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Remove paint from lead on stained glass windows

Q. I have a lovely old stained glass window which has been inset in a cupboard door. The previous owner has painted over the lead on the edges and I am wondering how to safely remove the paint.

Carol Price
Canadian Education Centre Network - Burnaby, BC, Canada

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A. Test in an inconspicuous place because I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure that solvents like mineral spirits will remove many paints without having any effect on lead or glass.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 15, 2015

Q. My mom says that when her dad painted the stained glass lamp white, his wife was ready to strangle him!

I've just been given the lamp, as I have a desire to restore it. (After all, I'm the one who dropped the shade 50 years ago and cracked one of the panels)

It appears someone tried to remove the white paint, but I'm seeing very steel looking metal as opposed to the brass I suspected.

What's the best way to remove the white paint and, if it does end up being very steel looking, what are my options besides repainting it?

Catherine Hayes
- Findlay, Ohio

November 19, 2015

A. Hi Catherine,

The best way to remove the paint is to use a proprietary paint stripper. A visit to a paint store should find options.

We need to know what the metal is. A simple check as to whether it is steel or brass would be to see if a magnet sticks to it. A fridge magnet would be fine. If it does not stick, then we can assume this it's brass. If it sticks then steel is the answer.

Before considering the next steps, will you do this basic test and reply? Is it possible to provide a photo, please?


Harry Parkes
- Birmingham, UK

November 19, 2015

Q. I will do the quick test and send a picture before the weekend.Thanks!

Catherine Hayes [returning]
- Findlay, Ohio, USA

November 21, 2015

Q. Unfortunately, my mom had the lamp rewired recently....

35302-1e  35302-1d

35302-1a  35302-1b  35302-1c 

Interestingly, on the bottom of the lamp is the word "ivory". It makes me wonder if the lamp was always painted, and maybe Nonnie got mad at Pop because he painted white over the ivory color? I don't know..... A magnet did NOT stick to the lamp.

I just typed in M L CO 234 and got the info at this link:

Catherine Hayes [returning]
- Findlay, Ohio, USA

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