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What is glass etching?


Etching is the erosion of a glossy surface, such as glass, to create a matte finish. etchall® is the #1 product in chemical glass etching: the process of applying a cream or liquid to the glass to create your design. Watch this video to see what etching is and how easy it is to do!

How can I remove the etching?

We’ll say it again: etching is permanent! It is not a coating, it is eaten into the surface. This is why it’s important to use caution and common sense when you open that bottle! Mask and cover parts of your glass that you don’t want to etch, don’t do your etchall® projects on top of glass tables and marble countertops, don’t pour your cream in bathtubs and porcelain sinks, etc.

That may sound obvious, but those are all things people have done!

Can you etch in color?


Etching on normal clear glass is always going to be white. Typical dark gray slate will etch to a light gray/silver. Colored glass and porcelain will etch to a muted shade of whatever color the object is. In dichroic glasswork, etching is used to remove the colorful coating to reveal the black base underneath.

You can use wax pigments such as rub ‘n buff to add color after etching, but test first to see how the product looks on an etched surface. You can also use paint, ink, pencil, and more on top of the etched surface as if it was a canvas.


What kind of glass can I etch with etchall®?


You can etch almost any kind of glass with etchall® products, whether it’s a mason jar from the dollar store or the window of your house. The only exception is glass that has a high lead content, such as laboratory vials and certain types of Pyrex.

If in doubt of the “etchability” of an object, use a toothpick to apply a tiny dot of crème to the bottom of the piece. Wait 15 minutes, wash off, and examine.

Also be aware that while colored glass (for example, a green olive oil bottle) can be etched, some colorful items you find in stores are actually clear glass coated in colored plastic. Look through the bottom of the container to see if it is clear, in which case the plastic and will not etch! If the color is solid the whole way through, etch away!


Is it safe to eat off the etched glass?


The etching by itself is safe to eat or drink from after a thorough washing. However, paint or other art materials that you put over the etched surface may not be, so we recommend keeping those off the inside and top edge of dishes that will touch food or mouths.


Can etched glass be put in the dishwasher?


Yes, the etching is permanent and completely dishwasher safe. (However, we cannot speak for paint or other art materials put on top of the etching.)


Can I paint on the etched surface?


Yes, etchall products give “tooth” or texture that is needed to hold acrylic or oil paints on a glass surface. You can also draw with colored pencils, rubberstamp using permanent ink and emboss. Think of etchall as a “medium”…what sandpaper is to wood, etchall etching products are to glass, mirror, marble, slate and porcelain.

What's the difference between etchall® etching creme and etchall dip 'n etch?

etchall® etching creme is thick like frosting or peanut butter, so that you can spread it over a stencil. Use this when you want to create an etched design on an un-etched background. It’s a necessity for vertical etching!

etchall® dip ‘n etch is a liquid – like water. It works by submerging your object in the etchant, creating an all-over etch. You can dip the whole object, or part of it such as the stem of a wine glass or the upper lip of a vase. Use with stencils or stickers to create a negative etching, with a non-etched design on the etched surface.