How to Etch Glass

Etching glass can add privacy to window or a dramatic flair to boring ordinary glass. You can pick up simple to follow kits at most hardware stores. Be sure to read the directions and follow all of the safety precautions.

To begin the process, first clean the surface of the glass with Windex or a similar glass cleaner and wipe clean with a soft lint-free cloth.

Next cover the surface with the clear contact paper that comes with the kit and press out all the bubbles. A plastic straight edge can help with this step.

Place the design you want to use it behind the glass. Once positioned, trace the design onto the contact paper.

If you are etching a mirror, use carbon paper on top of the contact paper then place your design on top of the carbon paper. Now trace the design, transferring it to the contact paper.

Using a sharp utility blade or knife, cut the contact paper away from the areas that you want to etch.

Once your pattern is cut out, go back over all of the edges of the contact paper to ensure that they are tight against the glass. Make sure that there are no bubbles at the edges.

Using a paper towel, apply the etching cream onto the design are. Be sure to fully cover the area. If you have the ability, do this in a ventalated area.

Sit and wait. This is one of the most important parts and often hardest for do it yourself people to do. Depending on the type of etching cream, this step can take up to 20 minutes.

Once you have finished waiting, rinse the etching cream off with cool water. If the glass is on a wall, use a sponge and bucket of water to remove the etching cream. Then follow up with a squirt bottle filled with water to be sure that you have removed all the etching cream from the glass.

Using the utility knife, peel off the contact paper and again rinse the glass with cool water.

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