AskDefine | Define putty

Dictionary Definition

putty n : a dough-like mixture of whiting and boiled linseed oil; used especially to patch woodwork or secure panes of glass v : apply putty in order to fix or fill; "putty the window sash" [also: puttied]

User Contributed Dictionary



From potée.



  1. a form of cement, made from linseed oil and whiting, used to fix panes of glass
  2. any of a range of similar substances


a form of cement
any of a range of similar substances
Translations to be checked


  1. to fix something using putty


to fix something using putty

Extensive Definition

Putty is a generic term for a plastic material similar in texture to clay or dough typically used in domestic construction and repair as a sealant or filler. Painter's Putty is typically a linseed oil based product used for filling holes, minor cracks and defacements in wood only. Putties can also be made intumescent, in which case they are used for firestopping as well as for padding of electrical outlet boxes in fire-resistance rated drywall assemblies. In the latter case, hydrates in the putty produce an endothermic reaction to mitigate heat transfer to the unexposed side.


Specifically putty has been used extensively in glazing for fixing and sealing panes of glass into wooden frames (or sashes), although its use is decreasing with the prevalence of PVC and metal window frames which use synthetic sealants such as silicone.
Certain types of putty also have use in the field of terminal ballistics, where the putty can accurately represent the average density of the human body. As such it can be used, for instance, to test the penetrative power of projectiles, or the stopping power of body armour.
Glazing putty is traditionally made by mixing a base of whiting (finely ground chalk) with linseed oil in various proportions. There are a number of synthetic alternatives such as polybutene based putties, where the polybutene is a low molecular weight oligomer replacing the linseed oil. Butyl rubber is also added to the mixture to provide some strength and flexibility.
In woodworking, water-based putties are more commonly used, as these emit very little odour, are more easily cleaned up and are compatible with water-based and latex sealers. However with the introduction of other useful adhesives such as 'no-more-nails' putty usage in woodwork has reduced. other adhesives are also more common as some colored putties can cause stains where in some cases only 'cilit bang' has proved effective, but then stains are also common in the other adhesives too.

See also

External links

putty in German: Kitt
putty in French: Mastic
putty in Icelandic: Kítti
putty in Dutch: Kit
putty in Polish: Kit
putty in Swedish: Kitt
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