How to Use Glass Etching Cream

etched flower on glass
What You'll Need
Glass surface
X-Acto knife
Glass-etching cream
Glass cleaner
Clean, lint-free cloth
Regular paper or contact paper
Masking tape
Pen or pencil
Warm water
Paper towels

One of the most fun, creative ways to improve the look and feel of glass in your home is to use a glass-etching cream. Like the name implies, this cream is an acidic liquid that permanently etches your glass surfaces. Although glass is fragile, using etching cream to turn a simple glass into a piece of art is simpler than it sounds.

Warning: Wear gloves when working with etching cream and be sure you don’t get any on your skin. Work in a well-ventilated area and follow all safety precautions as provided on the product.

Step 1 – Choosing and Cleaning Your Glass

You can choose to etch any kind of glass, like a table, window, or cup. Once you’ve chosen your glass surface, clean it with a glass cleaner and lint-free cloth to get rid of any dust or debris.

Step 2 – Sketching a Design

Next, sketch out the design you want on your glass on a piece of paper. It can be anything you want, from a fleur-de-lis to simple, modern lines. You can also choose to use simple shapes like circles or lines. In this case, you do not need to make a sketch.

Step 3 – Creating a Stencil

If you do choose a simple design, like circles, you can get creative by using notebook-paper hole reinforcers as a stencil. If you want to create your own stencil, however, simply draw or trace your design and then cut it out with an X-Acto knife. You can do this on a regular piece of paper, using tape to adhere it to the glass, or you can use contact paper with the adhesive already on it.

Step 4 – Applying Your Design

If you want to add color to your glass, now is the time to do so. Then, you can apply your stencil. If you used contact paper, peel off the back and apply it to your glass surface. If you used regular paper, apply the design with masking tape.

Step 5 – Using Etching Cream

Once you’ve applied your stencil, you can use the etching cream as directed on the product. With most creams, you can use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of the cream, and wait for 5 minutes. Then, gently remove the cream with warm water and a paper towel. You can then remove the stencil.