Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stained Glass


Stained glass is one of  the oldest techniques of glass painting and have embellished buildings throughout the world for centuries.Apparently,it might look difficult to make one,but,it is not and you can easily produce beautiful stained glass objects like stained glass windows/door panels for your home,decorative lamps,a picture frame,a jewellery box or a delightful light catcher.Initially,I will focus on the stained glass wall hangings.

Things You Need:
  • Glass (any size and thickness you wish)
  • Craft knife(for cutting leads)
  • Liquid lead(available in bottles and tubes from arts and crafts shop)
  • Transparent glass paints(available in variety of brands and shades from arts and crafts shop)
  • Paint thinner(available from hardware stores and are used to thin the tarnsparent glass paints)
  • Thin marker(for tracing the design on the glass)
  • Paint brushes of various sizes.

The Method:
  1. Choose a template and get it enlarged, the size you want your painting to be.
  2. Once you have your template enlarged,ask your glass merchant to cut the piece of glass,the size slightly greater than your template so that you can get your stained glass wall hanging framed after its complete,but please make sure to ask your glass merchant to rub the glass edges with the sand stone so as to prevent your hands from cuts.
  3.  Clean the glass with glass cleaner.
  4. Once you have your glass and template ready,it's time for copying the template on the glass and we can do this in two ways:
    • Either place the template under the glass and directly trace out the design using the liquid lead by following the pattern.
    • Or place the template under the glass and trace out the design on glass with thin marker first and then make the outlines with the liquid lead.

      • Please remember that for making the outlines using liquid lead,always start from top left hand corner and work across and then down so as to avoid the smudging of wet liquid lead with your hand or arm.
      • Always wipe the nozzel of the lead bottle or the tube on a rag before beginning each new line.
      • It is very important that the lead dries completely before you start applying paints so as to avoid the mixing of lead and paint,so please let the lead dry for atleast 2 hours.
      • If you make a mistake using the lead,don't just rub it off while wet,let it dry completely and then scrap off the offending line using the craft knife.Reapply the liquid lead and again let it dry completely for atleast 2 hours.
  5. After the lead is dry it is time to fill in the colors.Whatever color you want to use,dilute three parts color with one part lacquer thinner.This will allow the paint to flow smoothly and dry without bubbles.
  6. When you have your desired color,begin painting using the back tip of your paint brush by dipping it in paint and dropping the paint on the template and spreading it gently.
  7. You can also use more than one paint in the same part of the design,but make sure that you use a different brush for different colors or clean your brush thoroughly with the thinner if you are using the same brush.
  8. Once your design is complete,allow it to dry for atleast 24 hours and then reapply the thin layer of liquid lead to the outlines and let it dry thoroughly for 2 hours.
  9. Now you have  your stained glass painting ready,get it framed and decorate walls of your house or you can even gift it to some one.

    Image by:bradleybassostainedglass
  • Using the color mixing technique,you can always make the color of your choice by mixing two colors,but,do remember to dilute the ready color with lacquer thinner.
  • If you want the lighter shade of some color,then add few drops of clear transparent paint that comes in your pack of transparent paints,or you can even buy it separately.For instance if you want light blue and you don't have one,then by adding few drops of clear transparent paint to the dark blue paint,you can get your desired light blue shade.
  • Before applying paints to the original project,always experiment on the piece of scrap glass until you are satisfied with the shade and consistency that paint runs smoothly on the glass.
  • If you are using two different colors on the same part of your design,then make sure that you use darker and lighter colors together so that one can notice the slight merging of two colors clearly and also this will enhance the beauty of your work.
  • Remember to use the darker shades at the top of the template and lighter shades at the bottom.
  • You can also make your colors opaque to use in leaves or floral patterns.


  1. hi
    I like your tutorials very much
    I cant find any opaque color ,can you suggest some names?I live in India.

  2. Hi Ananya,
    Thanks for liking the tutorials,hope you find these informative and easy to grasp.For the opaque colors,you can simply add white color to any shade of transparent color,and that will give you opaque color of your choice.
    Any other queries are always welcome.Take care and good day.

  3. hi...
    i m going to make a glass paint..for doing this which paint is better ,oil based or water based??

  4. what type of liquid leading are you using it? I love the small tube and this nozzle. I only kind I have found is the Plaid glass liquid lead and it is to hard for me to squeeze. Thank you for taking time to do this. You work is beautiful

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