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Gallery Glass Front Door Sidelights DIY

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How to create the look of beveled glass on any window in your home for around $20. It is an easy, inexpensive and a fun project that adds a decorative element that can last a very long time.

Post Updated: 6/16/2021

I like making things – crafty things,  decorating things,  pretty things,  wearable things, and most of all thrifty things.

Sometimes I make things as a temporary “fix” thing, until I can afford to buy the “real” thing.

A few times when decorating my home, I have actually wasted my money on a “fix” thing or did something I should have saved my money on to put towards the so “desperately wanted” thing.

This post is not about something I made, but how a crafty “fix” turned into a positively “permanent” part of the foyer that made the plain glass sidelights and transom around the front door look like beveled glass using a craft store product.

I thought the faux beveled glass would only last a for a short time, but ended up lasting 22 years.

Front door decorating ideas
Gallery Glass Window Color in Clear on Door Sidelights and Transom

The photo above is the interior view of the front door of my previous house on a sunny winter’s day. It is hard to get a good photo since the light creates a glares on windows in photos. 

When I moved into this house over 20 years ago, I wanted to have sidelights of beveled glass surrounding the door. The door and sidelights that came with the house were nice, but plain.

I knew I didn’t want to cover them up with shirred fabric, blinds or shutters for privacy as that would block the light. 

Gallery Glass Crystal Clear Sidelights

I remember seeing a door with beveled glass at a local home improvement store and loving it.

Since we were in a brand new house with a brand new mortgage there was no way I could get a new door, since we already had a brand new door. Getting a new door would just have to be something I would put into my “someday” idea file.

Gallery Glass Sidelights

I tried a product called Gallery Glass Window Color to create the look of leaded beveled glass side lights and transom around the door.

Not too long after seeing the door I liked, I went to the craft store and stumbled upon a “new at the time” product called, Gallery Glass (this was back in the early 1990’s).

I read all the directions and a project book that I skimmed through while still in the store.

Most of the projects in the book were done in colored stained glass looks like church windows.

I didn’t like any of the designs, but did get an idea to use the crystal clear color and to copy the design from the door I liked.

Gallery Glass doesn’t cost a lot and doesn’t damage glass, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

Gallery Glass Window Paint and Liquid Leading

supplies needed:

Sidelight-pattern

Get the free printable of the design I used: Free Printable Sidelight Design

Time needed: 4 hours.

How to Make the Look of Clear Beveled Glass on Doors and Windows Using Gallery Glass

  1. Clean the Glass


    Clean the glass well with window cleaner and let dry.

  2. Choose a Design


    Size and make a photocopy of the design you want to use.

  3. Place Design


    On the outside of the windows, tape the design making sure it is straight.

  4. Apply Leading Lines


    On the inside of your window, follow the lines in your design and attach the easy to use leading strips.

  5. Fill In Design With Crystal Clear Gallery Glass


    Following the directions on the label, snip off the tip of the bottle’s applicator tip. Then starting from the top of each leading section of the design, using the tip of the bottle, fill in each section of the design by rubbing the tip against the glass in short vertical strokes.

    To simulate the look of clear beveled glass once you have one section filled with the Gallery Glass, drag a toothpick 1/4″ in from the leading and following the shape of each section in the design.

  6. Let Dry


    Once dry, you can clean the windows as you normally would. I used Windex and a paper towel.

Front-door-decorating-ideas-using-Gallery-Glass-window-color

Fast forward to when these photos were taken.  The sidelights still look as good as the day I put Gallery Glass on them 20 years ago.

Update:  I added two new photos to this post to show how it looks now that it has been 20 years since I did this.

I have cleaned the windows, they have gone through temperature extremes, and still look like new.

Plus, I checked to make sure it would come off if I no longer wanted the beveled look, it peels right off like a window cling does.

Total cost was under $15.00 – $30.00 depending on the size of your windows. 

Gallery Glass Window color in clear on front door sidelight
Gallery Glass on the transom above the door.

So my crafty” fix” became a pretty, thrifty, permanent, decorative thing.

Gallery Glass is sold at some craft stores and on Amazon.

Here is the Beveled Glass Design I Used

I drew this from a door I liked. Each section of the sidelights around my door were taller, so I added a section at the top and/or bottom of this design so it would fit each section.

How Gallery Glass looks from the outside

This is the exterior of my front door.  The Gallery Glass  is very subtle from the outside.  It was quite funny when one of my neighbors walked past my house after I finished the project and asked me when I got beveled glass in my sidelights? :-)

  • If you want to save a few dollars, Gallery Glass also makes a product called Simulated Liquid Leading. Like the pre-made strips it is not made of lead, it just looks like it. It was what I used at the time, but is not ideal. The pre-made sticky leading strips work much better.
  • Take a piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardboard and cover it with a sheet of lined notebook paper and then place a sheet of plastic wrap over it.
  • Tape the excess plastic wrap to the back of the cardboard to make the plastic wrap smooth and tight over the lined notebook paper.
  • Create the leaded lines following the lines on the notebook paper. Once dry, the leading strips will peel right off the plastic wrap and you will be able to place them on your windows, even into curves and circles.
  • Another way would be to use your design under the plastic wrap and make intricate and curved lines. Once they are dry, peel them off the plastic wrap and place on your window.

Plaid Enterprises, the company that makes Gallery Glass is not paying or giving me anything to write this post.

This is truly a post about something I did a long time ago using what turned out to be a great craft product that has lasted a long time.

I thought that fact alone was worth posting.

If you can’t find Gallery Glass at your local crafts store, Amazon sells it. They have kits as well as individual bottles. 

How-to-make-faux-beveled-glass-with-Gallery-Glass-window-color.

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49 Comments

  1. One of my friends used a floral design and added color in her bathroom window that was in a shower stall. Since she needed privacy and a fabric window treatment would not work in the space. Her efforts looked terrific and provided the privacy she needed.

  2. How funny. I did gallery glass in my powder room about ten years ago and forgot about it until I saw this post. I actually used a bit of color and they still look great too.