Replacement pane of stained glass for an antique door

MichaltheGirlOctober 15, 2012

We are in the process of re-modeling a turn-of-the-century gabled ell in Indiana. We need to replace the front door, and we bought this beauty (sorry the picture is sideways) on craigslist. It was removed from another house in the area, also about 100 years old. It is missing one pane of colored glass, about 4"x12". You can see it is on the right, second from the bottom.

I need to find and install a replacement pane of colored glass to this door so we can install the door before the weather gets any colder. When I contacted a local glass company today, they told me I had to use tempered glass since it's in a door. I told them, the door is 100 years old! I really doubt the rest of the glass is tempered. They said nevertheless, if I'm replacing 1 pane, it must be tempered.

So does the pane have to be tempered? Where can I buy 1 piece of colored glass? What type of glass should it be? Can I just buy stained glass, like for art stained glass, or does it need to be something else?


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I have sold glass in the past. If you tell the retailer it is for any type of must be tempered. That's the law. If you feel you must tell them what it is for, just say it's for a china hutch!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:06PM
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The stained glass used for art and craft work is the same glass that is used in antique doors. You should be able to find a piece or maybe have them order you a piece of compatible glass at a stained glass supply store or other large craft store.

You can also look online at someplace like Delphi

Here is a link that might be useful: Delphi glass.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Picture? No picture or link in the post.

You should be able to find it at a craft shop...or a local stained glass or art supply studio. The local university's art department may even have a source. I am lucky in that OSU had a place to buy glass at their local book store, and there are a couple art glass studios in town. About ten blocks from me there is also a shop which specializes in stained glass and quilting supplies--go figure! :)

Codes are ridiculous...just say you are using it for an art project--take a pic of a matching piece with you to the shop and you will most likely find some. I was amazed what I could find from my local sources.

This is a diy project if it is all straight lines and fits into a wood framed area--if it fits into lead came, it is more difficult but still something you can learn with some research and practice.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I work with stained glass. The code laws are iffy when it comes to stained glass. I would just go to a stained glass shop with a good photo of the glass you need and don't tell them it's for a door. The person behind the counter should know what you are looking for. They also will cut it for you to size- usually for a fee. With any luck, you'll walk out with the perfect matching glass for the perfect size to fit what you need. Most stained glass stores have the near exact replica of the glass originally made for my house in the early 1900's. It's not identical, but pretty close.

It's not hard to place into an opening. If you have it cut properly, depending on the door, it could be secured easily with molding. I recently 'weatherized' the glass on my front door, and secured it as well as sealed it with silicone caulking, and then replaced the molding. Looks great, and no more leaks!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Thanks so much for the advice, folks! I figured I could probably just not tell them what it's for. I'll check out Delphi, and also see about supplies at Indiana University. My husband and his brother were both in the school of fine arts, so I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of that.

The panes are held in place with small wood trim, so we'll be diy-ing it. oldhousegal, could you give me a little more information about the steps you went through to weatherize your front door? How difficult was it to remove the trim, caulk and then put the trim back on?


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 4:17PM
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To protect our original 1890 door from further chipping of the stained glass we had 1 piece of tempered glass cut and installed on interior side of the stained glass door. First it protects the glass , some of the large bulls eyes had chips and second it protects against breakage of the whole window by adding support . Also third it weather proofs the door . Good Luck and hope you post a pic.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:43PM
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"Leaded glass does meet the Federal Building Codes. "

What federal building code?

Building codes are adopted and enforced by states and localities.

The Feds have material standards, but not actual building codes (except the HUD code for mobile homes).

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:51AM
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A leaded glass usually gets an exception since the individual panes are so small.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Michael- Just getting around to reading this. Here's the steps I used. I could feel the air creeping around the glass panes in my front door. They are thicker glass, and in great shape, so I didn't want to replace them.

Using a 5:1 tool and a small hammer, I gently removed the molding from around each pane from the inside of the house. They were held in place by the molding on the outside, but over time, had gently worn away in spots. Interestingly, I didn't see any type of product holding the glass in (glazing compound) and I'm not sure if that was standard or not. If you do have glazing compound there, I would gently remove it and replace with a glazing compound to give it more strength than silicone would. I recently rebuilt some windows and used an amazingly easy type of caulk that I'll link to at the bottom.

The glass was pretty tight in it's space, but I could still feel the air! This is solid glass, no lead came surrounding it. I do know this home was hand built by the first owner...

Then I taped off the glass to leave 1/8 inch of the glass next to the wood exposed. I used a quality 100% silicone and caulked into that space and gently smoothed it out using my gloved finger tip.

Then I replaced the moldings, gently tapping in new nails to the same space as before. I figured the silicone would seep into the nail holes and block air from coming through those as well.

I am shocked at how much of a difference it made with feeling air drafts into my living room! I think the whole job took about 2 hours to do.

I do agree with Trailrunner, tho. If you are concerned about the quality of your glass, and possibly it's fragility, I would agree to add a layer of tempered glass to the outside and then use smaller moldings to hold it all in. That would also make it more secure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glaze Ease

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:48AM
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