How To Use Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream
I recently acquired an old coffee table with claw foot legs, the finish on the table was in rough shape so painting it was a no brainer. The glass top was surprisingly in much better shape than the table itself but I decided I wanted to do something a little bit unique to compliment the great legs.
I decided that I really wanted to try my hand at glass etching so I got out my Cricut and started planning out a stencil. After 2 days of agonizing over what to stencil on the table (I kept going back to Moroccan tiles but they just don't match the look of the table LOL), I decided on some angel/gargoyle wings and I cut them with my Cricut.
Side Note: I use 7mil Mylar for any stencils I plan to reuse. For this stencil I decided to cut 1 wing and flip it for the 2nd wing rather than cutting 2 vinyl stencils. And I thought hey I can reuse these for sure but then like a dope I caught the stencil on my shower drain when rinsing it and ripped it HA typical me :)
To prep the glass for etching I washed the glass with water and dish soap (Dawn to cut the grease) and then I washed it again with vinegar to remove any residues. After the glass was cleaned up I measured out and placed my stencil. I marked out my stencil placement by squaring out the corners with a Sharpie permanent marker as shown below:
One of the most important keys to any stencil project is preventing any creams from bleeding under the stencil and causing blurred lines. The Mylar I use to make my stencils does not have an adhesive backing so in order to ensure the stencil was tight and did not move I sprayed it with temporary fabric adhesive (this is AWESOME stuff for stenciling, it rinses away with water and leaves no residue on the glass), and I adhered it to the glass using my sharpie corners for guidance.
Here's Where Shit Gets Real People.
I applied the etching cream to to the table using a hard bristle crafting brush and following all the guidance I found reading other blogs:
1.) Use Armour Etch in a well ventilated area. I personally did not find the smell that overwhelming but I did my stenciling on the floor of my ensuite with the bathroom fan running and the window open.
2.) Wear rubber gloves and eye protection - you are working with acid. Feel free to drink wine while you work but I would recommend a plastic etch proof cup and no more than 1 glass!!!
3.) Apply the etching cream using a hard bristled brush and using even one directional brush strokes to prevent swirling etc. in your finish.
4.) Apply the etching cream THICK. This is an important step and one my cheap ass failed at (that cream is expensive!) I applied my cream too thin and after rinsing my stencil was patchy and barely there! I had to try and perfectly line up my stencil again and re-apply. But if you're cheap like me here's the good news! The cream is reusable so when you're done, before rinsing, scrape off as much of your cream as you can (carefully so not to bump your stencil) and put it back in the bottle. YAY! Thrifty :)
5.) Leave the etching cream on for 25 minutes. When your cream is done doing it's magic it is time to rinse. Rinse with cold water BEFORE removing your stencil. For this step I used my shower because I was working with such a large piece, I simply placed the glass on the floor of the shower and hosed it off. The more water the better! You not only want to clean off your glass thoroughly but you also want to dilute the acid so it's not sitting in your sink/shower etc.
6.) Clean your glass again with glass cleaner to remove any residue from the adhesive and pat yourself on the back. YOU ARE ALL DONE!!!
When I finish the table itself I will have to share an update on the final look. Until then, Happy Etching Friends :)
Vintage & Varnish