Glass etching is a nice artistic hobby which can be done quite inexpensively on a basic level using etching cream (it eats into the glass). Or you can use other methods such as sandblasting or hand engraving using a dremel. Glass etching cream is also widely known as acid cream and is one of the easiest ways to personalize your glass. It is fairly inexpensive but a jar doesn’t go a long way since you have to coat your glass with a thick layer to get it to fully etch correctly. The cream has a diluted mixture of chemicals which eats or etches the surface of the glass very lightly. The mixture is comprised of the hazardous chemicals, so extreme care is required.
Below is the etching cream method.
You will need the following materials for this.
Tape or vinyl contact paper
Pen, pencil, or sharpie
Craft knife, razor blade, or utility knife
A camel hair or other non-synthetic paint brush
Glass etching cream (Armour Etch is good, ask at your hobby shop)
Step 1: Wash the glass that you are going to etch on with soap and water.
Step 2: Dry it with a clean cloth.
Step 3: Apply tape or a piece of vinyl contact paper to overlay on to the glass and then cut out your design. Vinyl contact is vinyl with an adhesive side.
Step 4: Draw your design onto to the tape or vinyl contact paper covering the glass that you want to etch.
Step 5: Using craft knife, razor blade, or utility knife cut out the design you drew in step 4.
Step 6: Apply a layer of etching cream to the areas you cut out with a brush.
Step 7: Leave the glass etching cream on for the amount of time recommended by whichever product you purchased. Afterwards rinse of the glass etching cream off with water.
Step 8: Remove the tape or vinyl contact and then clean the piece with a glass cleaner.
Step 9: Now sit back and admire how cool it looks. The great thing about etching on glass is that it is an easy and fun way to turn a boring object into a unique piece of art.
Glass sandblasting is one of the most desirable etching processes available today because it can help you achieve artistic items with various unique effects. It basically operates by using a sandblaster that is powered by an air compressor to blast high pressure abrasives onto the glass. The hard abrasives then lightly chips the surface of the glass to create a frosted look. The longer you blast and the higher the pressure, the deeper the exposed parts of the stencil are etched into the glass.
Other simple ways are to engrave the glass by hand with a special scribe utensil. You can simply scratch the image in or use the stipple technique which uses dots to make up the image.
Hand Held Rotary Engraver: Common tools you can use is a Dremel rotary or a Dental drill engraver. Most hardware and hobby stores will have a similar rotary or Dremel tool.
Use extreme caution with hobby Blade
Wear gloves with the Armour Etch, if you get it on your skin it will give you a chemical burn you won’t feel until you wash it off
Keep everything out of the reach of children!