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Windows are a key architectural detail of a Chicago Bungalow and help to define its visual character. Repair or restoration is a viable option when historic windows may not operate as smoothly as they did when they were new. If windows cannot be repaired, replacements should match the historic window as closely as possible.


The Anatomy of a Historic Wood Window

Anatomy of Wood Windows
Anatomy of a Historic Wood Window
Caring for Wood Windows
Window Campaign

Caring for Historic Wood Windows

Common conditions needing remedies:

  • Pulleys are painted and/or rusted

  • Rotted wood sills or rails

  • Loose window putty/broken glass

  • Missing hardware



  • Use putty knives, pizza cutters and prybars along stops and rails to free up windows
  • Use LiquidWood to fill in holes and rotted sills
  • Remove old window glazing putty with a heat gun, or if dried out, carefully chip out, then replace with DAP® ‘33’® Glazing
  • Missing hardware can often be found online and at resale and antique shops
  • For air infiltration, be sure your windows are adjusted properly in their frame, weather strip, and use sash locks
  • Clean your painted hardware easily by putting it in a crock pot!


Tools needed for reglazing:

  • 1" to 1 1/2” putty knife (for tooling putty)

  • 5-in-1 painter’s tool (to scrape out old putty)

  • Heat gun (for softening old putty)

  • 1” paintbrush (for priming sash)

  • DAP® ‘33’® Glazing

  • Glazier’s points

  • Exterior primer


Steps for reglazing:

  1. Soften glazing and remove

  2. Examine wood for damage

  3. Make any necessary repairs with wood epoxy

  4. If replacing glass, measure wood-to-wood opening and subtract 1/8”

  5. Lay down a thin layer of glazing compound, insert glass, and push points in

  6. Roll putty in hands and make a breadstick or snake

  7. Press putty into the glass

  8. Run the knife at an angle to smooth it off

  9. Wait a week for curing process

  10. Use a high-quality oil-based primer

  11. Lap primer over the putty and onto the glass at least 1/16”to create a seal


Exterior painting of windows:

  • This should be done every 5-8 years
  • Exterior painting prevents moisture penetration
  • Paint on a dry, cloudy day with mild temperatures


To remove old paint:

  • Scrape surface

  • Lightly sand

  • Clean with mineral spirits

  • Treat raw wood with 2 parts boiled linseed oil and 1 part turpentine

  • Prime with alkyd primer

  • Use an oil-based, or alkyd finish paint


Don’t paint your limestone!


Window Campaign

Recognizing that many original bungalow windows are near a century old and often in need of repairs, CBA started the Window Campaign to help simplify the identification of typical window issues, offer resources and tools for their repair, and provide direct access to qualified window specialists.

Window Myths

Seven myth-busting facts why the windows you already have are better, stronger, greener and more beautiful than anything they can sell you!

Fix-It Guide

With a rating system based on skill level and material cost

Local Repair Specialists

Find local window repair specialists in the "Window Repair & Restoration" category on our Trusted Referrals directory.

Window Campaign Case Study

Take a look at what we found when we surveyed 11 bungalows.

Window Restoration Seminar Recap

Jeff Ediger, owner of Oak Brothers, presented a special seminar on Wood Window Restoration - check out the full seminar recap on our blog!

Window Blogs

Browse our other blog articles about windows.

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