I have an old door that has glass panels and is covered with an ugly coating of white film. I would like to replace it with a wooden door. the problem is the door is a custom size and I can't just buy a new standard sized door. My plan is to remove the glass panels and replace them with wood, then paint the whole door to a nice brown wooden color.

What is the best way to remove the glass? After that, how should i replace the holes with wood? (having the old wood in the door and the new wooden inserts line up with the same width is not important)

Close up picture of the glass panel and the plastic film covering the door Close up picture of the glass panel and the plastic film covering the door

  • I would cover the glass or the whole door with wood. Maybe prefinished so no painting required . I covered a paneled door with rough sawn cedar plywood to match a shed , just a matter of several screws ,then paint. Oct 23, 2020 at 19:16
  • Do you hate glass doors? Removing the plastic film is totally doable. Oct 23, 2020 at 19:25
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica I would like to have a non-transparent door. And I love wooden doors:D Oct 23, 2020 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


What is the best way to remove the glass?

It looks like the glass is held in by 1/4-round wood molding, so I would do this:

  • score the paint around the molding with a knife, both where it meets the glass and where it meets the door rabbet/rebate
  • use a variety of small tools (e.g. small prybar, cat's paw, hammer, putty knife, etc.) to remove all molding around the glass
  • carefully look for and pull any glass retaining clips (if any) around the perimeter of the glass, and any glazing putty that may be there (typically the glass pane would be bedded in putty prior to installation of the molding)
  • remove glass pane carefully
  • thoroughly clean and prep the rabbet/rebate to prepare it for wood panel install

how should i replace the holes with wood?

  • cut a piece of "A" grade exterior 3/8" plywood to size
  • install in a similar fashion to how the glass was installed but no putty required and use brand new paint-grade 1/4-round molding that fits the reveal left after the plywood is inserted
  • Thank you for the comprehensive answer, helped me a lot! Oct 23, 2020 at 21:52
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    There's a possibility the glass is being held in solely by glazier's points and putty. If so, smashing the glass (deliberately or inadvertently) usually happens. Put a tight crosshatch of packing tape on the non-filmed side and wear gloves/eye protection while working. Oct 23, 2020 at 23:27
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    @AloysiusDefenestrate thanks for the warning! Oct 24, 2020 at 9:26
  • 1
    "Signboard" aka MDO plywood might be a good choice for the panels, since you're painting. Info, not a recommendation: capitolcitylumber.com/product/… Oct 24, 2020 at 14:56
  • 2
    Also: don't nail or glue the new panels to the door. Let them float behind the new 1/4-round molding. - The panels and the door will probably expand and contract at different rates with changing temperature and humidity. Apr 27, 2022 at 20:33

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