How to Have Amazing Windows on Any Budget

Repairing damaged leadlight windows

by Landon Ferguson

Leadlight windows can be a beautiful feature in a home, but they can also be very delicate. If you have a leadlight window in your home that needs repair, here are some simple steps to follow. 

Clean the window

Before you start the repair, it's important to clean the window fully. Leadlight windows can be very delicate, and in addition to the obvious cracks there may be small fissures and cracks in the connecting lead 'cames'. By cleaning the window, you can assess the full extent of the damage and ensure that you do a full repair on the window. 

Remove the broken glass

One you remove the broken glass, it is time to check how the staining has been applied. Traditionally stained glass windows are made with a stain that is applied to the glass and then fired, but some more modern windows may simply use coloured glass. It is ideal to match the technique and type of glass as well as the shade, as the glass types will fade and react differently to the sun over time in your window. This is especially important if there are other non-damaged sections of the window that you are looking to match. A glass shop can help you to locate a similar type of glass to use. 

Cut the glass to shape

Now you need to cut the glass to shape using a sharp glass scorer. It is a good idea to mark the shape with a grease pencil before you start. Often a glass store can help you with this step if the shape is a complex shape, such as a delicate, long piece of glass. 

Replace the glass

Now you need to replace the glass into the window and solder the lead cames back into place. Filling in any cracks or fissures around the window with excess solder, and lightly blacken and polish the new solder to match the existing coloured solder. It is very important to do this carefully as the leadlighting may still be soft and delicate. You can use commercially available darkening products, which can be purchased from a hardware store. 

If you are not confident with the work required in repairing your leadlight window, it can be a sensible idea to get a leadlight repairer to help you restore your leadlight to its original glory. It can be much cheaper to get the window professionally repaired initially, rather than needing a professional to help rectify a poor quality repair job.