How to Make Stained Glass Window Putty

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Putty is used to strengthen, weatherproof and cushion the glass in lead-came stained glass windows.
Putty is used to strengthen, weatherproof and cushion the glass in lead-came stained glass windows. (Image: Stain glass image by Andrew Breeden from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Stained glass window putty is used in lead came windows to help seal the window against the weather, protect the glass from rattling and to strengthen the window. There are a variety of recipes, but the basic ingredients are the same. The consistency is a matter of personal preference, but should be firm enough that it can be squished under the edges of the lead came.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket with sealable lid
  • Measuring cup
  • Raw linseed oil
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Whiting (calcium carbonate)
  • Stove black or lamp black
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Latex gloves

Measure the boiled and raw linseed oil in equal parts (for example, 1/2 cup of each) into the bucket.

Mix in the whiting a cup at a time. If you used 1/2 cup each of boiled and raw linseed oil, use up to four cups of whiting, possibly a bit more, depending on the consistency you prefer to work with.

Mix in about 1 tbsp of the stove or lamp black, depending on how dark you want the putty.

Mix everything together until there are no streaks. Use your gloved hands when it gets difficult to mix with the spoon. The consistency can vary, but peanut butter is a close comparison.

Tips & Warnings

  • Recipes that use plaster of Paris or cement are not recommended because the product is too hard and stiff when dry, providing no cushioning for the glass inside the lead frame. A slight rubberiness is desirable to provide support without the stiff restraint of the cement, which can cause the glass to break.

References

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