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Glass etching is a glass art technique that consists of applying acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances to the surface of the glass in order to roughen its texture in selected areas with the end goal of creating a design.


There’s so much you can do with glass etching. Its uses range from adding text and design to simple glassware like cups and jars at home, to creating full-fledged, mind-blowing art pieces and decorations for museums and churches.

Why glass etching?

If you’ve seen etched glass, then you’re probably already aware of its intriguing appearance. The “frosted” look, produced by abrading glass, has a very elegant feel that doesn’t look flashy or obtrusive, but instead subtle and decorative.


One of the best things about etching glass is that it’s not expensive and can be done at home by anybody. It’s an excellent way to add value to your business or home, without investing much in terms of resources.

How glass etching works and techniques

The principles of glass etching are simple. Abrasive materials are used to chip away the surface of the glass, creating a “frosted” looking surface that can be designed by covering sections of the surface with materials that resist the abrasive.

Most popular glass etching techniques:

Surface etching: Surface etching is the most popular, easiest, and most beginner friendly of the etching techniques. The blasting is all done in one stage, which means that the design produced looks two dimensional and only has two shades of color. Usually, the etched sections look “frosty white,” and the unetched sections look dark in comparison.

Glass shading: Similar to etching, but more complex because different sections of the glass are etched to varying densities in order to create shades of color. Glass shading is much more complicated and requires another level of expertise than surface etching, but results in more detailed designs.

Glass carving: This technique consists of creating a three-dimensional image by carving deep into the glass. An interesting thing about this technique is that the carving is done from the opposite side of where the design is viewed from.

Learn Glass Etching

Interested in learning about this fascinating craft?


At DMG School, you can come to learn about the basics of glass etching. We hold classes every third Saturday of the month, where you can take the opportunity to etch and experience hands-on creation of your own unique art glass.


Whether it’s by your own, or with a group of friends, or family, this event will bring a smile to your face and a new skill you’ll take with you forever.


Want to learn more? Check our 3rd Saturday etching class workshop to learn about the basics of glass etching and finally get your first etched glass art.