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When Stained Glass Costs Too Much To Replace: Temporary Glass Replacements That Can Help

by Harvie Simms

Stained glass windows are works of art. However, the older they are, the easier it is for the glass to break. If you have some broken stained glass windows in your church, and no money in the church budget to repair the broken ones, here are a few cheaper options you can do until a stained glass replacement specialist can be hired.

Wood Paneling 

It is not pretty, but it is effective. Most businesses that suffer vandalism involving broken glass use wood paneling until their windows can be replaced, so your church can too. If you want to make it look less like wood, you can always paint it white or paint it to make it look like the missing/broken pane of stained glass. Because wood paneling tends to occlude the windows and block out light, it may not be the best option for your church.

Clear Plastic Adhesive Sheets

Somewhere between temporary glass and plastic wrap there is clear plastic adhesive sheets. This stuff is a few times thicker than plastic wrap, thinner than plexiglass, and has an adhesive backing. If you pull the backing off, you can use this product to seal glass breaks and holes. For maximum effect, use one piece per crack or hole inside the church, and then go outside and apply another piece to the back of the inside piece. This forms a good seal around the damaged stained glass until the church can afford the services of the stained glass expert.

Clear Panes

Obviously, your church cannot go without panes of glass because it would allow pests, bugs, birds, and rodents into the church. Your best (and cheapest) option is to carefully remove the broken pieces of stained glass and use a temporary clear glass replacement. A glass repair technician can help you install the clear piece of glass.

Permanent Clear Glass with a Faux Stained Glass Paint Job

If you and the other church elders feel that there is no way you could ever afford the repair and reinstallation of the broken stained glass panes, you could also install permanent clear glass panes. These panes are nearly indestructible, and better still, you can apply a faux stained glass paint job that will help complete the picture of the larger window without being too noticeable. Glass paint is available from most craft stores, and faux lead framing for faux stained glass is also available.