The Painstaking Process of Restoring a Stained Glass Window
Any stained glass window lasts forever doesn’t it? After all, they’ve been on those grand medieval cathedrals, and those have been around since times immemorial. It might surprise you to know though that glass doesn’t last forever. There is always the chance of breakage of course; but there is also damage from the environment – pollution and such – that can shorten the life of a beautiful stained glass creation. What kind of restoration and maintenance regime does a stained glass window come with? You certainly can’t just go in there and put in a new pane like you would do with your average window. Every piece of a beautiful stained glass window comes with a specific color that it just wouldn’t do to change. Some stained glass windows are easily a century old; one doesn’t even know that the right kind of glass is still in production.
But going there now would be to get ahead of oneself. How do you even determine that a stained glass window needs restoration? Certainly, you’ll know when there are hairline cracks or chips in the glass that take away from the general appearance of the window. But there are also subtler signs that you can catch if you pay attention. Sections of the stained glass window that aren’t doing so well and that bulge in or out make for a good indication. If you find them doing that, you could conceivably check to see if there are any parts of the framework that are cracking or loose. If any section in the whole window seems less than completely tightly set, you need to get work done.
How do you restore a stained glass window? Of course, you need special glazier’s tools to make any headway with a project such as this. Try hiring professionals instead. The process tends to be a very involved one. Typically, they’ll take the window out of its setting, take it to the studio, and proceed to remove sections from the frame one at a time. Once they have the frame clear of any glass, they create a life-sized copy of the window, frame sections and all, on a large sheet of paper. With this to refer to, they find and cut into the right sizes, sections of glass of the needed colors. Sometimes, the exact right colors are hard to come by, and they have to do no better than to come as close as they can to the original with whatever they can find. They will often build a whole new frame to go with the restoration too. With a variety of repairing materials and substances at their disposal, they’ll soon have a great restoration on their hands.