Diy Stained Glass Window Repair

Learn some basic techniques for fixing or removing and replacing damaged, broken or cracked stained glass windows.

Stained glass windows have adorned cathedrals and churches for centuries. Nowadays, since making stained glass has become a popular hobby, you can even find smaller windows in residential homes.

Stained glass comes in a variety of colors, textures, and thicknesses. Baroque Glass, for example, has a swirling texture to it. As its name implies, Crackled Glass has a lightly - cracked look to its surface. As for colors, Opalescent Glass is a milky white glass that can be seen in the popular Tiffany lamps. And, Confetti Glass is made by adding tiny pieces of different colored glass to it during its manufacturing process.

With proper care and maintenance, a stained glass window can last for many years. However, being that these windows are made up of pieces of colored glass that are soldered together, sometimes, such as when the solder fails, a repair is needed. Sometimes, the actual glass in a stained glass window can be damaged by long term exposure to weather. And, even though stained glass is heavier and stronger than normal clear window glass, it can still become cracked or otherwise broken.

If you have a newer window in your home that a small piece of the colored glass fell out of, you might want to repair it by simply gluing the piece back in. This method of repair will also work if your stained glass window has a small crack or two in it. Of course, you'll need to use clear glue that's suitable for securing glass. You'll also need to apply a small, thin bead of glue around the glass piece. Applying too much glue will cause it to ooze out onto the front and back of the piece when you reinsert it into the stained glass window.

If any of the solder around the perimeter of the piece is missing, then you'll need to replace that too. Wait for the glue to dry thoroughly, according to the manufacturer's directions. Then, you'll need some flux, solder, and a soldering iron to replace the missing solder. Make sure that the new solder resembles the original as much as possible in thickness and color. Otherwise, the window will show evidence that it has been repaired.

Larger, more complicated repairs to your stained glass window might require that you remove the window from its frame. You should only attempt this if you have at least one assistant to help you hold the window. When the window is removed from its frame, you'll need to lay a thick sheet of plywood behind it in order to support it. Watch out for any pieces of glass that may become loose and fall out! Then, place the window on a sturdy, flat, level work surface.

Now that you can get a closer look at the window, inspect it closely for any loose, broken, or cracked pieces of glass. To replace glass, you'll need to purchase a piece of stained glass that is the same color as the original piece. Remove the original piece by carefully removing the solder that surrounds it. You can either pull it out with a dull putty knife, or, you might need to melt it by using a low-powered soldered iron and flux. Then, place the original piece on top of the replacement glass. Use a pencil or a washable marker to outline the original piece.

You'll need to use a glass cutter to cut the new piece out of the stained glass. If the cut edges are rough or sharp, you should smooth them out with a piece of sandpaper.

Finally, solder the new piece into place, and allow it to cool down before you replace the stained glass back into its frame.

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