- The layout design is placed beneath a cut-to-size sheet of ordinary window (float) glass.
- I’ve always done it ‘air’ side up, but it might make no difference.
-The shaped stained glass pieces are glued to this float backing glass.
2 – Gluing the glass
After much research and experimentation, we settled on Weldbond (a Canadian all-purpose glue) as the best bonding agent. It
's non-toxic, spreads quickly and easily with the finger.
The only drawback is that Weldbond is white and optically rather dense when applied and takes quite a long while to cure to clarity if applied too thickly.
- It’s best to allow the glued pieces to cure for a couple of weeks before grouting the seams, to allow for more-rapid escape of volatiles from the glue.
- Apply a thin film of Weldbond to the back side of the stained glass pieces, a bit more for uneven glass.
Step 3 – Grouting the applique
- The seams in the applique are filled with non-sanded tile grout with polymer.
- Grout comes in various colors, but all are opaque and appear black in a back-lit panel in a window or light-box.
- In reflected light, the seams will appear grayish; mixing in some carbon-black with the dry grout before moistening and application will give the seams a darker, less-reflective appearance with indoor illumination.
- Over-moistening the dry grout will cause some unpredictable and unsightly bleeding of dark liquid behind the stained glass pieces.
This occurs by capillary action, or simply running into open spaces behind uneven glass.
It’s unpredictable; the moral is NOT to overmoisten the grout!
- To avoid this you should merely sprinkle water into a small tub of the dry applique grout and stir until balls of moist grout are formed.
- Pick out these balls of grout and rub gently into the seams with a finger.
- When you run out of grout balls, sprinkle a little more water to produce more.
4 – Cleaning the applique panel
Inevitably, much grout is smeared on the stained glass surfaces.
- After grouting the entire panel, allow to stand for five minutes or so.
- Wipe the stained glass surfaces gently with moist (not saturated!) paper towels to remove most of the grout residue.
- Let it stand overnight and remove the remaining films of grout from the stained glass surfaces with fine wire wool (steel wool).
- This may occasion some plucking from the seams, requiring tiny patches of fresh grout here and there.
Kindly written and shared by stained glass applique expert Nasrene MacDonald. All the photographs are of her work. See more at: Light Romance
The Technique of Decorative Stained Glass
by Paul San Casciani. Includes a chapter on stained glass applique.
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