We have assembled some HOT tips for you that we have found to be very useful. All of the below suggestions are tried and true by our
craft experts and will help your etching experience not only be more successful, but a bit easier. We hope you will find them as useful as
Tip #1- Practice makes perfect
-We like to tell people to play with your garbage! What we mean is, always practice on glass from
the recycle bin first! Everyone has some, so why not use it for target practice!
If you have never etched before or never have done a particular technique before, a used bottle or jar is a perfect candidate to experiment
on. Who knows, maybe it will come out so good, you will want to keep it and use it for storing stuff in!
Tip #2- Securing a good stencil bond
-If the edges and intricate details of your stencil design are not well bonded to the glass, you will end
up with leakage underneath the design, no matter whether you are etching with the Etch Cream or sand etching. If leakage occurs, it is a
disaster since it cannot be fixed once it has been etched. When applying a vinyl stencil, once you have applied it to the glass, cover it
with a piece of paper (we like used printer paper for this) and rub over the paper with a burnisher, used credit card or popsicle stick. The
paper will prevent you from accidentally tearing the vinyl pieces within the design while using the burnishing tool. If you are working with
the blue Rub N Etch stencils, once you have rubbed the stencil down, take the backer sheet, a piece of deli paper, parchment or even a
Post It Note and rub gently over the stencil until all parts have bonded.
Tip #3- Achieving Straight Lettering
-To make sure letters & designs are applied straight onto your glass, first tape a piece of lined notebook paper behind the glass. If the lines are hard to see, darken them with a ruler and black pen. Line up the top edges of the paper
with the top edge of the glass or use a pocket level along one line to check for level (also see: Instruction Manuals and Demos- Glass Etch Kit Instructions-click printable PDF for kit box instructions-go to pgs 12-13 Letter Placement System)
Tip #4- Stabilizing round glass objects from rolling around the table
- Many of the glass pieces you will be working on from time to time will
be cylindrical to some degree. Wine glasses, bottles, vases, glass balls, etc are usually rounded and can be a challenge to keep still
while you apply your stencils. To solve this problem, take an old towel and make a nest that conforms to your piece of glass. It will cradle
the glass so you can work on it and stop it from rolling around. Another way is to take a block of white styrofoam, carve out a cylindrical
channel in the middle that will fit your piece, You may want to make a few different ones for different types of glass if you frequently work
with different shaped objects. ie: one for wine glasses, a larger one for cradling vases, etc. Once you have your channel carved out of
the foam, glue it to a thick, sturdy paper plate for a base to stabilize it and keep the foam from keeling over with the glass in it.
Tip #5- Removing Labels and Residual Glue
- Some come off easily, others need some elbow grease and persistence. There are many commercial glue removers on the market, but we have found most of them not only do not work well, they are expensive. These are our solutions for removing labels and residual glue that cost very little.
First try soaking the jar in very hot water and dish detergent for about 10 minutes. Scrape away the paper layer with a smooth edged knife if it has not
already fallen off the glass on its own. Scrub away the glue using a plastic scrubby pad (do not use anything that will
scratch the glass). Sometimes you will need to re-soak the jar in fresh hot water for another 10 minutes or so and often the second time
is a charm.
If the remaining glue is still very stubborn, let it dry for an hour or so. Pour some Acetone nail polish remover onto a
folded paper towel. Rub over the glue spot to melt it away. The most stubborn glue spots sometimes have to be soaked for 10 minutes
or so with a polish remover soaked paper towel over the area. Once the glue has softened, scrub off the remaining glue with dish detergent, hot water and
the scrubby sponge and the rest should come off easily.
Tip #6- Hiding Errors
- If you have gotten a small amount of etch where you did not want it, you may be able to disguise it. This does not
always work, but sometimes no one will know the difference but you. If there is a blurry spot within the design, sometimes you can hide it with
a rhinestone or scrapbooking embellishment. If that one rhinestone looks odd, add a few more in strategic spots to balance it. If the error
is outside the design, sometimes you can get away with adding another stencil design around or over it to disguise it.
If your etching did not etch well, see our tips on using Rub N Buff to brighten it. You can also try using an extra fine fingernail buffer for
acrylic nails. Lightly sand the area where the etch is blotchy until it looks even. (see tip-Embellish your etching with rhinestones)
Tip #7--Stencil will not fit curved surface
- Some stencils can be a challenge to get on the glass where you want them because the
stencil is flat and your glass is curved. This is common when applying a stencil on a wine glass or glass ball. To help the stencil fit a little
easier, trim some of the outer stencil material away. You can do this by either cutting off the corners and some of the outer material, or
by making V cut easements around the edge of the stencil material to help it bend. However, sometimes you just have to accept that the
size of the stencil you want to use may not fit the glass, or it is just too large for the area you want to put it on. So what you have to
decide is, which is more important, the stencil or the glass. If it is the stencil, you will have to pick a different piece of glass large enough
for the stencil. If the glass is more important, you may have to choose a different stencil.
Tip #8- Colored Glass
-There are 2 types of colored glass, true colored glass and topically colored or color dipped glass. True colored
glass is colored all the way thru the glass (the molten glass was colored before piece was molded) this type of glass usually will etch
with the etching cream (opalescent, gold gilding or Mother Of Pearl over coats on true colored glass will not). Topically colored glass has been stained, painted or dipped in a transparent coloring and this type of glass will
not etch because these processes have coated the glass and created a barrier for the etch cream. Etch Cream only works on bare,
uncoated glass. You usually can tell if the glass has been dipped with color when the glass inside is clear, the bottom of the piece is not
colored, you can scratch the color off or you see the color is wavy around the bottom and looks thicker in some spots. Most
cheap, colored glass you find in dollar stores and discount centers are not true colored glass. True colored glass is more expensive to
manufacture than dipped glass and is rarely found inexpensively unless it is on clearance or is a garage sale find. The only way to etch
topically colored glass would be to Sand Etch it.
Tip #9- Lumps or crystals in the Etch Cream
- Lumps or crystals in the Etch Cream can occur and is not an indication that the product is no good. It is a normal occurrence, particularly if the bottle has been sitting for a long period of time. To correct the problem, check to see that the cap is on the bottle securely first, then immerse in hot tap water for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the cream with a plastic spoon. The warmth of the water will smooth it down. You may have to repeat the process if you have a large, full bottle. Never add water to the cream, do not stir with a metal spoon and do not use water hotter than the tap. Some crystals may never fully dissolve. If you still find crystals when you apply the cream to the stencil, simply take the brush and push them off onto the solid part of the stencil material so it does not leave a marred spot in your design.
Article Posted: 04/18/2018 09:43:44 AM