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5 Minute Repair Stained Glass Tutorial


A work of art as delicate as a stained glass, definitely makes it a more intimidating experience than normal when we hear that crackling crack!

Repairing a stained glass window was something that was simply out of our league here at Decorating Visita Casas, until we tried.

After our experience with the mosaics, the stained-glass window was not so intimidating to see it close up. Maintenance is relatively simple once you have become familiar with the products that are used and; developing the technique to repair it, is a work of patience and practice Today we teach you how to do it!

Decorating Visita Casas vs. Stained Glass

It could be said that a stained-glass window always demands the same three needs:

  • Restoration
  • Reinforcement
  • Repair

If anything we can agree is that the older the stained glass is, it seems more complex and interesting it is the polychrome. The vitality of the stained-glass windows of the churches; are a clear example of that particular quality that is not found in other works of the same genre.

The most delicate stained glass that we have not yet attended are those whose glass is slightly more than 1mm thick and; If that were not enough, the exaggerated amount of 1500 strokes of lead.

For such works, it is usually the churches themselves that have the artisans who maintain or repair them. A tradition that has passed through the generations.

What we are going to explain next; Is the basic technique that you can use in such a case that one of your stained glass windows will suffer an accident due to the typical ball.

But that does not mean you could not start making your own stained glass, especially if you’ve already followed our other DIY articles.

The Materials

All the materials below can be obtained at your favorite DIY store or at the nearest hardware store.

  • Electric welder
  • Wiper Blade
  • Soldering paste
  • Pliers
  • Glass cutter
  • Tin
  • Polishing stone
  • Copper tape
  • Glass
  • Painting
  • Paper, sharpie and pencil

Usually, when these types of accidents occur that require a repair; Always the remains of the original glass are scattered all over the place

Do not throw them!

At least not yet, they are a key piece at the time of restoration. They do not give much information, such as: the thickness of the glass, a clear image of the final result of the painting, the exact type of tape used in the stained glass.

Remember that the welding is not done directly on the glass but on a very thin and malleable sheet. The point is that not all stained glass uses the same type of tape.

Repairing the Stained Glass

The first thing is to take the shape of the missing piece; For this we will use the piece of paper next to the pencil. Once this is done, we go to our glass (which may be previously painting) and using our sharpie, we put the drawn shape.

Then it’s time to use one of the most important tools: the glass cutter. Unlike the work done in the mosaics, stained glass demand a little more precision in the cut of the pieces.

It is good to be patient in this step and to cut it little by little to later use the pliers and to remove the surplus with precision but delicacy.

Once the desired shape has been extracted from the glass, the imperfections are polished with the polishing stone; It is very important to eliminate any surplus that could cause an accident later.

The piece has been cut and treated!

Now as you can see, the tape comes with an adhesive that makes it easier to transfer it to the glass.

The main idea is that the tape should be a “U” around the glass; Clothing side by side equally so that no surpluses of tape are observed by any side of the stained glass.

To press well the tape on the glass you can use a fit; But even the pliers handle itself could serve this purpose.

Just remember to leave the corners for the end when you are applying pressure on the tape.

The Welder

One of the most intimidating facets of this job but, it’s not as complicated as you think. The truth is that, if you do not use the products in the order you should, you will not even weld.

When one is beginning in the world of the repair of stained glass, to all inexpert one is passed to them that another detail (yes, as well as to us); But once you master the simple steps, you can complete a single stained glass window.

With the brush you can brush the part already integrated to the stained glass using the paste or flux over the entire surface of the tape, otherwise the tin will not make the points.

Once the piece is fixed with points of tin in critical places, it is then proceeded to spread the tin as a layer on the line of the tape.

The temperature of the soldering iron in regular stained glass is not relevant. However, the quality of the weld, and the tool of the temperature and amount of tin to use in an antique stained glass; eell that is already the subject for another article when we have improved the technique.

Once the tape has been covered on both sides of the stained glass (as these works of art have two finishes); you can proceed to paint the tin.

Very few people leave the tin as a final finish between glass and glass, however; May be something worth of trying.

To highlight the ribbon is usually black, although the paint on the tape could be described as irrelevant; If you have a clear glass and are doing a restoration, do this work very carefully.

Painting the Glass

The glass painting that we, the equipment of Decorating Visita Casas used when we made the repair was VitraSeta. It is important that you come to this point; If the glass does not have color, you are able to discern the colors you need and the way they will be mixed. Our recommendation is that you can use the leftover pieces of glass to practice a little; Always having the sample of the original glass at hand, so you can replicate the design correctly.

Why not paint the glass before?

That is also a valid option as long as the paint does not follow a pattern in general. Unlike mosaics, some stained-glass windows follow a very clear pattern;

The strokes of brushstrokes on the glass cause that the works in the stained glass are clearer. Although some stained glass use textures in your glass, it is good that you consider all the possibilities.

For that reason it is good to practice the way in which the strokes will be done on a fragment of surplus glass; so you can also analyze the piece in front and behind when it is under the light.

Final Tips

Household stained glass, especially the more classic doors, do not require much care; Its diversity of glasses may not even require painting as the manufacturer can provide you with the basics things.

It is good to know how to install one of the pieces or even make decorations from scratch, but remember; The original pieces of recognized marks have a unique finish.

That is why the restoration work is charged at such a high price.

Emulating the original glass is not something that any beginner can do so; Before painting one of the pieces of the stained glass directly on the final finish, it is best to practice first on transparent glass scraps and compare.

Stained Glass

There is Not ugly stained glass.

There may be poorly stained glass, but this rudimentary art accepts imperfections as part of itself; So do not be discouraged if your first project does not have a thin layer of solder. If the points are clearly visible, you can always learn from that experience to improve the next time.

Stained glass windows, fixtures and decor are considered as works of art specifically since they are made with careful attention to detail. These are popular in church windows and date buildings and have been present in art and architecture for a thousand years. Today, modern artistry for stained glass is not just limited to church windows but is applied to regular housing décor, fixtures and even uneven surfaces. Basically, these are pieces of colored glass placed together using glue or a soldering iron for more intricate patterns and designs.

Most common problems with maintaining stained glass are due to the manner of how the pieces were placed together. So if pieces fall off or get damaged, here are a few tips on how to repair stained glass. Initially, determine how the pieces are placed together. There are two known methods in stained glass assembly which is using a gluing process or a soldering process.

More modern or newer stained glass pieces are glued together and you can purchase clear glue at your local hardware store specifically suitable for glass. Consider consulting the store for the right type of glue and that stained glass are usually heavier than normal glass. When placing the piece back, ensure that the area where it was originally placed and the piece itself is clean and free of any residue including the old glue which may refrain the new glue from taking effect. Also read the instructions on the product you bought in order to determine proper curing time before and after applying the glue as they vary depending on the manufacturer and product specifications. Since most stained glass pieces are visible from both sides, ensure that you are placing the right amount of glue at the sides as residues may spill over and become too noticeable from each side.


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I love writing about interior design. I am in love with achieving harmony at home to improve the well-being of my family. I usually write for the "Visitacasas" blog, both in Spanish and English, and personally answer the questions about home decoration of all our users.

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