So, as part of my 'Handy Household Hints' series, here's a basic guide about how to restore a stained glass window panel.
|Panel in its untouched original state|
Don't add too much pressure when cleaning, as both the lead and glass can be fragile with age and from exposure to the elements.
Once its clean, the next step is to apply new cement both sides of the panel to ensure that the glass is secure and - especially if its going to be used as an external window - waterproof. Even if the original cement is still in good condition, an application of a new layer is a good idea, thus securing the old and improving the look of the restored panel. Wearing rubber gloves 'cause this stuff is messy, use an old toothbrush to gently apply the cement over the existing and pushing it into any gaps between the cames and glass.
|Adding the whiting on top of the cement|
|Cleaned up after applying the cement and whiting|
First, apply the polish with one of the cloths gently over the lead cames of one side of the panel (don't forget to wear the gloves - this stuff is a pain to dig out from under your fingernails!). When finished, give the panel a good buff up with the clean cloth and you'll see that by rubbing off the polish, the cames will have a burnished look to them. Do the same with the other side.
|Final stage: after applying the black graphite and the final polish|
Now you're finished, so step back and admire your handiwork!
|Broken glass replaced and panel cleaned up - finally fitted into our pantry door|
You can buy leaded light cement and whiting from specialist online suppliers and this is all the 'specialist' kit you'll need really for undertaking a basic restoration like this. Its also a lot cheaper than taking your stained glass to a professional restorer and also you'll have the satisfaction of having restored it yourself.