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How to Restore and Maintain Your Leadlight Door

Leadlight doors, which contain stained glass panels fitted into metal frames called 'cames,' are a very attractive and striking feature of a home but need to be properly maintained to look at their best. How do you go about restoring an old leadlight door?

Inspect the cames

The metal cames will be wired to steel braces to hold everything in place. You should check that these fixings are still sound. If any of the wiring has come loose, you should be able to twist it again to tighten it up.

Clean the glass

Do not use a commercial window cleaner as the ammonia can cause an adverse reaction with the metal. Instead, you should use a mild neutral detergent in warm water. Use a soft cloth to apply it and rinse it off gently. This should remove most of the dirt and grime from the glass.

Check the metal

The cames will be made of lead or zinc and should be a grey colour throughout. If the metal has started to oxidise, you may find a white powder on the surface. This means that it will need to be replaced, and you will need to call in a professional restorer. You should also check that the metal is not flaking or brittle — try bending the flanges on the edges of the glass to see if it is still sound.

Check the filler

The gap between the came flanges and the glass will have been filled with a special cement. If there are gaps where it has come out, you can fill it again yourself with a glazing compound. Just push it into the gaps, scrape away any excess with a stick and wipe away the residue with a cloth.

Get the glass repaired

If any of the glass panes in the window are damaged, you will need to call a professional leadlight door restorer. They will carefully remove the damaged panel, and cut a new piece in the correct colour to fit with the remainder of the door. They will then the fit the new piece in with new lead and cement to ensure it blends in with the original door.

If you are in any doubt about your leadlight door, just call in a professional leadlight door restoration service that will come and inspect it and carry out any repairs or maintenance necessary to keep it in its original attractive state.