What safety gear do I need to make Stained Glass Art?

Stained Glass Safety Gear Mountain Woman Products

Safety is boring…I know. But it’s super important when you’re making stained glass.

You’ll find some old timers (& unfortunately some new timers who learned bad habits from old timers) on the internet demonstrating how to make glass art without safety gear.

And well…I’m just going to say it.

That’s. Bad. Practice.

Why do I need to wear a mask, gloves, & glasses when making Stained Glass Art?

Flux, glass, solder, & patina. Those are your main reasons for needing safety gear.


Solder is hot. Reaaallly freaking hot! And the last thing you want is some solder spattering up in your face or eyes.

Is lead solder bad for you? It’s not heated enough in the stained glass process to vaporize, but after handling, don’t eat, drink, smoke, or put your fingers in your ear hole, eye holes, nose holes (or anyone else’s for that matter).

It’s easiest, & best to wear gloves when you’re handling anything lead, but if you having some Lead Removal Soap on hand is a good idea.

D-Lead Removal Hand & Body Soap

If you’re concerned about lead, you can use lead free solder. It is a bit more difficult to work with than lead solder, but absolutely doable with patience & practice.

In fact, I work almost entirely lead free (except when doing repairs). Here’s a post I did All About Lead Free Solder.


Flux is not nice for the lungs, skin, or eyes for that matter. I recommend Blu-Glass Flux because it’s formulated for sensitive people, but there is no flux that’s completely safe. You should always have good ventilation and wear a mask when using any flux.

Our faces are super close to our work so the concentration is high right where we’re breathing. And we don’t have fancy sniffers to tell how many ppm are in the air so we really have no way of knowing if we’re reaching “adequate ventilation” as described in the SDS sheets for any of the fluxes.

Canfield Blu-Glass Flux

*At no cost to you, as an amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Glass Cutting & Breaking

Glass is sharp. We all know that. And no one likes a shard of glass in their eye or stuck in their foot. So safety glasses or a face shield are an absolute must and cut resistant gloves & closed toe shoes are a darn good idea. (Links at the end of this post to my favorites. Glasses, face shield, & gloves. You’re on your own for the shoes.😀)

Glass Grinding

Dust created in glass grinding is bad to breathe. That’s why your glass grinder bit should always be wet.

Despite the water keeping the dust at bay, some people in the glass community have had concerns about it.

Crystalline silica causes the lung disease, Silicosis.

Stained glass is an amorphous or non-crystalline solid, which is different.

But as of the time of this writing, I cannot find definitive, scientific proof that amorphous silica doesn’t cause any other kind of lung irritation or disease.

Here’s a bit of research on the subject, (please do research and make your own decision):

Sooo…always keep your grinder bits wet. It helps keep you safe & saves your grinder bits from excess wear. There’s no harm done if you choose to wear a mask as well.


Patina changes the color of your solder to either black or copper.

Patina is a strong freakin’ chemical. There are serious short & long term physical hazards of use without safety equipment like skin peeling & blindness. Please read the SDS for whichever brand you choose to use.

Link to Novacan SDS (Safety Data Sheets):

If you choose to use patina, pleeeeeeeease gear up!

What safety gear do I wear during what steps of the stained glass process?

You’re going to want to wear gear during most of the stained glass process. The only time you can probably get away without anything is during foiling.

The good part, is you don’t have to wear all of your gear for every process. It’s a good idea to wear close toed shoes in the studio area.

Here’s a video about what you need & when (there’s links at the end of the post for the ones I use):

And just in case ya prefer it written out (links for the gear I use in the next section)

Cutting & Breaking

  • Safety Glasses or Face Shield
  • Cut Resistant Gloves (optional)


  • Safety glasses or Face Shield
  • Cut Resistant Gloves (optional)
  • P100 mask (often recommended – be sure to at least keep your grinder bit wet at all times)


  • Safety glasses if you’re really klutzy? Also, don’t run with scissors.


  • Safety Glasses or Face Shield
  • Rubber or Nitrile gloves
  • P100 mask
  • Heat resistant gloves or use clamps


If you choose to use it, do so at your own risk, and please, please use all of the following:

  • Safety Glasses or Face Shield
  • P100 mask
  • Rubber or Nitrile gloves
  • Working outside or, if indoors, with very good ventilation (in conjunction with safety gear) is smart.

Where do I find Stained Glass Safety gear?

Many of the items I’ve listed, you may already have at home. Check out your local hardware store for safety glasses, face shields, masks, & gloves.

If you’d rather buy your stuff online, here’s links to the gear I use:

Honeywell Safety Glasses

Any safety glasses will do ya, but I like these because they have bendy arms so you can size them to fit your head. And then ya don’t get that weird headache from the arms squishing you.

Safety Works Adjustable Face Shield

Glasses are good, but this face shield has saved my eyeballs & face skin more than once from solder bb’s. I wear it to grind too.

Miller Half Mask Respirator

Make sure you check sizing for your face with the mask. 😷

Schwer Cut Resistant Gloves

These gloves help save your pats from cuts when you’re cutting, breaking, & grinding.

BeeSure Nitrile Gloves

You can use any type of Nitrile Gloves for soldering & patina if you have some already. This brand is quality.

*At no extra cost to you, as an amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I’ll only ever recommend products I use & love, or know to be good quality!

An important note: I am not a Safety Professional and as such accept no liability for your safety or others around you. The safety gear listed here are industry standard recommendations. Keep your children & pets away from your stained glass studio area. Please research the individual products you’re going to use in making your art. Look for SDS/MSDS sheets for each.

Be smart. Be informed. And please, be safe.

Peace, Love, & Stained Glass,

-Shannie 🙂

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