Tips & Techniques


Tips & Techniques

For use with Jurgen's Stained Glass Painting Supplies

Most of the tips below are for traditional faux stained glass applications.


Jurgen Glass Stains can be applied to regular single strength window glass, non-glare glass, cathedral glass, opalescent, or glue chip glass. Plexiglas may also be used. Other types of plastic should be tested for compatibility.
Clean and dry glass thoroughly. Look for a commercial glass cleaner that does not leave a film on the glass. A vinegar/water solution also works well.
After cleaning glass, place glass over the top of pattern. If you are using a mirror or translucent glass, transfer the design to the glass with pencil carbon. Place the carbon paper face down on the glass with masking tape so it will not slip while you are working. Trace the pattern with a pencil applying firm pressure. Temperature and humidity during application can effect the performance of the stains. Temperatures should range from 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity should range from 20% - 60%. Keep containers tightly sealed when not in use. 
Lead in traditional leaded glass windows is usually black due to oxidation which comes with age. Antique wax (gold, silver, copper) may be applied to the cured Liquid Lead for a metallic highlight. Use a cotton swab to apply the antique wax before staining. If antique wax gets on the glass, remove the wax with a cotton swab soaked in Thinner/Cleaner. (STK#TCQ) It takes 6-24 hours for Liquid Lead to completely cure -- less time for fine line leading. Stains may be applied in 1-2 hours. Liquid Lead may be used on any surface including glass, plastics, wood, metal, paper, Styrofoam and cloth.
Apply Liquid Lead following the lines of the pattern under the glass. Jurgen Liquid Lead comes in a 4 oz. applicator bottle. (STK#100S) Use a sharp knife or single edge razor blade to open the applicator tip. The amount of the tip you remove determines the width of the bead of lead. To produce a fine line, cut off the tip of the applicator just above the opening about 1/16 inch down from the tip. Heat the end of an 18 gauge wire to melt a hole in the tip. the hole must be clear of all loose particles of plastic or jagged edges. A fine line is used on small or detailed projects.

Applying Liquid Lead should be easy. If it does not flow out of the bottle easily the material is not down in the tip of the bottle. Tap the tip of the bottle down on the table or a firm surface to force the material down to the tip. This will break any trapped air bubbles in the Liquid Lead, thus alleviating any breaks in the bead of the Liquid Lead in your design.

Jurgen Liquid Lead is thick. This insures a quality bead line that will not flatten out and allow paint to flow together. It may be helpful to set the sealed applicator bottle in hot water to soften the lead.

1. Hold the bottle in one hand, cupping your hand under the bottle.

2. Apply a constant pressure to insure neat, uniform lines.

3. Before beginning each new line, wipe the tip of the bottle on a piece of paper. Release the pressure on the bottle after each lead line to allow the air back into the bottle.

4. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle to work surface.

5. Touch the tip to the surface and start squeezing.

6. Lift the bottle about 1 1/2" above the work surface and follow the lines of your pattern. Working slightly above the surface of your project allows for more time and maneuverability which leaves a smooth, neat bead of Liquid Lead.

7. As you complete each line, touch the tip down to the surface, stop squeezing and pull bottle away.

Touch down when you start each new line, lift up, let the bead fall along the pattern line. Touch down as you stop. Continue each line as far as possible. Crossing other lead lines is no problem. The intersections will meld together. It is best to work with a full bottle of Liquid Lead. When you have 2 bottles that are half full, squeeze the remainder of the first bottle into the second bottle.

SUGGESTION: Start the leading in the center of your pattern and work to the outside. If it is a large window, turn the glass piece as you work. You will always be working toward yourself. On straight long line borders, line up the edge of the glass parallel to the edge of  the table. It will give you a place to guide your arm as you come down the long line.

Save used Liquid Lead caps. This will give you a set of applicator tips of various sizes.

Jurgen Glass Stains* can be mixed together to make a wide selection of colors. Add lacquer base Glass Stains to Frost to make a frosted color. Add lacquer base Glass Stains to Pearl White to make pearlized colors.

Always add dark colors to light colors. Add a few drops at a time until you reach the desired shade. Stir well and test color on glass as the color will appear darker in mixing container.

Jurgen Lacquer Base Glass Stains and Jurgen Lacquer Base Crystal Stains can be mixed together, however, adding too much Glass Stain to Crystal Stain will prevent the paint from crystallizing. It is a good idea to mix a small batch  and to test the mixture on glass when combining Glass Stains and Crystal Stains (see following formulas). *Do not mix Lacquer Base Stains with Water Base Stains.

Crystal Rose: Pour into a quart can: 4 ounces White Creamy Stain STK# 67, 4 ounces Crystal Red STK# 86, Fill remaining can with Crystal Clear STK# 82 (24 ounces). Stir Well.

Crystal Seafoam: Pour into a quart can: 4 ounces White Creamy Stain STK#67, 2 ounces Kelly Stain STK#58. Fill remaining can with Crystal Clear STK#82 (26 ounces). Stir Well.

Always start with the light color and blend darker colors into the light ones. Use the glass dropper (#170) to pull the colors together to blend the stains. The stains must be blended while they are still wet. Over-blending produces a completely new color. Shading flower petals, leaves, birds, & animals produces a more interesting life-like effect. "Marbleizing" colors on the glass is very effective in producing an authentic glass stain look.

Working on a horizontal, level surface is best. Glass droppers (#170) are used to "flow" on the stains without leaving brush strokes. Clean dropper thoroughly before changing to another color using Thinner/Cleaner (#TCQ), when using lacquer stains or crystal stains. Immediately after staining, check to see if any lint or dust particles have fallen into the stained area. Also check for air bubbles. You can remove these by using the eyedropper for suction. Cover your project with a dust cover.


A cylindrical surface (lamps, wine glasses, candle holders, & canisters) should be laid on it's side and stain only 1/4 of the area at a time. Crystal Stain is excellent for vertical application as you can apply a brush coat leaving no brush marks. Drying time will vary because of the thickness of the stain application, temperature, humidity, & air circulation. Average drying time for Lacquer stains is 20 minutes. Water Base Stains can dry in an hour with a thin application and warm temperatures.


Jurgen Glass Stain products can be used to decorate a wide variety of items including: windows, sun catchers, blown glass items, acrylics, glass table tops, glass canisters & boxes, glass cabinet doors & room dividers, mirrors, Christmas ornaments, candle holders, wine glasses, signs, lamps, decals, pen & ink, and blown glass figures.  


Lacquer Base Glass Stain / Lacquer Base Crystal Stain vapors are heavy and tend to stagnate. A ventilation system is advisable and should be at floor level for maximum efficiency. Air circulation above or over work area may cause irregularities during drying time.


* All Helpful Hints are there with the intent to help our customers with various applications and techniques when using our products. Jurgen Industries, Inc. has provided the above information in good faith, and is believed to be accurate. However, no guarantees can be made or are implied.


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