Window Glazing Putty Vs. Caulk: What Is The Difference?

Ever wondered about what the difference between window glazing putty vs. caulk and which is better? 

They both have their strongholds and it depends on the purpose you want them to serve. 

However, both can be used to close and seal gaps so they similar but they different uses... 

Caulk (check if Caulk is stainable here) is used to seal gaps around doors, vent or any other opening around the house.  It does a better job at closing these gaps than most products. 

Putty is used to seal a glass window to wooden frame.

As much as the two products perform similar functions, they differ and are not used interchangeably.

They each have their benefits and advantages, making them better suited for different jobs.

Here is an in-depth look into window glazing putty vs. caulk...

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Differences Between Window Glazing Putty vs Caulk

There key differences between putty and caulk are...

  • The material.
  • The use case.
  • The cure period once applied.
  • The time it takes to dry once applied.

Window Glazing Putty 

Putty is a dough-like product made up of calcium carbonate or polybutene, or ground chalk with linseed oil.

The primary use of this product is to seal the windows. It seals the window and doesn’t allow any air in or out.

The glazing putty can also be used to rectify holes in the wall that can result from screws or nails.

It takes from five to fifteen days to cure after it has been applied.

Drying is not curing; curing is when the coats become hard and firm enough to last long.

When glazing putty is applied the right way, it will last for literally hundreds of years.

It is also very effective whit most repair works. 

It can repair scratches or depressions with ease, but it is not suitable for deep gouges.

All these are additional benefits despite the primary use of sealing the windows to wood frames.


The product is a water-resistant compound used to fill gaps to prevent leakages, both water and air.

It is mainly used to seal gaps around the house like pipes, plumbing applications, doors, and windows.

Compared to glazing putty, it is far more versatile.

When used correctly, a caulking seal will last for about a decade; but it depends on the application and the type of product. 

After applying, caulk will take twenty-four hours to cure; it cures much faster than putty.

The project you have will determine whether you choose between caulk and putty. 

Using one instead of the other, you will notice, the results will not be the best. When you want to seal gaps exposed to heat, caulk is the best and only option.

Can I Use Caulk Instead Of Window Glazing?

The terms caulk and window glazing is often used interchangeably. But they are different products and have different applications.

Using caulk instead of window glazing will have unsatisfactory results.

It is generally not recommended, but caulk is often used to repair instead of glazing compound.

Sometimes you just need to re-glaze your windows for the best benefits.

Window glazing putty vs caulk

There are clear distinctions between the two products.

The main differences are the uses of the two products, longevity and how long they take to cure.

Caulk is very versatile compared to glazing putty. You should not exchange the two when you have a project.

If you want the results to be perfect, stick to their respective uses.

They are both worth having around the house; you never know when you might need them.