There are several different brands of etching cream on the market. I use Armor Etch. That's all I know and I am happy with the results I get. Martha Stewart also makes and a glass etching cream and so does Silhouette America.
1. SHAKE IT!No matter what brand you use, before you apply it, you need to make sure you shake that bottle...and then shake some more. Shake until you fear your arm may fall off...and then shake a little more. Etching cream that's not well mixed can cause major headaches and little etch.
2. GO FLATEven before you apply etching cream you need two important things: a glass surface and a stencil. A flat surface is ALWAYS going to be easier to work on than a round surface - this is especially true when stenciling with etch cream (or even paint). It's a lot easier to get your stencil flat on the flat on the flat surface than it is on a round one...even if that round surface is just the curve of a drinking glass. When the stencil isn't completely flat the edges can buckle slightly and even the smallest little pucker can allow etching cream to bleed underneath and all of the sudden you don't have a crisp line. For this reason, I tend to stay away from rounded mugs and much prefer something with a flat side such as these mason jar mugs.
3. SHRINK IT
4. ADD SOME PADSpeaking of designs...one thing I've started doing to ensure that no etch cream gets outside of my stencil line is to make a large border around the design. You can always use painters tape to tape off the edges, but you can skip that step and save yourself some tape and time by adding a little buffer around your design.
I do this in Silhouette Studio by simply drawing a box around my stencil design. Then when I cut my stencil on contact paper or Silhouette Stencil material there's a large enough border that it protects the area of the glass around my design.
5. DON'T RUSH ITFinally, you want to make sure you leave the etching cream on the glass for a few minutes. Armor Etch's directions say 1 minute, but I have found that a thick layer of etching cream left on for 4-5 minutes gives a better, deeper, and more defined etch.
What tricks have you found when working with etching cream? Share your tips in the comments below!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!
Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!