Traditional window putty alternative

There is no surprise if we say that traditional putty is difficult to work with and requires meticulous prep work and specific conditions for sticking, drying, and curing.

If you are making new sash windows in a workshop that is dry and warm, and you apply putty to fresh timber and clean glass, you will be fine with it.

It is cheap and you can apply it with your bare hands. It has been tested and proven to work and is well-known among joiners, handymen, decorators, and DIYers, making it a popular choice.

To be honest, the window re-puttying process is a pretty calming thing. After a few windows, you’ll feel like all your stress is gone.

The positive effect of putty on the mental health of window restorers has yet to be researched and proven; haha, just kidding here!

Just to sum up, putty is a good , old material that everyone is aware of and many people use.

traditional window putty
old window putty

What’s wrong with old window putty?

It is slow curing.

It doesn’t stick as well as we want it to.

You cannot use it in weather conditions that deviate from the ‘perfect’. It’s important to note that in London, we mostly have shitty weather.

It is not flexible enough after it dries.

On the one hand, it is easy to work with, but it is a very demanding material when it comes to proper application. If one thing is done incorrectly, you’ve ruined the whole job, and the repair will not last.

So basically, the new putty with fresh paint on top looks like a good job. But only time will tell if it has been applied correctly under suitable conditions.

Window putty alternative

So, what is an alternative to window putty that does not suck for sash window repair jobs?

The answer is high-tack polymer sealants like:

  1. Dry seal by Dryflex
  2. Endurance WHITE Glazing Putty Replacement.

Both of those products are good alternatives to traditional putty and check most of the boxes that traditional putty misses.

When switching from traditional linseed putty to high-tack polymer sealants, the process might feel messier.

Simply put, the alternative putty material is messier because it sticks to everything. Bare hands are not an option. A box of disposable latex gloves is a must-have before starting the sealing work.

You must also improve your spatula and putty knife skills, as polymer sealants require better precision compared to regular putty, which is almost foolproof.

window putty alternative

What is the catch?

There are no catches; it is just different materials. It is good for window restorers, who restore windows without taking them to the workshop.

This alternative putty is quite expensive, especially if you need to redo most of the loose putty on large Georgian six-over-six windows with numerous glazing bars that may make you feel overwhelmed.

It may not be foolproof to apply, but it can almost guarantee longer-lasting results if you are reasonable with your preparation.