A Few Ways Glaziers Can Decorate Your Glass Features

If you have a glass tabletop, large mirrors or windows that you don't actually look through, a glazier can turn them into a something add to the décor of your home. There are a few different techniques that can be used to produce different results when etching glass. Unless you have experience with them it is better to have a professional do it or you could ruin an expensive piece of glass. However, it is a good idea to know what the techniques are and what each is used for so you know what to ask about when talking with the professional.

Acid Etching

Acid etching is good for creating finely detailed designs in glass. The design is drawn and cut out of a material that will not be affected by the acid. This pattern is then applied to the glass. It must be applied securely and flat so none of the acid can get underneath it, etching areas that are not supposed to be etched. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is then applied to the areas that are not covered. This acid etches the glass it touches by dissolving it. A trained professional can create different designs and textures in the glass with this technique.

Cream Etching

Cream etching is done with a cream compound made up of sodium and hydrogen fluorides. Instead of just dissolving the glass to create a design cut into it, the glass is pitted in a way that makes it appear frosted. The etched part is rough and white. This technique is good if you want to add colour and texture to the glass.


When you have a large piece of glass that you want to have colour and texture, the sandblasting technique is best. It does not create fine details the way acid etching does; the result is more like a cream etching. Sand or another abrasive material is used with an air compressor and blasted at the glass. It takes a skilled hand to keep the proper amount of pressure so the glass does not break. This can be done to the top of a table to help keep items from sliding around on the glass.

Etching adds depth and design to a piece of glass, whether it is your drinking glasses or the side windows around your front door. If you are trying to have some glass that is uniquely yours, create the design yourself and have the glazier do the etching. It can also make for wonderful gifts for different occasions.