Church Stained Glass Window Restoration Process

Proudly serving churches in MA, CT, RI, NH, ME, VT, NY, NJ

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Egan’s Church Furnishings bring a full team of stained glass repair and stained glass restoration experts to each window project. Our team follows all Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) guidelines for proper preservation of your church windows. By following these high standards for preservation, our restoration of your stained glass windows will be of the highest possible quality.  Shown below are some of the key components that are necessary for proper stained glass window preservation.


DOCUMENTATION: After bringing your stained glass windows to our site, we create a photographic documentation of the entire window, focusing on any missing or badly damaged glass. This photographic evidence insures we have a record of exactly how your window was created so we can properly reassemble the glass pieces.


TRACING: Before our team disassembles your stained glass window, we create several copies of a tracing of your window and the lead pattern. This tracing pattern will be used during the reassembly process to be certain all glass pieces are returned to the original.


DISASSEMBLY: We begin the restoration process by disassembling your stained glass window in a tank of water. This prevents lead dust from contaminating our shop and workers. In addition, it starts the cleaning process of your stained glass window.  The old lead is then sent to an EPA-licensed lead recycling center for proper handling and disposal.


REPLACING MISSING GLASS: Some stained glass windows may have missing glass or are damaged beyond repair. Our team carefully matches any missing or damaged glass to preserve the original look and integrity of the glass.  If the missing glass was “painted glass” our skilled stained glass window artists work to re-create the original design and then “antique the finish” to age it properly to match the surrounding historic stained glass.


TOUCH UP, DAMAGED PAINTED GLASS: Our artists touch up any damaged or unstable painted glass by using a “cold paint” technique, which adheres to the correct preservation.


NEW LEAD INSTALLATION AND ASSEMBLY: Our crafts people reassemble your stained glass window with all new lead following the tracing pattern created at the beginning. The lead came is carefully set with your glass to create a reassembled window that is beautiful, secure and tight.


RE-CEMENTING THE STAINED GLASS: After the stained glass window is reassembled, our crafts people re-cement the stained glass by bending the edges of the lead came, hand rubbing cement into the lead and then pushing the lead flush to the glass.  This cementing process is critical to the life of your restored window as proper cementing techniques will add strength to your window and allows it to withstand decades of weathering.


REINSTALLATION: Proper placement is the last step and our team is here until the final day. We will reinstall your stained glass windows into their original place in the church, completing the process and ensuring an expert re-installation.  As we reinstall the windows, our team is happy to perform exterior frame painting and protective covering replacement, if requested in the original work order.