Leadlight Repairs (Leadlight glazier's licence # 224619C)

One of Sydney’s distinctive features is its heritage of domestic leaded window glass, or ‘leadlights’. For well over a hundred years, local firms have been fitting out homes with this stylistically evolving decorative glass. After so many decades Sydney's stained glass heritage is holding up well, but as with all building components, leadlights need to be maintained. Occasionally, repair or replacement becomes necessary and you will need a licensed tradesperson who is also an experienced craftsperson to carry out the correct repairs cost-effectively.

art deco stained glass simple federation stained glass

Leadlights in doors and in opening sashes take a lot of punishment over time and, although we often find panels appear to be in good condition after 50-90+ years, once removed from their settings for repair it is advisable to dismantle and re-build them with new lead and waterproofing compound.

Well made windows will have steel support bars attached horizontally with copperwire. Without these 'saddle-bars' a leadlight door panel will flex and eventually bow fatiguing the metal and causing the joins and glass to crack. Leadlights imported with mass-produced doors and those made locally to stock designs frequently fail for this reason.

 

Minor Repairs

We seldom undertake onsite repairs. For leadlights with one or two cracked panes, please call me to arrange a time to drop your leadlight to the workshop for quotation of repairs.

If you are confident to take the leadlights out yourself, leadlight panels (fastened to boards with masking tape for support) or leadlights still in sashes or doors can be brought to my Marrickville workshop for repair. If unsupported and allowed to flex, leadlights will crack (both the glass and the solder joins), so keep them in the vertical plane until laid against a board and taped firm. (Avoid using that shiny brown packing tape....too difficult to remove residue from glass and leads!)

OUR GLAZIER If you need help with removing a leadlight for repair and refitting,We suggest contacting Terry Barnett at:

Terry’s Star Glass 0419 612 435 (Terry is also available for coloured glass replacement and all general glazing work.)

Textured and coloured glass can be purchased by the public from:

Australian Stained Glass Supplies, 8/111 Moore St, Leichhardt (Balmain Rd end) 9560 0880.

 

 

leadlight repairs in sydney


Repairs, Restoration and Rebuilds

To obtain a quote, please email patrick@austainedglass.com with photos, measurements and details of the leadlight(s), or request a quote online, using the form provided.

Where leadlights are in poor condition they need to be removed from the frame/ sash and re-leaded or partly re-leaded. As re-leading is an involved process comparable to creating a leadlight from scratch, this work needs to be done at the bench. Glazing putty is ‘hacked out’ from sashes, or door mouldings are carefully removed, and the openings temporarily boarded up while the leadlight is being repaired. Temporary glazing may also be an option for some windows. 

 

stained glass repair

Detail of badly damaged Victorian hand-painted decorative glass- after left lower quarter was repaired by Australia Street Stained Glass.

If your leadlight has been damaged by storm or an accident, it may be covered by home insurance- a detailed quote can be provided to give to your insurer.

Rebuilding/ Re-leading involves taking a rubbing of the leadlight, soaking it to soften and remove old cement from between glass and lead, dismantling it, cleaning the glass of old paint and cement, then reconstructing it by inserting the old glass into new lead ‘cames’ (metal H channel) using the rubbing to recreate the original pattern. After soldering the many joins, the individual panes are sealed both sides with glazing compound to strengthen and waterproof. The leadlight is then polished, and fitted with the necessary saddle bars.

 

repair of damaged leadlight


Reproduction of new leadlights to match or complement existing patterns requires measurements and paper rubbings of lead lines be made and details of colour and surface pattern noted. Australia Street Stained Glass sources the most accurate colours and patterns available, including use of salvaged glass where equivalent types are no longer produced.