Stained Glass Restoration

Stained Glass Restoration
St. Patrick's Church, Milwaukee, WI


Much of the Nation's stained glass and leaded glass has recently passed, or is quickly approaching, its 100th anniversary. Stained glass windows should last a lifetime. Through a complete and professional restoration program, the stained and leaded windows that add so much to historic buildings can easily be enjoyed another hundred years.
At Oakbrook Esser our highly qualified and experienced artisans are recognized for outstanding craftsmanship in the preservation, conservation and restoration of stained and leaded glass. We specialize in meeting the specific needs of each project by working closely with our clients to create a restoration plan that will prioritize their needs as well as budgetary concerns. Every project is unique and requires careful examination by a stained glass professional.

Oakbrook Esser, our team of outstanding artists and craftsmen can assist you by providing an evaluation to determine the condition of your stained glass windows and a recommendation based on several key structural factors. Window frame conditions, ventilator and protective storm glass systems must also be taken into consideration when planning a successful restoration project. Restoration of historic stained glass is labor intensive and requires attention to every detail in matching the original materials and artists techniques. We invite you contact Oakbrook Esser Studios for a no obligation consultation arranged at your convenience.

Stained Glass Restoration Process:

  • A thorough examination of the window and frame conditions is done and photographs are taken on site. A condition report and cost quotation are presented based on the findings. Once the specifics are approved, the restoration process begins.

  • A lift or scaffolding is set up and the windows are carefully removed. Storm glass protection remains in place while the stained glass is transported to the studio for work.

  • Photos are taken and rubbings made to document a map of the window.

  • All window sections are completely dismantled removing all lead and preserving as much existing glass as possible. Broken glass may be edge glued, leaded or replaced matching original glass type and painting techniques. Painted glass is then fired for permanency.

  • The window is re-assembled and re-glazed with new virgin lead and solder; matching original came width.

  • Cementing is done by brushing a glazing compound between the glass and lead on both sides forming a strong bond between the materials, providing strength and waterproofing.

  • Structural reinforcing is done with steel bars soldered to each large section for maximum support.

  • Final cleaning of each section is done before the windows are transported back to the church and re-installed into frames that have been restored or replaced.

  • Once stained glass has been completely restored it is like new again and will continue to provide inspiration for generations to come.