How to Etch Glass in a Easy Way

How to Etch Glass in a Easy Way

Learn How to Easily Etch Glass using Armour Etching Cream and a Cricut Vinyl Stencil through Sweet Red Poppy tutorial. 

Glass Etching Supplies

  • Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Scraper
  • Stencil or Permanent Vinyl
  • Scissors
  • Painters Tape
  • Gloves
  • Glass
  • Transfer Tape
  • Alcohol
  • Weeding Tool
  • Paper Towels

Creating your Stencil

To create the stencil choose a design within Design Space or create your own. I like to add a shape, lay the design on top of it and slice it. This will leave you with a large shape and the letters cut out of the middle. The large area of vinyl will protect the glass from the etching cream.

Choosing the Right Glass for Glass Etching

First off you want to make sure you are using an item that is compatible with this etching cream. It is only recommended that you use this method on small pieces of glass. The cream will etch only work on bare, uncoated glass. Typically, it’s recommended to avoid Pyrex as it may not etch at all or it may have uneven results.

Before working with the glass, place a clean pair or gloves on your hands.

Clean the Glass

Begin by cleaning the glass thoroughly with Alcohol, this will remove any residue that might prevent the etching cream from doing its job. Wipe away any moisture with a clean paper towel.

Apply your Glass Etching Stencil

It’s important to use a pair of gloves when applying the stencil to prevent any oils from your hands from transferring to the glass and to protect your fingers from the acid.

Make sure both the glass and the stencil are at room temperature before beginning this process.

Leftover oils on the glass can prevent the stencil from fully adhering to the glass which can allow the etching cream to creep under the vinyl and destroy the integrity of the design.

Press down on the stencil making sure that it’s fully adhered to the glass. 

Hold your glass up to a bright light and inspect the stencil to make sure there isn’t any hair or debris stuck under the design.

Make sure to cover any of the areas that will be touched by the rinse water with masking tape to protect it from the etching cream. 

Apply Armour Etch Cream

Apply a layer of cream over the vinyl making sure not to get any of the cream outside of the vinyl stencil. The cream should be patted onto the stencil. Avoid brushing the cream on as this can cause brushstrokes in your finished product. The cream should be patted on with a paintbrush.

Once the area has been fully covered, brush the etching cream around the design back and forth.

For the best results, use a paintbrush instead of a foam brush. This will allow you to get better coverage and get the cream into the nooks and crannies of the stencil.

The directions will advise you to leave the cream in place for 1 minute,  In my experience, I’ve found that’s not quite long enough to get great results. Instead, leave the cream on for about 5-10 minutes.

Remove Etching Cream

Rinse the etch cream off under running water. Remove the vinyl stencil and wash the glass once more.

For an even brighter etch you can reapply the etching cream a second time after cleaning the first layer off completely.

Thoroughly dry the glass to reveal the design.

Now you have your finished etched glass! You can reuse these same instructions on a variety of different glass objects! The sky is the limit with this project.

Troubleshooting Glass Etching

Make sure that both your glass and stencil are at room temperature before using it.

Check to make sure that there isn’t any hair or debris stuck under the stencil. You can do this by holding the glass up to bright light.

Completely surround the stencil with tape to prevent any ghosting from appearing where the cream might accidentally spread to especially where the cream will run when being washed.

Avoid brushing the cream on as this can cause brushstrokes in your finished product. The cream should be patted on with a paintbrush.

Glass with a high leaded content can be hard to etch. I recommend using glass from the Dollar Store.


Thanks Sweet Red Poppy for this tutorial!