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How To Upgrade an Existing Window With Stained Glass

Any modern window can be turned into an exciting work of art with the addition of stained glass panels. This transformation is not only beautiful but functional. It adds value to your home and provides shade for a room that is exposed to direct sunlight. Adding one or more stained glass panels to an existing window is simple and cost effective1, a project well suited to the talents of most any do-it-yourselfer. Stained glass is an art form in itself and many people choose to design and build their own stained glass projects. But the easiest route to take is to trace a paper pattern of your existing window and take it in to a stained glass craftsman who can design and build the panel of your dreams to the proper dimensions so it will fit your window perfectly.


Adding stained glass panels to your existing windows increases your home's value and adds beauty as well as function

Adding stained glass panels to your existing windows increases your home's value and adds beauty as well as function

  1. Wash the window thoroughly and let it dry.
  2. Verify that your stained glass panel is slightly smaller than the dimension of your window.
  3. Dry fit your stained glass panel. There should be a gap, approximately 1/8” all the way around the panel between it and the window frame.

Installing the stained glass panel

  1. Cut some spacers to fit equally spaced all the way around the stained glass panel. They will center the panel in the window frame. You can use folded cardboard, coins, pieces of wood cut to size or any other material that is of suitable thickness.
  2. Run a small bead of caulk around the inside of the window where the glass meets the frame. Use clear silicone caulk unless you want to match the color of your existing window frame.
  3. Press the panel in the fresh caulk.
  4. Install the precut spacers.
  5. Fill the space between the stained glass panel and the side of the window frame with caulking. Be careful here because too much caulk will make a mess and too little will allow light to enter and make the panel look unfinished.
  6. Apply painter’s masking tape to the panel in places to help hold it in place while you apply the caulking compound.
  7. Trim the caulking compound with your finger or a tool. Wipe away the excess immediately with toilet paper or paper towels. Be careful not to smear it.
  8. Make a “spring” by folding a piece of cardboard several times back on itself.
  9. Place the spring in the center of the panel and apply tape horizontally across the window and the “spring”. This will help hold the panel in place. You can add more pieces of tape to the horizontal piece to make it more secure. The tape should stay in place until the caulk is not only skinned over but cured. This usually takes at least 24 hours depending on temperature and humidity.


You may need to leave excess caulk in place until it dries and then cut it off with a sharp exacto knife or razor knife.

Carefully centering the panel in the existing window and precision application of the caulking compound is what makes for a professional installation.

Apply caulking up to the spacers but not on them. They will be removed after the caulk cures. The spacers allow enough gap so the panel can breathe thereby preventing condensation build-up between it and the existing window pane.

1http://gommstudios.com/ by permission

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