Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glass Etching Tutorial

First off, I should start by saying....I am not a professional glass etcher. This was my first project. I may or may not do it again cause I'm tired of always finding the most toxic of chemicals to work with. Seriously, the stuff I've used over the years....I'm surprised I don't have an extra arm growing out my back.
So if you're not scared of corrosive materials and want to give it a try, I say..go for it.
The steps are pretty straight forward and simple. Just make sure you're in a well ventilated area with gloves and no one else in the room.
(ie..pets or husband..read below for why I said husband)

Supplies needed:
1. Armor Etch- I bought a small bottle from Dick Blick online right here.
I almost didn't have enough for the whole project, so if you have a bigger surface to cover, I suggest you get a larger bottle.

2.Contact Paper (you know, the stuff you cover your pantry shelves with)

3.x-acto blade

4.Paper towels and some rags

5.Glass or mirror to etch

Step 1: Draw your design or image on the contact paper and apply it to a clean mirror or glass. Make sure to smooth out any bubbles that get trapped underneath.

Step 2: cut out your design with your blade.

Step 3: slather on the Armor Etch (the thicker the better) Wait the recommended time for the solvent to eat away at your glass.

Step 4: I used a damp rag and paper towels to remove most of the armor etch. Throw these into the trash immediately. This stuff is crazy toxic and you don't want any left on a table or workspace where you could accidentally come in contact with it.

(So I thought I was being super careful. I was throwing away my paper towels and rags right after using them. Then along came Art my husband. He was taking out the trash. (perfect timing right?) Because my studio trash can is usually recyclable materials (paper), he dug his had in to grab the paper not knowing all my toxic man eating chemicals were on top. I screamed for him to wash his hands....and he took off lightning fast to the kitchen. He was lucky..no burns.

Step 5: pull off the contact paper. Clean off one more time with glass cleaner and voila...your masterpiece.


  1. There are different kind of blogs that I consider but the best art I wanna try is doing an etched glass, this art really a fashionable kind of works!

  2. Wow, you immortalized that ship onto mirror, such a brilliant art!