How to Use Etching Cream to Etch Glass

What You'll Need
Glass items
Etching Cream (craft stores)
Stencil (craft store)
Masking tape
Artist's paintbrush
Soft cloth
Newspaper or plastic bag

Learning how to etch glass is easy, allowing you to complete stunning projects. Adding a border to plates, a monogram to glasses or an ornate design to vases will result in one-of-a-kind pieces. Here are the steps to using etching cream to etch glass to make your own for special pieces for your home or for gifts.

Step 1 - Choosing the Glass For Etching

When choosing the item for etching, the choices are limitless. You can choose plates, bowls, wine glasses, perfume bottles, wine bottle, or vases, to name a few. Be sure you get smooth glass. Textured glass does not get as good a result. Colored glass is fine if you want to use it. After you have chosen your glass, you will need to pick up the best stencil for your project.

Step 2 - Choosing the Right Stencil

There are many designs available, so you are sure to find something that you will like. Just be sure you choose the right size of stencil for your glass piece. You will want to be sure that it is large enough, say for the center of a plate, to stand out. Then again, if you get one that is too large, it will not look as good. Take your glass piece with you and hold the stencil up to the piece to size it up. This will assure that the stencil fits the piece. After you have chosen your stencil design, you will be ready to to prepare for the process.

Step 4 - Preparation For Etching

It is best to do this project in the kitchen because you will need access to the sink. Lay out newspapers or a plastic bag to work on. The etch cream is acid and you will not want spills on your surfaces. If your stencil has more than one design on it, cut it out leaving as much of a border around it as possible. If your stencil is a single pattern that you will be using, you are ready. Tape the stencil onto the glass being careful to place it in the center and straight. Use the masking tape around all of the outer edges to hold in place. You are ready to start etching!

Step 5 - Etching the Glass

Shake the etching cream to mix. Carefully open the lid. Working on your glass piece over the newspaper or plastic bag, dip the artist's brush in the etch cream and apply to the open areas of the stencil. Don't use too much or you may get runs. After you have coated it, let it sit according to the manufacturer's instructions, usually 10 minutes. When the time is up, you will remove your stencil and clean the glass.

Step 6 - Uncovering the Etching

This is the fun part! Carefully remove the stencil and lay it in the sink to wash later so you can reuse it. Hold your glass piece under running cold water until all of the etch cream is gone and your etching is uncovered. Dry with a soft cloth, and you're done!