Types Of Stained Glass Repairs And Timelines

A question we often get from churches that are considering repairing their aging stained glass is–How long will it take? It is a very good question and it makes sense that churches would be concerned about this since renovations are known to be disruptive and lengthy and could lead to an interruption in services or activities within the church. While we would love to tell you repairs are simple, quick and easy all the time, the truth is– it depends on the state of your stained glass. Repairs could take anywhere from a single day up to a year depending on the size and scope of your stained glass restoration. That being said, the time it takes to repair church stained glass is really a case by case situation. However, to help you get an idea about how long repairs for the stained glass on your church will take, we have put together a quick guide for your below.

Stained Glass Cleaning Timeframe

Stained glass cleaning pretty easy to estimate and generally takes about a day. However, for large chapels, with larger windows, the cleaning will always take a bit longer due to the size and difficulty in reaching them. In this case, we may need to set up scaffolding which adds extra time. Also, if windows have not been cleaned in a very long time, the process may take longer. Understandably, cleaning is never a job to be hurried because it could lead to damage.

Minor Repairs To Broken Stained Glass Pieces Timeframe

If your church windows have a couple of pieces of broken glass, the repair can usually be done fairly quickly by a trained professional. This work is called a “drop-in,” “stop-in,” or “open-lead” repair which means soldering the joint to replace a few small pieces of broken glass. In the case that you have or need Zinc caming, this process will take longer because of the need for folding it back to repair or replace the old glass, and then re-soldering the joints.

Replacement Stained Glass Timeframe

Replacement glass, that matches the original pieces of glass in your cathedral windows, can be difficult and costly for us to find or make. In fact, the process of recreating antique glass is usually what takes up most of the time these types of repairs. In order to replicate glass, we sometimes need to do a few iterations before we get it right. With so many glass colors and textures used in the past, often times with “secret” formulas, pinpointing exactly what needs to be done can take time. But, rest assured we are the best studio for doing so.

Structural Repairs On Stained Glass Timeframe

This is the most the repair that takes the longest because both the stained glass and structural elements essentially need to be rebuilt. This includes things like windows that have detached from the saddle bars and begun to sag, bulge, or bow. In order to complete the job we first carefully remove the glass, one piece at a time, repair it off-site, them bring it back restored. This also includes rebuilding the entire frame structure. All of this takes some time– up to a year in some cases. However, is totally worth it once you see the magnificence and beauty that was lying hidden in your church this whole time!


To get the best idea about how long your church’s stained glass repair or restoration will take, contact us at Church Stained Glass Restorations, we have studios all over the country and would love to bid for your business!

Martin Faith is an expert in the areas of stained glass conservation, preservation, and history. For over thirty years, he has been working as a stained glass artisan and restoration expert. Martin grew up studying stained glass in Glasgow, where he began acquiring and salvaging beautiful collectibles made by Scottish artisans. In Glasgow, he learned the critical skills and traditional techniques required for creating the stunning stained glass windows produced by his company today in the United States, where he now resides with his wife and family. Over the years, Martin has consulted on numerous church stained glass restoration projects throughout the nation, ranging in size and complexity. Martin and his team have successfully repaired hundreds of religious stained glass windows, including those belonging to churches, cathedrals, temples, and synagogues as well as all religious denominations. He has overseen over 50,000 projects in total and is one of the most accomplished professionals in the industry.