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Glass Etching With Color


  1. Etching cream.  This is the one I use and recommend.  
  1. Stencil.  You can make your own like I did, or buy one.  I recommend a stencil that will stick to your surface instead of one that just sits on top.  
  1. Gloves  
  1. Running water  
  1. Old paint brush or something to rub the etching cream onto your container.  
  1. A container to etch into.  I used a glass tile I bought at a hardware store.  I have also done this on a variety of glass drinking glasses and wine glasses.   
  1. Optional: if you want to color your etched glass, I used this pen I bought from Dollar Tree.   

To make my stencil I used cricut stencil vinyl. You could also use removable vinyl in any color.  Create your design, and have your Cricut or other vinyl cutting machine cut it out.  When you weed out your design you will want to weed it backwards from what you normally would do.  You want to remove your design and everything you want to show.  I chose a very detailed piece, which worked, but took a long time to weed and insure everything transferred to my glass tile.   I used transfer tape to transfer me design to my glass tile.

Make sure your stencil is on your glass piece well.  You do not want any bubbles or creases the etching cream can get into.  This is a chemical reaction that happens to make the etching into the glass.  So, it is recommended to wear gloves to protect your skin.  Also, once you etch into your glass it is permanent and should not have any issues with being put in a dishwasher.   

Apply a good amount of the etching cream onto your glass item/over your stencil, and let it sit for a few minutes.  You can wipe any extra etching cream back into the container to be used again on your next project.  A little goes a long way.  I apply the etching cream with an old cheap paint brush.  I do not recommend using a nice brush for this.  After a few minutes have passed you can rinse off the etching cream and remove your stencil.   

etch glass

I then decided to try and add a little color to my etched areas to make them stand out more.  I used this rose gold marker I bought from Dollar Tree.  The marker wipes off easily from the glass area, but sticks to the etched sections.  I let it sit on my piece for a day, then tried wiping off the extra color with water.  All of the color was removed, even over the etched sections.  So, I reapplied the marker/color and wiped it off as I went.  If I wiped it off over uncolored etched parts it stuck to those sections and colored them.  I did not run it under water a second time.  I would not recommend this method for glass wear that you will need to clean.  You could color different sections of the etched glass in different colors if you want.   

etch glass

If anyone has colored etched glass and it does not come off with water, then please leave a message below to help others.  I am happy with how this piece turned out.  I like that it works on all glass items not just your typical drinking glasses.  I have also done this technique on a mirror years ago as part of a wedding gift to a friend.  If you have wanted to try etching glass, but were afraid, then don’t be.  It is easy and fun.   

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