Window Repair Process

Progress & Descriptor – Start to Install
Newton, MA home


1. Having just been removed from its wooden frame, this leaded window is literally falling apart.  While in this poor condition the window was no longer structural and was vulnerable to wind and rain.


2. A closer look shows how the lead came had begun to corrode and deteriorate.  Lead in this state, cracked and bowed, is often referred to as “fatigued”.  The decision to paint the lead came white may have been an attempt to prolong its life…whether this was success is in doubt.


3. Before repairs can begin it’s imperative to number the individual pieces of glass and do a “rubbing” of the window’s design.


4. The fatigued lead is stripped from the glass and the individual lites cleaned.


5. Leaded windows are built from left to right using a wood form that will maintain a true right angle.


6. With all the positioning correct, re-leading can begin.  Here I’m using ¼” Rounded “H” came, which is consistent with what had originally been used when first built.


7. Coming along well, note the “rubbing” underneath the rebuild, guiding me as I construct.


8. The re-leading continues with constant attention being given to maintaining true angles.


9. With the re-leading finished it’s now time to join all the lead came with solder at each intersecting point.


10. Smooth, sturdy solder joints will last decades if not centuries.

11. Once fully rebuilt, the window panel is “cemented”.  This is a process whereby “stained glass putty”, a mixture of calcium carbonate/whiting, linseed oil and stove black is forced under all the lead came.  Doing this adds strength and rigidity to the window, and as the putty cures it binds the cameing to the glass, making it impenetrable to wind and rain.


12. Installation Day


13. Exterior – looking good


14. Interior – looking good