Same Day Stained Glass Repair
Here at The Light Benders Stained Glass Studio, we have, over the past 38 years, perfected the art of repairing and restoring damaged stained glass windows or stained glass panels on site! We provide this service throughout the Phoenix Metro area, including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Cave Creek and Carefree, just to mention a few locations.
What does this mean to the home owner? Well first of all, your precious art glass, leaded glass or stained glass window, door stained glass panel or skylight, does not have to leave your property. We perform the repairs, in most instances, on-site in your driveway. This, along with the fact that we are licensed (ROC # 110479), bonded and insured to perform this repair work, in both residential and commercial environments, allows our customers the peace of mind to relax and be assured of a quality stained glass repair. Our service is used frequently by realtors who have a buyer for one of their listings and are in a rush to repair a damaged stained glass window to ensure the listing closes on schedule. Time is of the essence in these cases and we can salvage a sale with a timely repair!
How We Repair Stained Glass Windows
How do we accomplish this? Well the leaded, stained glass window does have to be removed from the window frame or door to affect the repair. However with our system, you no longer have to pay for a board up service and have an ugly piece of plywood where your beautiful stained glass window used to be, while the window sits in someone’s shop awaiting repair. We do the entire repair on the same day and you’re back to enjoying your stained or leaded glass within hours.
The process is the time-honored, centuries-old method of building and repairing stained and leaded glass, which we follow to this day. When you call The Light Benders, we will assess the damage to ensure that we have the correct art glass color and texture available when we arrive on-site for the repair. We carry approximately 300 colors and approximately 50 clear textures of art glass, which generally allows us to match the broken pieces of glass in your window with our in-stock inventory. This ensures that it will be unnoticeable when we have completed the repair.
Stained Glass Repair Process
We begin by removing the leaded or stained glass from its frame as mentioned above. The reason is if you look closely at the way stained glass is made, all the edges of the glass are surrounded by lead “came”, which is the grey looking metal between each piece of stained glass. As a result, you can’t just remove a piece out of the middle of a stained glass design, it won’t come out! Therefore, we begin from the outside of edge of the leaded glass window and begin to dismantle it piece by piece, working towards the inside of the stained glass until we reach the damaged area. We then remove the damaged glass and make a template of it, always extremely careful to match both the color and texture, including any grain in the glass, to the original. Then we begin the process in reverse. We re-assemble the stained glass window from the damaged area back to the outside edge. The stained glass restoration is nearly complete! We then carefully solder all the lead joints and apply a glazing putty to all the leaded areas that were impacted. This is followed by spreading a “whiting” on the window, which is designed to both absorb excess oil in the putty and polish the window as the whiting is brushed thoroughly all over the repaired and restored stained glass window. After about 30 days this glazing putty will begin to harden. It’s finally time to put the repaired window back into its frame.
The time it takes for a repair or restoration of a stained glass window or stained glass panel will obviously depend heavily upon the amount of damage to the window. Generally speaking, for repairs requiring just two or three pieces, the window will be out, repaired and re-installed in approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Needless to say, when you look at the stained glass restoration we performed on the beautiful katchina window at the Bank of America Building in Glendale, this was so badly damaged that we simply had to remove all the panels and take them back to our studio in Rio Verde since it involved several months of work to restore it to its original condition. Additionally, we were presented with the challenge of matching glass colors and textures which were both decades old and, in most cases, were imported “antique” glass. In the stained glass world, “antique” has a different meaning than most people realize. When we speak of antique glass in the restoration of a stained glass window, we are referring to the fact that the glass was handmade, or “mouth blown”. Mouth blown glass is primarily made in Europe by companies that are several generations old. You can imagine that a handmade glass, imported from Europe, is going to significantly increase the cost of a restoration. Plus, colors can vary somewhat from batch to batch. We like to explain it in terms that the average homeowner can understand. If you buy carpet for your house, you ensure you buy enough from one dye batch to cover your entire project. If you go back to the mill to buy more and it’s from a different batch, there is a high probability you will not have a perfect match. This also holds true with glass and is a major factor we consider when restoring stained glass windows or stained glass panels.
Our attention to detail and years of experience is what sets us apart as a stained glass studio offering both stained glass restoration services and stained glass repair. We can perform the repairs either on-site or provide a board-up service allowing us to offer a more comprehensive repair/restoration service from our studio. Very often, we can provide a quote over the phone with just a few emailed photos of the damage and its location. Feel free to contact us if you are in need of expert stained glass repair or restoration.