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Nursery Construction: Faux Leaded Glass Windows

2014 September 1
by Becky

**See the finished room here.**

Last we left the nursery, it was painted, with a fabulous DIY Sharpie Paint Pen wall complete, and not much else.

Even with the wall, things were still looking a little bare in there.

So before standing on a ladder became completely unbearable, I decided to get my faux leading on those transom windows. Sure, they do their job and let lots of light flow through into the hall beyond, but they were OH so BOR-ING.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Before

After going back to re-read the faux-leading tutorials I’d found here and here, I got my trusty ruler, pencil, and big piece of scrap paper to start sketching a design. I didn’t want it to match the wall design, but did want to stick with our arrow-y theme.

After a lo0000000t of erasing and re-measuring, I had myself a plan.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Drawing

Then I re-measured again…I was NOT going to do this twice.

My materials included Plaid Classic Black Liquid Leading, Plaid:Craft Gallery Glass Instant Lead Lines 12″, Black 1/8″, and some Plaid Gallery Glass Window Color Crystal Clear. The cost for materials was about $26 and I have TONS of the liquid leading and crystal clear coating left. Tons.

If anyone wants it, let me know.

Faux Leaded Glass Supplies

Then I dove right in, beginning by using scissors to cut the leading strips apart—not all that easy of a task. I tried doing this with an xacto knife and ruler but it went pretty poorly. Scissors worked much better for getting the strips evenly cut along the score lines.

And I quickly learned that pulling and stretching the strips was BAD.

I made some measurement marks on the window frame and started applying the strips, using a small level to make sure they were nice and straight. An xacto worked great for trimming at this stage.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Trimming Lead

I did overlap leading lines when applying the design, but then went through and cut out the overlap before the next step.

Once my design was applied to the whole window, I went back in with the liquid leading. I was pretty generous with it but made sure to smush it down a little so there wouldn’t be a “3-d” effect on the seams.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Soldering

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Soldering

Compared to the lead lines, this was a super fast step, even with a few re-coats on select spots. When wet it was pretty visible, but once dry the liquid leading looked fantastic. I let it dry over night.

Next up, textured glass.

I just went for it, putting on a fairly thick coat of the crystal clear but not so much that it slid down the window. Using the very complicated “finger dab” technique described by Jen, I got my “panes” all textured. Looked crazy while wet, but I loved Jen’s results so I just let it be and trusted the method.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Texturing Glass

After each pane I used a wet cloth to clean up the leading lines to avoid them having a shiny appearance when dry. The crystal clear coating dried pretty darn quick so I didn’t wait long to wipe the lines or any spills.

Just another perfect use for cloth pre-folds, of which we have 4000.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Textured Glass Cleanup

It didn’t take long to dry clear and BAM…there was the exact effect we were going for. I left the “feathers” of the arrow design clear as well as the top and bottom lines…just for something a little more interesting.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Textured Glass

The finished product was pretty amazing. Stu couldn’t walk by with out exclaiming shock and awe over the incredible results. And at $26, this solution came in a lot cheaper and easier than hunting down antique windows.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows
Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows

It’s wasn’t a fast process, I spent several long hours over a few days, perched on a very uncomfortable ladder, but it was surprisingly easy once I had my measurements all nailed down. The second window went twice as fast as the first.

And it REALLY makes the staircase wall more interesting.

Faux Leaded Glass Transom Windows- Before After

Thanks to Pinterest for directing me toward bloggers with the experience to help make this project that much easier. I hope my story helps the next person who wants to jazz up a few windows!

I was so dead set on original, antique windows but after just a little bit of searching I realized just how expensive and hard-to-fit old windows would be. Plus this cool process saved me more time than I can even imagine.

Have you tried faux-leading? Will you after reading this? 

7 Responses
  1. September 1, 2014

    Your windows came out great! I love how they tie in with the room and lend some character to the hallway. So glad it worked out for you.

    And now I’m brainstorming where in my house I can go to town with Sharpie pens…
    Jen @ Jen Spends recently posted..What Lies Beneath: Old House Plumbing ProblemsMy Profile

    • Becky permalink*
      September 8, 2014

      Thanks for the how-to and inspiration Jen! You saved me tons of trial and error time.

  2. Linda Johnson permalink
    September 2, 2014

    It looks amazing!! I cannot wait to see the finished room. You are so talented Becky!

  3. September 2, 2014

    You know my passion for leaded and stained glass windows, but this is incredible. Great solution to a very interesting design challenge. Way to go!!!!

  4. Lauren G permalink
    September 5, 2014

    I’m so happy you guys own a house where you can make changes as you want – it’s amazing some of the projects and ideas you execute! Sharpie pens = awesome

    • Becky permalink*
      September 8, 2014

      Thank you!

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