What are the Different Types of Glass for Stained Glass?

The most popular kinds of glass which are used for stained glass are transparent, opalescent and opaque. Each type is creatively utilised to generate a different look or effect and it is not unusual for a piece to only contain different colours and textures of one particular kind of glass to create the desired final image.

Transparent glass which is used for stained glass can be both clear andcoloured and can consist of a smooth or textured surface. Many people who are renovating their houses are heading to leadlights repairs to get their homes looking like new again, with beautiful top quality glass and glazing. Transparent glass can be made so that not only will light shine through it, but people can see right through the glass also. And nowadays, there are a lot of different types of textures available for various visual effects, such as:


  • This type is semi-opaque, commonly with a mix or a swirl of different colours for interest.
  • The method in the way the colours are combined in the glass, creates a swirl, cloud, or streak pattern, which can then go on and be used to look like the sky, water and more.
  • This type of glass is sometimes referred to as “wispy glass”.
  • Usually, it is difficult to look through this type of glass, but light can easily shine through and illuminate the design.


  • This is somewhat similar to translucent glass in that the colours can once again be swirled together.
  • It is also possible to get opalescent glass as one solid colour.
  • This type is commonly associated with American stained glass art and is not a type that is either transparent or see-through at all.
  • Light is able to shine on through this glass, but in a diffused way which gives the design a nice soft glow.


  • Opaque glass is normally available in solid colours.
  • This kind of glass is not transparent at all, and practically no light can shine through it.
  • It is occasionally used in stained glass designs to establish negative space, but is usually more popular in things like mosaics on backboards or even laid down in cement or plaster designs.

The Choice is yours

  • Selecting the right sort of glass for stained glass will depend mostly on one’s taste and the type of look which is desired. If one wishes for a bright and striking design, transparent usually works the best.
  • Whereas, translucent and opalescent glass will produce a softer, more diffused glow and is available in the largest choice of colour combinations.
  • Opaque glass is normally not considered suitable for anywhere which is designed for light to pass through, but it can generate very vibrant mosaics.

The very best way to see which kind of glass takes your fancy is to go and check them out and expect to be amazed at the beautiful effects that they produce!