Fact No. 251. (Published on 9/24/2005)

Silver Stain

Unlike paints and enamels – which sit on the surface of the glass – silver stain contains silver nitrate that reacts with glass. The resulting stain can be shades of brown, red or amber.

Although the term "stained glass" has fallen into common usage for any assemblage of glass pieces, the phrase originally was intended to describe the staining of glass will silver stain and similar "paints".

The detailed designs on church-style stained glass windows were often created by assembling solid color pieces of cathedral glass that had been designed and fired using just black and brown stains.

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