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Updated by monica-quinn-ny on Nov 28, 2019
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8 Basic Stained Glass Techniques and How to Choose the Right One for You

From cathedrals to aristocratic houses, the stained glass window migrated at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.




Since then the technique of creating glass paintings has developed to the point that anyone can afford such a decoration today. The thought that stained-glass is suitable only for decorating classic interiors has long lost its relevance.

With the advent of different techniques and taking into account the possibility of using different colors and patterns, stained-glass windows have become universal decor for any room. It progressed beyond window decoration and is actively used to decorate different parts of the interior. Consider the basic techniques for creating stained-glass windows and keep in mind that there are both very complex and expensive ways to decorate your house, as well as simple and very budget-friendly ways.


Classic Lead Stained Glass

This technique can be called the forerunner of all other methods. This is a stained glass window made with classical technology and is a combination of stained glass which is mixed using a copper, brass or lead profile. The downside of this option is the inability to create smooth curved lines due to the stiffness of the profile. Many ancient cathedrals have their stained-glass created with this technique and it’s rarely used for houses.


Tiffany Stained Glass

The classical stained glass window with its rough metal bars was considered imperfect by L.K. Tiffany, the creator of a fundamentally new technique for the manufacture of colored glass panels. The method proposed by him is still considered one of the best and the stained-glass aluminum windows in the Tiffany technique are the most popular today.

This technique allows using glass elements in any size and shape, so the result is a real work of art. All the work is done only by hand, so each stained glass window becomes a unique work of the author.


Stained Glass Using the Fusing Technique

The fusing technique enables the creation of real paintings and colored glass without metal seams (broaches). Creating a stained-glass window begins with the unfolding of colored glass elements of the required size and shade on the glass base according to the sketch. For fixation, colored glass can be glued to the base. The blank is placed in a fusing furnace, where under the influence of high temperature, colored glasses sinter with each other and the base.

Ready-made stained glass can be used even in wet rooms. Since the technique is quite laborious, the price is high. Such stained-glass windows can become a decoration for the ceiling, lamps, mirrors, niches, etc.


Sandblasted Stained Glass

Sandblasted stained-glass is universal and can become an adornment of absolutely any interior. The pattern on the glass is created by processing it with a powerful air-abrasive jet using a stencil and sand is used as the abrasive. You can get a matte pattern on a glossy surface or vice versa.

Through the use of sandblasting technology, it is possible to apply any pattern or photo to the glass. You even can create 3D drawings using different processing depths in different areas. Highlighting the relief pattern will create a three-dimensional image effect. Sandblasted stained-glass is great for decorating cabinets, doors, screens, and mirrors.


Frosted Glass

By using frosted glass, you can create a colorless pattern and even simulate frosty patterns. Matting is performed by coating individual sections of glass with a special paste based on hydrofluoric acid and the effect resembles sandblasting. Frosted glass can be used in modern interiors, especially if straight lines or geometric shapes were used for the drawing.


Painted Glass Windows

Painted glass can easily be made by everyone independently and does not require artistic skills. This is an inexpensive and easy way to imitate a real stained glass painting and you can decorate anything using this method. Only special paints and a little time will be required. If you have no artist’s talent, then you can place a stencil under the glass and perform the painting that way. You can use silicate or acrylic paints.


Film Stained Glass

Film stained glass is one of the easiest ways to create an interesting decoration for your house. It will take a minimum amount of time and money and the result will be amazing. You can find a film with a finished picture that imitates pieces of colored glass. All you need to do is clean the decorated surface, remove the protective layer from the film and gently stick it on the glass.