Stained Glass has been one of those artsy projects I have wanted to try my entire life. Of course, it’s not exactly something that you can do from home. At least not my home. I have neither the tools or the space to figure out how to cut glass. Never mind the leading! Imagine how happy I was to learn that I could make faux stained glass! It might not be real stained glass but I wanted to give it a try anyway!
Sometimes when you try new projects things go as planned, other times there are challenges. Faux stained glass turned out to be fairly simple to do but it also had some challenges. A very patient child might be able to do this, however, it is probably more suitable for adults. Patient adults. I am not an overly patient adult – so this first attempt is not perfect. But that’s the point of ‘Learn Something New’ right? To challenge myself and broaden my horizons. My first piece of faux stained glass has some issues – but I learned from it and my next one will be better. Hopefully, this article will save you some of the mistakes I made if you want to give it a try! I really encourage you to do so, it was a lot of fun and I think you could make some really beautiful decorations with it.
Learn Something New with Kristin
Feature 4 – Faux Stained Glass
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What is Faux Stained Glass
A faux stained glass is exactly what it sounds like. A painted piece of artwork done on a pane of glass. This artwork is made to simulate the look of stained glass. While real stained glass requires cutting and soldering colored glass pieces together faux stained glass can be done easily at home with very minimal supplies.
What Equipment do I need?
Faux Glass requires very little equipment! Even better it is all pretty inexpensive and easy to find! I sourced all my materials from Amazon and the Dollar Tree.
- A Pane of Glass – I used one from the inside of a picture frame I got at the Dollar Tree. Eventually, I would love to try this on the glass panels of our entertainment center – but I think I will practice on glass panes a bit longer first! I have also seen this done on the panes of old windows and doors. Anything glass that you can lay flat will work!
- Glass Stain – I picked up a sampler pack from Amazon. While there are many different sizes available I picked a smaller one since this was just a practice attempt. My sampler pack worked very well. Even though the bottles are fairly small I have lots of glass stain left over.
- Simulated Glass Leading – The sampler pack I bought actually came with a small bottle of this but I was planning a fairly large picture and I wasn’t sure how far it would go so I picked up another, larger bottle. If you are trying a small picture then the leading in the sampler pack will likely do the trick. Please note that even though this is called paint leading it IS simulated and contains no actual leading. It’s just really thick water-soluble paint.
How do you do it?
Faux stained glass is pretty simple in theory. Use paint stain to create the look of colored glass that is separated by thick lines. I did not expect this to be a difficult operation and truthfully, it really wasn’t – but it does require some patience and I did learn a few things by the end!
Faux Stained Glass – Step 1, Pick your Design.
You can make a picture of anything you want. In fact, if you do a quick search on google for ‘stained glass’ you will see hundreds of great examples for you to draw inspiration from. There are even some you can print out for free – so don’t hesitate to try this just because you worry about your artwork!
Because I like to make things hard for myself I decided to create my own pattern, and then I went and made it fairly complicated. Don’t be me, pick something simple for your first attempt! The more detailed the picture you pick the more patience you will need to complete the project. Stained glass is often highly stylized and fairly simple, relying more on bright colors to get the point across then a lot of detail.
Faux Stained Glass – Step 2, Transfering Your Design to Glass.
So you have picked out your design and have your pane of glass all ready to go. awesome! Now What? Now we use the simulated leading to mark the stained glass lines out on our glass. I found that the easiest way to do this was to put the paper with my design under the glass and trace it. Certainly, it’s easier than trying to freehand it!
This part I actually made fairly easy on myself because I just drew my pattern on the back of the stock photo paper that was included with my frame. No paper sizing issues to worry about that way! If you are using a printed out design just make sure you print your picture at the same size as your frame and you shouldn’t have any trouble either!
Using the simulated leading takes a bit of patience. The leading bottle comes with a small tip with makes making the lines fairly easy to do if you go about it slowly. However, much like a ketchup bottle, there are times when it likes to come out in a larger clump or not at all. Shaking the leading up frequently helps a good bit, as does keeping a pin on hand to unclog the tip when needed.
I also figured out that you can use a dull pencil to ‘drag’ the leading along smaller lines or to even out shaky lines. Be careful that you don’t drag your leading and thin it out too much though, it has to remain thick enough to keep your stain in later on! I also found that the glass stain later liked to leak through the gap between the frame and the glass, so an outline of leading around the inner edge of the frame might have been a good idea!
Faux Stained Glass – Step 3, Let the Leading Dry
My simulated leading bottle said it took 8 hours for the paint to be dry to touch but 7 days to cure to the surface completely. I waited 8 hours before applying the glass stain and I probably should have waited the full 7 days. But then you guys wouldn’t be getting your monthly Learn Something New on time haha!
Although my leading was dry the glass stain I put on next made parts of it tacky again. I don’t think this is a problem with the leading It more my patience and lack of waiting. Don’t be me. Set your painting aside and let it cure properly!
Faux Stained Glass – Step 4, Apply the Paint Stain
This is the fun part! Hopefully, you have let your painting dry until the leading is completely cured and you’re ready to apply your stain. The staining DOES stain fingers (and nails) So wear disposable gloves if you are a messy painter like me! It seemed to wipe off the table as long as it was still wet though. Should probably put down plastic just in case.
The stain I bought was very bright and vivid which was nice. You don’t need much to fill in spaces. Using a toothpick to drag the stain to the edges of the design and pop any air bubbles that appear works very well.
To make interesting designs you can use streaks of two colors and blend them together by dragging a toothpick through them. Make sure not to overfill your spaces. Excess stain tends to find a way out. I had some spots where my leading was too thin and the stain ran into other colors
Like the leading my stain said it will take 8 hours to be dry to touch and 7 days to cure completely. This time I am going to be smart and let it cure completely. After 7 days I will do some touch-up work and add additional stain layers. Adding more layers will deepen the colors but be aware of your leading thickness. Colors will run with the barriers are not tall enough to contain it!
Faux Stained Glass – Step 6, Enjoy your Artwork
Set your art somewhere pretty and revel in the fact that you made it with your own two hands! You can hang it in the window using suction cups or set it by your bedside where only you can see it. Either way, you made something and that’s worth being proud of!