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Stained Glass/Restore old window


We would like to know how to restore an window that has been painted over on the inside.  It is a small window (about 2 ft x 3 ft) with leaded grids and plain glass.  We haven't determined the condition of the glass, since the window "appeared" when we had new siding put on our house.  The window was probably installed when the house was built - about 1927.  It is set in a 2-3 inch wood frame that needs some work, but may be okay with sanding and repainting. Where should be begin, what tools and/or products should we use, and do we need to take the window out of the frame to do it?  (I hope not!).  Thanks for your help.

Dear Carol,
There are books you can purchase from the Stained Glass Association of America on restoring a stained glass window. My guess is that yes, you will need to take the window out.
For necessary tools, you need to find a stained glass supply store and purchase the hand tools and I would also suggest a beginner 'How To' book to be used in conjunction with the SGAA Technical manuals. There are also some basic direction videos on YouTube.
With regard to the wood frame, there are wood epoxies commercially available for wood consolidation if necessary.
You may e-mail me a photograph and I might be able to provide ideas about the paint removal from the glass, [ ].
Good luck!

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Valerie McCartney


Visit our web site at I can answer questions about restoration and repair of stained glass windows and their surrounds. I can, also, answer technical questions regarding matching old glass, glass painting (kiln-fired), waterproofing panels (cementing), re-inforcing, removal, and installation. I can not answer questions on glass casting, Dalle de Verre, or glass blowing.


Past/Present partial client list
Aboite Baptist Church, Ft. Wayne, IN; Immaculate Conception Church, Three Rivers, MI; St. Monica Church, Kalamazoo, MI; St. Charles Catholic Church, Coldwater, MI; St. Clair Catholic Church, Centreville, MI; St. Mary's Church, West Phalia, MI; Pleasant View Church of Christ, Angola, IN; St. Paul United Church of Christ, LaPorte, IN; First Congregational United Church of Christ, Olivet College, Olivet, MI; First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Kalamazoo, MI; Trinity Lutheran Church, Culver, IN; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Breman, IN; Grace Lutheran Church, Germfaske, MI; St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Rogers City, MI; United Methodist Church, Bellevue, MI; Augusta Fellowship United Methodist Church, Augusta, MI; United Methodist Church, Galena, IL; Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Detroit, MI; University United Methodist Church, Lansing, MI; Believer's Bible Fellowship Church, Churubusco, IN; St. Elias Eastern Orthodox Church, Battle Creek, MI; First Presbyterian Church, Allegan, MI; First Reformed Church, Grand Haven, MI; Bellmor House, Grosse Pointe, MI; Milwood Middle School, Kalamazoo, MI;

Experience in the area
I have owned and operated Full Spectrum Stained Glass, Inc. since 1988. (

The Stained Glass Association of America, The American Glass Guild, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan

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