Leadlight repair and restoration requires specific skills and craftsmanship. Experts in the restoration of leadlight windows, and with a huge supply of hard to find glass, we are well placed to protect the aesthetic and heritage value of your leadlight. We’re also happy to undertake insurance work and our reputation with Adelaide’s leading insurers results in a streamlined approval process. This means we can get straight onto the important task; the repair of your precious leadlight and stained glass.

Hard to Find Glass

Hard to Find Glass

Repairs & Restoration

Repairs & Restoration

Genuine Leadlight

When researching your next leadlight repair, restoration or creation it is important to understand the difference between genuine and artificial leadlighting. Too often growing industries bring artificial products to the marketplace to cut costs and increase profitability. We believe that these products reduce the credibility of our art form; they are less durable, less attractive and cost significantly more to repair or replace.

We use genuine leadlighting materials and techniques at all times.

So, what is the difference?

Real Leadlight

Real leadlight is made out of many separate pieces of glass, all soldered together strips of lead.

  • Strength – The process of creating genuine leadlight results in great strength – click {here} to see a significantly damaged piece of leadlight that still refuses to crash to the ground!
  • Colour – Genuine leadlight glass is tinted by the selection of minerals incorporated during the manufacturing process.
  • Texture – Texture also integral to the glass; you can actually feel them.
  • Repairs – Individual sections of genuine leadlight may be replaced at any time, usually at minimal cost.
  • Aesthetics – Put simply, it looks better.

Artificial Leadlight

Artificial leadlight on the other hand is made up of a single sheet of clear glass, with lead adhered to the front and colours and textures applied later on.

  • Strength – It’s only as strong as the pane of glass to which it’s adhered
  • Colour – Applied later on, colours tend to fade
  • Textures – Applied later on, textures tend to peel
  • Repairs – If the glass breaks, you will need to replace the entire window.
  • Aesthetics – Although not necessarily cheaper to buy, it doesn’t take a trained eye to spot the difference.

If cost is an issue, we’d love to have the opportunity to try to find a solution as we believe that a smaller piece of genuine leadlight will provide much greater joy than a larger piece of artificial leadlight. We pride ourselves in our ability to find a solution to suit most budgets in most circumstances.

When is repair required?

The following signs indicate that repairs are now required!

  • Water or daylight is coming in through the windows
  • Rattling windows, which indicate that the putty has deteriorated or worse, fallen out altogether
  • Portions of glass are buckling or have fallen out
  • Multiple cracked pieces of glass
  • Lead shows signs of deterioration
  • There’s an unfamiliar football in your hallway and an eerie silence in the neighbourhood.

When should I restore?

Like all home maintenance regimes, your leadlight will need some periodic maintenance. The following signs may indicate that your leadlight requires a little TLC

  • Light shining through the leadlight lacks lustre
  • Water or daylight is coming in through the windows
  • Rattling windows, which indicate that the putty has deteriorated or worse, fallen out altogether
  • Portions of glass are buckling or have fallen out
  • Lead shows signs of deterioration

Different styles and hard-to-find glass

Experts in the restoration of leadlight, stained and painted glass, and with a huge supply of hard to find glass, we are well placed to protect the aesthetic and heritage value of your leadlight. We’re determined to find the right glass to match your existing window or door, and had one client patiently wait for 2 years while we scoured the market – see the end result here {link to picture 20 in Federation gallery}. We think it was worth the wait. Hopefully we already have what you have been searching for . . . click here to see some of the glass we already have on hand.

The Adelaide Glass Painters Leadlight Studio process

We love our leadlight and stained glass and feel honoured to be chosen to work with you to bring your existing glass back to its former glory.

  • The first step of the process is to meet with you on-site, to discuss the project. Some people like to email photos through beforehand and we encourage you to do this as it means we can do a little mental preparation for the type and scope of work you need assistance with.
  • With a huge range of hard-to-find colours and heritage glass sheets, we can usually match your existing glass, or get pretty close. If we can’t, then we will discuss your options before going any further. Whether you work with us on your project or choose to work with another studio, please make sure they have the colour and quality of glass your project deserves before engaging their services.
  • Once we are sure we can do the window justice, we remove the panels, installing temporary glazing to secure the site whilst we complete the repair or restoration.
  • Back in our workshop we take a {rubbing} to ensure we have a map of how each piece of glass goes together to form the overall leadlight.
  • Old lead is then removed and recycled, and each piece of glass cleaned by hand to remove years of built up dirt, paint and cigarette tar.
  • Cleaned and dried, we then place the intact pieces of the puzzle back over the rubbing, replacing broken or damaged sections with new cuttings of matching glass, as discussed initially.
  • New lead is shaped to connect the pieces which we hold together with horseshoe nails.
  • Taking special care to make sure the end result is square, the correct size and shape, and is configured exactly the same as the initial rubbing, we prepare the joins and commence soldering.
  • Putty is then pushed in between the lead and the glass to give the panel greater strength and rigidity. This also makes it more waterproof and prevents rattling.
  • Where appropriate, we hand polish the lead to a shiny black colour. Sometimes it is better to leave it matt, especially when the restored or repaired piece is only one of a set of windows and needs to match them when reinstalled.
  • We return, remove the temporary glazing and reinstall your leadlight, stained or painted glass window.