Stained Glass Window Restoration and New Protective Covering at Bolivar United Methodist Church in Bolivar, MO
In 2016, Laws Stained Glass Studios provided stained glass window restoration and new 1/4" Lucite acrylic protective covering at Bolivar United Methodist Church in Bolivar, MO. The work was done on (37) stained glass windows which included 31 windows (size 31" wide x 74" high), 1 large "Good Shepherd" window (size 168" wide x 165" high with a round top, 1 arch window (size 143" wide x 71" high), and 4 other windows of various sizes.
Bolivar UMC first contacted Laws Stained Glass because they had a wall that was leaning in the sanctuary. This wall has a large stained glass window depicting the "Good Shepherd". They had a contractor who was to straighten the wall, but they were concerned about damaging the window in the process. The church sent pictures and discussed the issue at length with Michael Laws, president of Laws Stained Glass Studios. Mr. Laws recommended that they brace the window frame, but keep the stained glass in place during the straightening of the wall. And afterwards if there was any broken glass, then Laws would repair it. Since the stained glass was in good shape (with no bulging or sagging), Mr. Laws felt that it was best to keep it in place. Many times moving stained glass panels causes more damage than doing good. But of course each scenario is different.
So the church had a contractor to straighten the wall. During the process, some of the protective covering pieces of glass broke, but the stained glass panels stayed intact and in good shape. There were no broken pieces of stained glass and minimal damage. Afterwards, Laws came to the church to restore the windows and provide new protective covering.
All of the windows were in relative good shape. They were straight with no bulging. The braces were attached. Only a few pieces of glass were broken. The stained glass panels were glazed into wood sashes. Much of the putty was loose and needed replacing. A couple of window frames were rotten toward the bottom. On the outside, the wood frame had only been painted up to the storm glass. The scope of the work consisted of the following:
- Remove the existing storm windows.
- Scrape off the loose paint, and prime & paint one finish coat of paint around the perimeter of the windows.
- Clean the windows on the inside.
- Furnish and install new 1/4" clear Lucite acrylic as the protective covering over the outside of the windows.
- The new Lucite will be held in place using 1/2" x 1/2" bronze aluminum stops.
- The new Lucite will be caulked using a clear silicone caulk.
- Small 1" vent buttons will be installed in the Lucite protective covering to allow minimal air flow between the stained glass window and the protective covering. This will help to eliminate any condensation build up between the two.
- Replace (3) broken pieces of glass and putting "dummy" leadlines over a few other pieces.
- Reglaze the leaded glass panels into the sashes on every window.
- Replace (2) rotten wood sills.
- Remove the double-glazed name plates and cleaning the glass in between.
View from the inside of the existing "Good Shepherd" window before the wall is straightened.
Existing window with old storm glass
View of an opalescent glass window from the inside
Window with rotten wood at the bottom
Close-up showing the loose putty of where the leaded panel was glazed into the wood sash
More rotten wood
Close-up of broken piece of glass
In this picture, the storm glass is removed. Note how only the portion of the wood that was not covered by the storm glass was painted brown.
This window has been re-glazed with dark Vulkem caulk
Close-up showing the new wood sill and the re-glazing
Close-up showing a painted frame and wood sash at the bottom before the 1/4" Lucite acrylic is installed.
Some windows that have the newly painted wood and ready for the protective covering.
Here's a couple of windows that have been re-glazed, painted, and has new 1/4" Lucite acrylic as the protective covering. Note the 1" round vent buttons in each corner.
The memorial plate area has been double-glazed, but dirt has gotten between the two pieces of glass.
Here the outside piece of glass is removed, and you can see the dirt build up on the glass.
This picture shows the pieces of glass cleaned before the outside piece is re-installed.
Here is a cleaned memorial plate from the inside.
Restored window with new re-glazing, painted exterior frame, and new 1/4" Lucite acrylic as the protective covering
Newly cleaned "Good Shepherd" window on the inside
Restored windows with new 1/4" Lucite acrylic as the protective covering
Another view of more restored windows with new 1/4" Lucite acrylic as the protective covering