You don’t just find this glass on the beach you know!

Victorian Front Door Didsbury Encapsulated Glass

Choosing a specific font

So after booking a Victorian front door restoration in with David in Didsbury I asked the usual questions confirming the furniture he would like on the door, the colour and of course, the font on the fanlight.

Customers are normally so excited by the door they’re happy with one of the half dozen or so fonts I show them but now and again you get one who really has their eye on something they’ve seen on the TV, on a poster or even something on a cereal box.

Didot Font 61

David asks me to take a look at Didot font. ‘Can you use this font?’ he asks.

‘If it exists, you can have it.’ I say. If it’s in Word no problem, if not then we just need to get hold of a font ‘file’ from the internet.

Sandblasting a piece of glass

The design for the layout of the numbering on your fanlight is done in some software, this is sent to a machine that cut’s out a vinyl transfer which gets stuck onto your piece of glass. After being blasted with sand, the transfer is removed to leave a clear area of glass in the shape of your house number, sometimes we have a border.

David’s font, Didot, can be found in Word and so can be used on the software used to design the numbering layout. If the font was not already available on the designer’s computer we can get the font online. Liz in Stretford actually sent me a font file for the Amalia font and an image showing the font (so we can double check the font looks like the image), Amalia font comes in another version which would look great in a 60’s space station.


Fanlight Window

Size and position

When I visit to undercoat the frame I tape up a rectangle on the existing fanlight to show my recommendations for the size of the number and it’s position (‘in the middle’ is the obvious place when you have a rectangular fanlight but Andrea’s fanlight in Monton has an arched top so I have to just use my common sense). The customer always agrees with my size and position suggestion unless they’ve already decided this, as Liz did with her number 10 in Stretford. She’s a graphic designer and simply gave me a size.


Fan Light Number Sixteen 16-PR1-9RE


Anyway, after making up David’s fanlight and fitting it we end up with this beautiful 61 that just sits lovely in it’s new home like it grew there over the last century.


Georgian Door Fanlights

David even sent me a photo I am never likely to get of my own accord, the street light casting the shadow of the number into the hallway late at night.

Light through a fanlight

Frosted door glass

Sandblasting  doesn’t have to be restricted to numbers either. For years we’ve been replicating acid etched glass in front doors.

Edwardian Front Door in Manchester

Acid etching is a dying industry because of health and safety, using acid strong enough to take the top layer of a piece of glass is pretty dangerous. Only the old school boys do it now.

Frosting glass for a front door is mostly done by sandblasting. Here’s a sample of one we did a couple of years ago using a design by customer Jan.

Victorian Door Restoration

Let's get creative

So let’s create something amazing for you. Make a sketch or take a look on Pinterest and let’s see what we can come up with.

#sandblasted #glass #glazing #acideched

Leave a Reply