How to DIY Faux Leaded Glass Windows

When it comes to architectural details, I dream of lots and lots of molding and pretty windows. I love how Linda took her plain window and made it into a faux leaded glass window!

Check out all of the All Things Windows goodness here, and share using #AllThingsWindows on social media. Don’t forget to come link up your window-related blog posts or Instagram photos at the party, too!

How to DIY Faux Leaded Glass Window | It All Started With Paint on #AllThingsWindows #stainedglass

Faux Leaded Glass Window Tutorial
by Linda at It All Started With Paint

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Hi everyone! My name is Linda from It All Started With Paint and I’m thrilled to be participating in the Remodelaholic ‘All Things Windows’ event.

Before I share my faux leaded glass window project, let me share a little background about me. I’m a Jersey-born-and-bred Midwestern transplant who lives in Chicago with my husband and two children. Seventeen years ago I left a successful career in public relations to stay at home and raise my children. Since then, I’ve balanced child rearing with freelance public relations work. Then three years ago I discovered the world of DIY and home décor blogs. I was inspired by the amazing – and affordable – transformations so many talented women (like Cassity) were making to their homes. It awakened my ‘inner Martha’ and I decided to add my voice to the blogosphere. Since then, I’ve been chronicling my DIY, room remodel, crafting, and cooking journey on my blog, It All Started With Paint. And, just because I’m a glutton for punishment, I even started a second blog, Mason Jar Crafts Love, where I share innovative ways to craft, cook, and decorate with mason jars.

Back to my home DIY journey. Our house is over 100 years old. Don’t get too excited. It comes with none of the old world charm you might imagine a home built in the late 1800’s would possess. It does, however, come with a whole lot of old house money-pit headaches! But that’s a post for “This Old House Headaches Week” …

Winking smile

I pride myself on being a make lemonade out of lemons person. And when confronted with modern-looking windows and mouldings that didn’t really fit with the coastal-nautical-city-cottage vibe I’m was hoping to infuse into our home, I set about giving them a bit of old world flair. On the cheap, of course, with a faux leaded glass window treatment …

faux leaded glass window tutorial. It All Started with Paint on Remodelaholic

I started out drawing my design on a piece of paper the exact dimensions of the window opening. Needless to say, there was a lot of erasing and redrawing to get the perfect fit.

planning out a faux leaded glass window pattern, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

Now, if I could easily reach the outside of the window, I would just tape that drawing to it and get to work. But that wasn’t an option. So I put my drawing up against the window and, using a pencil, lightly marked off my lead line starting points on the edges of the window frame.

how to transfer a pattern to a window for faux leaded glass, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

Then it was time to grab my Gallery Glass supplies, which I found at the craft store. (Update: These supplies are also available here on Amazon.)

supplies for a faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

Those leading strips are pure genius. You can easily cut them. Easily reposition them. I just used a level to keep my vertical lines straight.

Related: DIY Lace Window Film. It’s easier than you think!

use leading strips in a faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

The I added some liquid leading “solder” to clean up the leaded areas where pieces didn’t quite connect.

use liquid leading to fill in gaps on a faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

I let that dry for 8-10 hours, per the instructions on the bottle.

Phase two was the application of the Crystal Clear glass color. Which, obviously, is colorless. After it dries, that is. During application it was milky white.

apply top coat to faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

I was a bit heavy handed. Squeezing it out directly from the bottle onto the window. Completely forgetting about the effects of gravity. There was some revisiting throughout the day to wipe away the Crystal Clear from the lead lines and the bottom of the window pane. My recommendation is to skip my heavy-handed method and use some type of applicator. Like a paint brush. And painting on multiple light coats until you reach your desired look.

In the end, I’m really happy with how it turned out.

how to DIY a faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

It really does compliment my dining room remodel.

faux leaded glass window and chandelier in dining room, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

In fact, I loved it so much that I created one in my living room as well.

faux leaded glass window, It All Started With Paint on Remodelaholic

You can see my fully remodeled coastal-nautical-city-cottage-look dining room and living rooms (complete with faux leaded glass windows) — as well as the faux stained glass window I created in my entryway during my pre-blogging days — by visiting the room remodels section on my blog. Just click here …


@It All Started With Paint

Thank you so much Cassity for inviting me to share my faux leaded glass window tutorial with your Remodelaholic readers! Hopefully they’re inspired to add a bit of old world house charm to their very own homes – without the old house money-pit headaches!


Linda Signature Gold

You can also find me on social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. I’d love for you to stop by and socialize!


Thanks for visiting, Linda — this is one of my favorite makeovers!

Visit Linda at It All Started With Paint to see more of her great before and afters — and PS, she wrote a book and it looks awesome! 🙂

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  1. I love this! We also have a house built before 1900. But somebody had decided in the 1950’s to update some things then again in the 1980’s. I have a bathroom that has a large window next to the toilet (why would anybody do this I have no idea)! Can this hold up to steam and moisture that gets on the window?

  2. I love this so much! However, I’m confused as to why you used the clear glass color? Why do you need to apply it, if it is clear? what difference does it make?

    1. I had the same question. Was the window already frosted before adding the lead? And what does the clear glass coating do?

  3. I need this for some privacy in my bathroom. It looks like it dried to a sort of frosted, milky white, but others that I’ve seen that used the crystal clear, it’s dried very clear (but leaded and old looking). I’d prefer the milky for some added privacy … how did you achieve that?

  4. Did you do the beading on both sides of the window? If only on one side, is the difference noticeable?

  5. I have two large narrow windows next to my front door, the adhesive frosting is starting to peel and I’m planning a project like this with a Charles Rennie Mackintosh style design.

    What I did want to also do though is paint it onto perspex that’s cut to fit those windows perfectly. There’s a place near me that will precise-cut the dimensions, then at least if I make a mistake or it doesn’t look as perfect as I’d like, I’ve not permanently damaged one of the more publicly visible parts of my house

  6. Wow, that looks fabulous! How much does it block the view into / out of the house? I’m looking to do this in my dining room, my neighbor’s window is about 6 feet away! I can watch TV with them when I sit down to dinner!

    Thanks for any information you can share. Enjoy those kids, they grow too fast.