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Old 04-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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Window Etching...Piece of Cake!

I was inspired by a DIY project I saw a co-worker do with a drinking glass...My wife and I attend "Burning Man" each year. I wanted to etch an image of the Burning Man icon on the back window of my Tradewind. I saved an image I wanted from Google Image search, placed the file in Word. With a 'landscape' set-up I printed half of the image at a time and was able to make the image big enough for the window. I removed the window, taped the print out on the inside of the window. Looking through it from the outside I used painter's tape (the blue stuff) to create an outline for a stencil. With some "Armor Etch" from the local craft store (about $13 for the small bottle I needed) I brushed it on the glass following the directions with one major exception. The recommendation is for the goop to stay on for 1 minute. I let it go 5 min, washed it off and saw it wasn't enough, reapplied the goop and let it sit an additional 30 minutes. I didn't think it worked at first, but when I removed the tape I was very happy with the results!
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Exclamation Another way

When I lived in the Seattle area, I knew someone who did glass etching.
He did it by covering the glass with a plastic film. He then cut out the area to be etched with an Exact-o knife. He etched the glass with a sand blaster. The blasting medium just bounced of the plastic film.

I used some of his work in bar cabinets when I finished our rec room.

How to Etch Glass by Sandblasting | eHow.com

Ken
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by onemanclan View Post
I was inspired by a DIY project I saw a co-worker do with a drinking glass...My wife and I attend "Burning Man" each year. I wanted to etch an image of the Burning Man icon on the back window of my Tradewind. I saved an image I wanted from Google Image search, placed the file in Word. With a 'landscape' set-up I printed half of the image at a time and was able to make the image big enough for the window. I removed the window, taped the print out on the inside of the window. Looking through it from the outside I used painter's tape (the blue stuff) to create an outline for a stencil. With some "Armor Etch" from the local craft store (about $13 for the small bottle I needed) I brushed it on the glass following the directions with one major exception. The recommendation is for the goop to stay on for 1 minute. I let it go 5 min, washed it off and saw it wasn't enough, reapplied the goop and let it sit an additional 30 minutes. I didn't think it worked at first, but when I removed the tape I was very happy with the results!
Be aware that your window is tempered on the surface.

Usually, any disturbance of that surface will make the glass shatter when exposed to a number of cycles with temperature, such as the sun.

Andy
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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I did glass etching with sand blasting for several years. Now that I only have 50% lung capacity from Silicosis, I would recommend that hobbyists not attempt it. The acid etching is safe enough but you can't get the WOW factor in your etching like you can with sand blasting. Also, Like Andy said - don't mess with surface tempered glass. Go to a sign shop and have a vinyl decal made.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input...I avoided the sand blasting for more reasons than what you listed Doug, but there's another reason to avoid it...As far as the tempered glass concern, it's fine. It isn't etched deeply, it is razor sharp as far as the edges go so it isn't "spreading". Because of your concern I called a local glazer and he said what I did is done to car windows all the time without issue...Lastly, it has the WOW factor as far as my friends, my wife and I are concerned!
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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First of all it looks cool. I really dig it but x2 on decals. Its cheap, removeable, changeable, easy and even protects when done right.

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As far as the tempered glass concern, it's fine. It isn't etched deeply,..
You do know tempered glass is pre-tensioned and no matter what anyone tells you otherwise, you have damaged the surface that retains the tension. The glass is not as strong as it once was, thats a fact but Im guessing its not weakened enough to matter for a loooong time.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Very nice etch job. My wife has been a glass artist for over 25 years and has done estensive SURFACE etching on auto windows and tempered panels for shower doors and commercial applications. A surface etch is a one time pass with the abrasive. She works in a sealed room with a blasting cabinet and a fresh air supply and extensive air filtration system. You can carve even deeper with laminated glass as long as you stay out of the lamination. She often does a 20 stage carving on float glass that is 1/2 inch thick and shows an amazing depth in the design (not on tempered).
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