If you want to add your logo, company name or a fun design to your front windows or any other glass in your business, you can hire a glazier to do it, or you can etch the logo in the glass yourself. Glass etching, even if you are not a professional glazier, may be easier than you think -- You simply rub etching cream on glass and wait for it to set.
However, if you want the work to look as professional as possible. You need the right tools. Here are five essentials:
1. Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Before you etch the glass, you need to ensure it is as clean as possible. Don't reach for your regular glass cleaner. Unfortunately, most commercial cleaners can leave streaks or a slight film, and that can get in between the etching cream and the glass, causing your final product to have bumps or irregularities.
Instead, use isopropyl rubbing alcohol to clean the glass. Simply, pour it in an empty spray bottle so it is easy to dispense.
In addition to using rubbing alcohol, you should also use a squeegee when cleaning your glass. Squeegees remove the cleaning solution and moisture more effectively than paper towels, and as a result, they leave fewer streaks or built-up residue.
Even if you normally use paper towels to clean your glass, it is critical to use something more effective when you are cleaning before etching. In lieu of a squeegee, a chamois cloth or a bundle of newspapers are effective as well.
3. Sheet of Vinyl With Adhesive Backing
Once it is clean, you can start to add the glass etching cream to your glass. To minimise errors, use a stencil rather than drawing freehand. However, it is typically better to use vinyl with adhesive backing than it is to tape a stencil to the glass.
Unfortunately, when you use tape and a stencil, the tape can leave gaps between the stencil and the glass, and the cream can get into the gaps, causing your final result to look messy.
If you want clear borders, you need to draw or trace your logo or design onto a sheet of vinyl with adhesive backing. Alternatively, you can use contact paper.
Once your design is drawn, carefully cut it out using an exacto knife. Then, adhere the vinyl to your glass. Make sure there are no air bubbles close to the area where you are going to be adding the etching cream, or the cream may seep into them and ruin your design.
4. Craft Sticks
Instead of painting the etching cream on the glass, consider using craft or popsicle sticks to apply it. That way you don't have to worry about cleaning brushes. Instead, you can simply throw the popsicle sticks into the trash.
Additionally, when you apply the cream to the glass with a stick, it doesn't leave brush marks in the etching, and that ultimately creates a more refined looking final product.
5. Anti-Gravity Paint Dispenser
Unfortunately, if you spill the etching cream while you are adding your logo or a design to your business's glass, the etching cream can stain your flooring, and that is a risk whether you have wood floors, carpeting or another type of flooring.
Instead of just setting your can of etching cream on the ground, use an anti-gravity paint dispenser. You simply pour in the etching cream, and these special dispensers stop it from spilling. When you put your stick in the dispenser, it gets the etching cream from where it is safely stored in a sponge-like feature.
Before attempting to etch your own glass, spend some time practicing on old mirrors, recycling jars or other glass that isn't terribly important to you. For more tips, or if you'd like to leave the job to the professionals, contact glaziers in your area.