Almost two years ago, I started adding lead strips to the storefront transom windows, to create a faux leaded glass effect. I ran out of lead when I was halfway through, leaving one window unfinished. El Granto even purchased me a new roll of lead last summer, but I had yet to get around to finishing the project. I often have trouble finishing projects. Once the project goes from fun to mundane, pulling the trigger on the last 10% is tough. I often find myself running onto the next project with full steam, and forgetting the last finishing bits.
Well this past weekend was finishing up projects & home maintenance weekend. From weed pulling and grass cutting to touch up painting, and yes that’s right, finishing the lead windows.
Armed with soap and water, windex and a broom, I headed out to the front of the Storefront and gave everything a thorough cleaning. The windows were washed, porch swept, doors and trim cleaned, and I even managed to clean out the leaf littered garbage room.
While up on the ladder washing the windows, I opted to get out my leaded glass drawing, a roll of Pebeo Vitrail Stained Glass Effect Self Adhesive Lead Strip, and finish the damn leaded glass windows. I taped my template on the inside of the window, and started measuring and cutting strips to length. I applied the lead strips starting with the long tall vertical pieces, then worked my way out from the middle adding the shorter criss-cross strips.
The strips are not very adhesive, and don’t really stay on the glass until you burnish them with the provided tool. This project would be a lot easier on the ground. Being up on a 8′ ladder applying the lead to the 12′ tall windows was definitely the hardest part.
All told it took me about an hour and a half to complete the project, and now I can finally knock it off my to-do list!
In fact, the exterior of the Storefront now complete!
Here is what we have done so far:
- Built an 8’x2′ cedar planter box to soften the concrete front “lawn”.
- Painted the wood siding in a dark grey, and the door in a bright red.
- Added a new custom color mailbox.
- Made a custom door mat.
- Added address decal to the front window.
- Installed a new doorbell.
- Added a cast iron urn, and new foliage.
- Installed extra tall dark grey curtain panels.
- Completed the leaded glass windows in a regent pattern.
The only remaining tasks for the Storefront exterior are wish list items, that will likely never get done. We would love to remove the vinyl siding on the second floor, repoint and clean the brick, and have the window & roof overhang re-flashed. Would also love to install a gooseneck light above the house number. This would involve drilling through brick, cutting through spray foam, running new electrical, then patching everything up. So until pigs fly, I hereby pronounce the exterior completed!
P.S. I have had several comments and emails about the lead strips. You can purchase them online from Amazon, or from local art stores. We found ours at Curry’s art store on Queen West in Toronto. The price varies, but is usually about $25-30 per roll. We need two rolls to complete our two windows. Each window is just shy of 24″x48″.
The lead has been exposed to the elements for two years, and has not fallen off the window, or ruined the glass in any way. The only change to the lead was it’s patina. It has not run, rusted, or in anyway discolored the glass.