Caring For New Leaded Glass
If you have recently purchased a new leaded glass panel, here are a few tips for its care.
On panels built from lead (not zinc), the lead often has a natural buffed patina. This natural luster needs time to cure because it comes from viscous linseed-oil-based putty. We use this putty, mixed with a lamp black additive, to cement each leaded-glass panel, which gives the panel strength and stability. (You might think of this as “grouting.”) Using a heavy brush, we force the putty between the glass and metal. It takes a couple of months to cure completely. During this time the panel needs to be handled as little as possible. A light dusting will not disrupt the curing putty, but vigorous wiping and cleaning are to be avoided, as they will upset the natural patina that is taking hold.
On a new leaded glass panel you may notice the odor of turpentine or paint thinner. These products are used to thin down the linseed-oil putty. The odor will dissipate in a short time.
After the putty has cured, the panel needs only light wiping with a cloth dampened with a non-ammonia-based window cleaner. We often use a soft horsehair brush (the kind used to polish shoes) to remove any streaks, dust or lint from the panel.
We hope you enjoy your art glass panels for many years. Please call us if you have any questions about caring for them.