Stained Glass Windows Add Charm to a Room

How to stain glass yourself

While most people associate stained glass with churches, it is one of the best ways to add a unique touch of color and class to your home. It works with virtually any architectural or interior design style, and it's particularly striking if used in windows which receive direct sunlight. One of the things that holds a lot of people back is the fact that stained glass costs significantly more than clear glass, but the best way around that is to stain glass yourself. Most people don't realize it, but it's actually fairly easy to replicate the look of antique stained glass windows.

Learn to Stain Glass Yourself

There are several ways you can achieve the look of antique stained glass windows. The first is to paint your own stained glass, with the help of specialized paints and a kiln. Simply purchase stained glass window paint from your local craft retailer in the color or colors of your choice, then follow the package directions to paint the pane of glass. When you finish painting, put the pane of glass in a kiln for 10 to 12 minutes, and the paint will set.

A simpler method is to use stained glass foils, which are transparent adhesives which you physically stick onto the glass pane itself before kiln-firing the glass. As an alternative, you can purchase colored metallic salts, which you use by heating the glass in a kiln, then rolling the hot glass pane in the salts, causing them to melt into the glass and create striking, intense colors.

Finally, if you're adept with chemistry, you can use raw chemicals to stain glass. Here is a chart to help guide you:

  • Use cobalt to create blue
  • Use gold to create red
  • Use chromium to create green

You can mix these three elements in various concentrations to create other colors or shades. Experiment on a small pane of glass until you're getting reliable results, then move on to full-sized panes of glass.

No matter which method you choose, you'll need a kiln. This can be a major investment, so be sure to do your research carefully.