This week I experimented with some glass etching. I tried two different brands. I had a small etching project to do for a client, so decided I better experiment somewhere in my own home first. I used a French door that leads from a hallway into my kitchen. I really need to re-paint this door, so don’t look too closely. It’s on my list.
When I placed my Modello order for my client, I ordered extras for my door panes. I started off using Armour Etch , because that is all I could find locally. I did 3 panes of my door, using the same small designs I would be using on my clients’ window panes. It was amazingly quick and easy! When you use Armour Etch, you apply it thickly, with a brush. This does seem to work well, for a design such as this one, that has fine lines. The good and bad part is that it only takes 1 minute for this to etch and you’re done. I say it’s good and bad because when you are doing a lot of designs, such as 15 panes in a French door, it’s too rushed to try to do them all at once and then wash off all of the etching cream in 1 minute. I only had a few of these small designs to do for my client, so for this project, the Armour Etch worked well. I could could see that doing larger areas was not going to work using a brush though.
Next, I experimented with Etchall cream. Again, I used it on my own French door first. For this type of project, I like the Etchall better than the Armour Etch. This etching cream is applied with a spatula vs. a brush, which makes for an easier and smoother application for larger areas or when you have several designs to do at once. This etching cream needs to sit on the glass for 15 minutes and then it’s done. It stops activating after the 15 minutes, so there is no rush to hurry and scrape it off. A great selling point for this product is that it is reusable. You scrape it off and return it to the jar to reuse several more times. A good idea!
When I was done with my French door, I could tell no difference between the panes I did with Armour Etch and the ones I did with Etchall. You really have to look closely to see the etched" swirls" on my French door. It’s very difficult to photograph a glass door, I quickly found out! Here is a close up of 2 panes. I opened the door, so you are seeing a green wall behind the glass, which is makes the etching process look reversed. Really, the panes are clear glass and the design is the etched part.
Again, difficult to photograph, but look closely and you will see the "swirls" in each of the small panes and the number 42 in reverse. This is a basement entrance door. Here is a closer look at the number:
I was just amazed at how easy it was to etch glass and will be exploring this art form much more. There is a wealth of information on both the Armour Etch and Etchall websites, as well as on Melanie Royal’s Modello website. Several books are available on this topic and you can find many articles on the Internet if you do a search.