stained glass window repair

Stained Glass Window Repair: a Complete Guide

Many old stained glass windows require repairs. Find out how to restore your stained glass by using these tips and tricks.

Repairs are frequently necessary for old stained glass windows. Over time, the original putty in the window can dry out and fall out of the lead cames that surround the glass, causing instability. Care must be taken to prevent causing more harm than is already present when replacing a stained glass window’s broken piece.

All the expertise and specialized equipment needed for original work are also used in stained glass repair, along with an extra measure of patience and a quick, steady hand with a soldering iron. If you’re up for the task, creating beautiful stained glass is almost as satisfying as successfully creating one.

Stained Glass Window Repair: Step-By-Step

Step 1

Placing the window on a table covered in a scrap of indoor-outdoor carpet or another flat, cushioned work surface is a good idea. Using pliers, remove the glass fragments. Work as gently as you can to prevent yanking the foil away from the neighboring glass.

If the broken piece is still intact, score it with a glass cutter and support it from below with some scrap wood. With the cutter or pliers, gently tap the glass along the score lines to break it, then take out the pieces.

Step 2

stained glass window repair

Placing scrap wood around the window’s edge will raise it 1 inch off the work surface. Solder the repair area by melting the solder with a soldering iron until it drips under the window. At the same time, gently strip away the foil that the broken piece left behind using the pencil’s tip.

To prevent overheating the adjacent glass, work swiftly but carefully, and don’t leave the iron in one spot for too long. Without moving the foil on the nearby glass pieces, thoroughly clean the entire repair area of excess solder and loose foil. The missing piece’s outline should be clearly visible as a hole in the window at this point.

Step 3

Reposition the window so that it is flat on the work surface. In order to protect the window’s back from damage, place a scrap of wood underneath the repair area. A piece of pattern paper should be placed on top of the wood so that it is directly below the window’s hole and touches the glass’s back. Use a fine pencil to trace the outline of the missing piece onto the pattern paper.

Step 4

Utilizing a pair of pattern shears, cut out the pattern piece for the replacement glass. Test-fit the pattern in the hole, and if necessary, trim it. Trace the pattern with a felt pen to transfer it to the proper glass blank. Smooth or grind the glass’ edges after cutting it out. Glass cleaner should be used to thoroughly clean the item, and paper towels should be used to completely dry it.

Step 5

the replacement part with foil. Cut new foil sections to fit and use a fid to smooth them into place if any foil came loose from the glass pieces near the repair area. Put the replacement piece in place in the hole while using a scrap of wood as support from below.

Step 6

The repair area should be covered in flux. Just enough solder should be fed into the window hole to match the seams on the replacement piece. Carefully sand the seams, blending the transitions between the fresh and old solder. Keep moving and avoid keeping the iron stationary for an extended period of time. Solder the seams on the window’s reverse side by flipping the window over. Permit the window to completely cool.

Step 7

Utilizing paper towels and glass cleaner, thoroughly clean the window. Allow it to completely dry. Put on a patina to resemble the original.

Stained Glass Window Repair Cost Breakdown

For a stained glass window to be repaired, labor and materials will cost the most money.

  • Labor: The majority of stained glass window expenses are related to labor. Since stained glass repair requires expert craftsmanship, most contractors charge between $50 to $100 per hour.
  • Materials: Expect to pay around $100 to $210 for stained glass window repair materials. The cost, however, will be determined by the extent of the repair and the materials required.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Stained Glass Window Repairs

stained glass window repair

The panel’s size, type of design, and degree of damage all have an impact on how much it costs to repair stained glass windows. But here are some other factors that can influence the price:

Item in Need of Repair

Repairing cracked panels on beloved lampshades or doors is another example of how stained glass isn’t just for windows.


A specialist will try to repair the damage and restore the panel to its original state through the complex process of stained glass restoration. If you want to preserve your stained glass windows rather than replace them, you might want to take this type of repair into consideration.

The steps include:

  • Removing old debris and sealant
  • Installing new materials
  • Painting and repairing the glass

Restoring a 12-by-24-inch window panel costs around $1,500.


Replacing a 12-by-24-inch stained glass window costs $700 and $1,200per panel. More intricate designs will cost $2,000 to $3,000 per panel. If you also need to replace the frame, it will cost $350 to $500 for windows and almost $1,000 for door frames.

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