn't break accidentally during the process and (2) that the chemicals don't harm the glass (part of the glass is etched).

I'm somewhat skeptical of the reasons since it seems we are as likely to break the glass during the removal process and I wouldn't think the chemicals would harm the glass, but let's assume we want to remove the glass...

How do I remove the glass from the door? I'm attaching two pictures from the interior side. Do I just pry off the strip of wood that goes around the glass?

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  • It was likely set into the door frame as the door was assembled. It's a fairly involved process to remove it and reinstall it now. You'll basically be disassembling and reassembling the door, which doesn't allow a painter to complete a job before the glass is reinstalled anyway. Find a painter who can be careful.
    – isherwood
    Aug 7 '17 at 21:11
  • @isherwood, I'm pretty sure the glass is not original to the door. The door is probably over 100 years old and the glass is relatively new.
    – gaefan
    Aug 7 '17 at 21:26
  • Ok. Then, as Decapod says, you'll need to remove the retainer strips on one side or the other.
    – isherwood
    Aug 7 '17 at 21:32

It depends on the chemicals used if the glass can be damaged. Removing the wooden strips holding the glass should be sufficient to take out the glass. After the strips are removed you should carefully verify if the glass is completely free.

Paint remnants could still hold the glass. If so you have to loosen the glass very carefully not to break it.

Push the glass carefully from below with little pressure upwards and watch it move. If not then you need remove old paint as good as you can and try again. Go along the whole window that way before trying to lift the glass from the door frame.

Be carefull not to break the glass and good luck


It appears you have a frame that was installed into the door. That curvey-looking moulding probably comes off, but the square-stock frame the glass is installed in will have to be dismantled to remove the glass itself.

Let a high-end painter strip it with a heat gun, maybe followed with some paste stripper and some sanding. Heck with a guy that doesn't have the know-how to strip a door without removing the glass.

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