Applying the vinyl masking to clean glass
Glass Etching Kit Instructions
click picture to download
size: 1.1 MB
Turn the sheet of vinyl masking over with the backing sheet facing up. Peel down about 1 inch of the backing sheet across
the top of the vinyl. Press down and crease the backing sheet to force
it to lay flat. Turn the sheet of vinyl masking over so the adhesive
side is facing the glass.Align the top edge of the vinyl with the top
edge of the glass. Allow vinyl to overlap evenly all around. When
aligned, press the exposed adhesive strip to
adhere the vinyl to the glass. With one hand on top of the vinyl, rub from side to side to adhere it to the glass.
With your other hand underneath,slowly pull to remove the backing sheet. Press out the air bubbles as you go.
If you miss a few, pull up the vinyl masking until the bubbles disappear, then continue rubbing from side to
side until the vinyl is evenly applied. Fold the excess vinyl over the edges of the glass.
The vinyl masking should be slightly larger than your project so the vinyl can wrap around the edges of the glass.
Transferring your design onto the vinyl masking
Trace your design. Position your design in the desired location
on the vinyl covered glass; Use a ruler to determine if your design is
aligned on all sides. Tape only the top edge of the design sheet
firmly to the masking vinyl. The design is taped only on the top edge so
it may be lifted periodically to check how the design is transferring.
Place a sheet of smudge-proof carbon paper face down under the design
sheet and trace over the design with a ball point pen. Use enough
pressure to transfer the design but not so hard that you tear the design
sheet. Upon completion of the tracing, lift up the design sheet and
carbon paper to make sure all lines were transferred accurately. If so,
then remove both tracing sheets
Some helpful hints before you get started.
* Rubbing the masking vinyl gently with steel wool, before you trace your design, will give your tracing a darker impression.
* The longer the vinyl masking remains on the glass, the better the adhesive sticks.
We recommend using Contact Brand Shelving vinyl.
*Avoid using tape as a stencil.
You should start with a simple design for your first glass etching project and gradually work up to more intricate patterns once you gain confidence and experience with the knife cutting techniques.
Now let's get started!
Select the areas to be etched
Every design has several possibilities of how it can be cut out
as a stencil and etched. You can choose to cut and etch only the
outline of the design, or you may choose to cut and etch only the solid
areas. Another alternative is to remove the background and reverse
etch the area ,which is only recommended for sandblasting. If you are
unsure as to which technique to use, take your original design sheet and
use a pencil to shade in the areas you think would look good as an
etched area or outlined area.
Cutting out the design
Hold the hobby knife in your hand as you would a pen for
writing. Rest the weight of your hand on the side of your palm and grip
the knife handle firmly but not too tight. Slowly and smoothly, pull the
knife along the side of the line using just enough pressure to cut
through the vinyl, but not so much as to scratch the glass.Make sure
your blade is sharp. A dull blade will tear the vinyl instead of cutting
it. Guide the blade along the design turning the glass when needed to
insure proper hand position to avoid hand fatigue. You will be using the
Solid Area Technique cutting on the outside of the design line. It is
important that your cut lines connect the start and finish of each
area. Avoid cutting past the point where lines meet.After all the lines
have been cut, use the tip of your knife blade to pry under the cut
edges. Carefully lift up and remove the pieces of vinyl masking.
Grip them with your fingers and slowly peel up making sure all the lines
have been cut. If for some reason you are not happy with the stencil
you have finished, or the design just was not right, you can remove the
remaining masking and start over again from step one. You are not
committed to the design until the Armour Etch®Glass Etching Cream is
Prepare for etching
Use the backing sheet from the vinyl masking (or any clean
piece of paper) to press down on all the cut edges of your stencil
making sure that all the edges are firmly adhered to the glass. Clean
off finger prints from the exposed glass with a lint free cloth.
Lightly dampen the cloth with glass cleaner and dab gently on the
exposed areas of the glass to be cleaned. Never apply the cleaner
directly onto the stencil as it will lift the edges of the stencil
Applying Armour Etch Cream
We recommend that the room temperature, etching cream temperature, and
the object you are etching be at least 70 degrees. Work in a well lit and
well ventilated area near a water source, and wear plastic gloves and
protective eye-wear. You must apply a thick layer of Armour Etch® Glass
Etching Cream in order for the chemical to react properly on the glass
or mirror. You should not be able to see your design through the etch
cream. Work quickly and safely.
Removing etching cream
Armour Etch® reacts instantly upon contact with the glass. However, the
amount of time you wait to rinse will vary with the type of stencil
used. When using vinyl masking as a stencil, allow the etching cream to
remain on the glass for approx 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use
water to rinse off the etching cream. Rinse from the top of the project
down, work quickly and use your brush to help. Use plenty of water and
wash thoroughly until all etching cream residue is removed. Avoid
splashing! The etched effect will not show up as dense until the glass
is rinsed and completely dried. When dry, remove the vinyl masking. Most
larger pieces will come off pretty easy. If you have trouble with
all those smaller pieces, run your project under hot water to loosen the
vinyl adhesive, then pick off the remaining stencil pieces. Use glass
cleaner to clean your project.
We have found that when etching large solid areas of a design, the
natural textures and striations of the glass (which are invisible to the
eye) can sometimes show up after etching. To avoid this undesirable
result, pick designs with more detailed areas or add more detail to
large solid areas of existing designs. Avoid etching large solid areas.
Porcelain and Enamel sinks will lose their shine after repeatedly being
subjected to rinses of diluted Armour Etch® Cream. Use stainless sinks,
utility sinks or a plastic pail with water.
When working on motor vehicles and other vertical glass surfaces, tape a
plastic drop cloth on the bottom and along the sides of the design to
protect the paint. Direct the rinse water into a bucket. Mask off glass areas above the design also.