Tips on How to Repair a Stained Glass Window

Glass is a highly fragile material that requires handling with great care. Stained glass, a combination of various custom decorated glass pieces into a single panel, is even more brittle given the weakness at joining points. Homeowners add stained glass designs in doorways, main windows, and other strategic places in their homes where they will attract the eye of their visitors because of their aesthetic quality. 

Therefore, besides its fragility, stained glass is prone to cracks and breaking due to where they are usually placed. A crack or broken stained glass is quite a common but painful and expensive occurrence, during its soldering or in the display. The good news is that in most cases, when the stained glass is not entirely damaged, cracks can be repaired. You may be worried about what you need to know and have for repairing a broken stained glass. Relax because you are about to learn how to repair cracked stained glass.

Repairing a Broken Stained Glass

Suppose you just cracked your beautiful piece of stained glass art when soldering. In that case, you may be stressed about the high replacement cost or the difficulties of getting an exact spare piece. The positive side to this ugly incident is that you do not need to replace the broken piece as long as it is not entirely shattered. Thankfully, you have the required soldering skills, so all you need to do is make a minor adjustment to the design to repair the broken part, and this is how you do it.

  1. Look for an extra portion of the interior lead that should be lengthier than the crack. 
  2. Bowdlerize the top side of the lead flange using a lead knife, pincers, or lead angle cutters.
  3. Mold the flange to fit it on the crack and shape it, so it neatly adjoins the nearby lead.
  4. Secure it in place by soldering it at both ends.
  5. Flip and repeat the process on the rear side.
  6. Cement, clean, and polish as usual.
  7. Add false leads at other similar points for a symmetrical design.

However, what if the elegant stained glass on your doorway breaks and you do not have soldering skills? What do you do in this situation?

  1. Inspect the damage cautiously and take photos to document the damage for insurance and repair companies.
  2. Ensure you take up-close photos of the cracks and the general view, including the wooden or metallic molds, for the repair company to assess the suitable installation technique.
  3. Sealing the cracks with strong duct tape to steady the panel.
  4. Keep any large broken pieces that may be beneficial for color-matching the repair pieces.

If the cracks are minor, you can use an adhesive to fix these cracks. Different types of cracks will require different gluing techniques and glue types. 

  • For a hairline crack, thoroughly clean and line up the pieces to ensure a perfectly invisible repair. Then pour the suitable runny glass repair glue over the crack, which will seal it through capillary action, leaving an invisible line where the crack was.
  • For an open crack, an epoxy or clear silicone will help. Carefully seal and flatten the holes by scraping off the excess glue using a sharp blade.

When to Seek Professional Help

It’s crucial to seek the professional services of competent glass experts whenever the damage is serious, requiring the replacement of the stained glass. Smith Stained Glass experts are the go-to professionals for exceptional stained glass repair services in Prunedale, CA.