DIY Network

Restoring Old Transom Windows

Transoms can be so hidden by paint that it's not possible to tell whether they still have their original glass underneath or whether the glass has been replaced by wood panels. Find out how to restore old transom windows above doorways.

More in Remodeling

restoring old transom windows
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Restore the Pivot and Remove the Transom

Begin by using a utility knife to free the joint around the transom frame. Using a plastic headed mallet, begin tapping the transom frame until the pivot is restored (Image 1). Remove the paint from around the pivot pins, and pull forward to release the transom (Image 2). Prepare the transom for paint removal using the Speedheater. Use carbide paint scrapers to strip all the loosened paint and glazing from the window (Image 3). Carefully remove the glass and the push pins (Image 4).

Step 2: Repair and Reinstall the Transom

Re-prime or prep the stripped wood for finish. Using latex back bedding, replace the glass in the transom. Secure the glass with glazing points every 6" to 8" (Image 1). Reinstall the transom window (Image 2).