One of my main goals when I purchased my Silhouette Cameo 3 was to have the ability to etch glass. How did you do it? I didn’t have the first clue but with a little research I found it wasn’t actually that difficult.
I have been practicing on a glass water bottle all week and now that I have a good idea of how to do it I am ready to finish off my bottle and show you how in the process.
The things you will need are:
A stencil of the image you want on your glass item (I printed one on stencil vinyl with my Silhouette)
A glass item you wish to etch like the water bottle I’ve been practicing on
Armor Etch or a similar etching cream
A brush or some people use Popsicle sticks
Gloves if you aren’t a daredevil like me (the etching cream comes with a heavy warning not to get it anywhere near your hands)
An old rag or paper towel
The first thing I always do when etching a glass or applying vinyl is clean the surface with rubbing alcohol. I feel like the adhesives can really do their jobs if you give it a clean surface to stick to.
Next I printed my design on stencil vinyl with my Silhouette Cameo 3. Before you can stick it to your glass you have to weed out the parts you don’t want this way the etching cream can do it’s job in the open areas.
After weeding out your design you take your transfer tape and rub it on the design. You want to rub hard because you want it to come up off the backing of your stencil vinyl with little resistance.
When you peel up the transfer tape your whole design should come up with the transfer tape. If not go back and rub some more. You really want the stencil vinyl to stick to your glass or the etching cream could get under your design and etch parts you don’t want to be etched.
Once you have your stencil on the transfer tape you can stick it to your glass surface where you want the etching to be. When it is where you want it you can rub it with your Silhouette tool again to get it pressed down with no air bubbles.
When you feel like your stencil is rubbed down as much as possible you can peel back the transfer tape. Make sure your design stays down or you will etch in places you don’t want to. I like to go back over my design with my thumb nail to make sure there are no air bubbles or edges that are still free.
Now it’s time to etch! Make sure you shake your bottle before opening to get it melded together. Use your brush to paint over the design but watch your edges. If you get any on the outside of the design it will leave a mark no matter how fast you wipe it off.
A tip I found useful was to paint in all directions before you remove the cream. I have not had one image turn out badly when using this method.
After I have painted the cream in every direction I wipe the extra off and then run the bottle under water to remove any cream left over and stop the reaction. When I feel like the cream is gone and the reaction has stopped I peel back the stencil vinyl to reveal my work.
I am 100% sold on etching glass. The look of the finished product is impressive and classy.
If you have any questions that I can help with I’d be happy to share my tips and tricks as I figure them out.