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A Look into the Glass Etching Process | Silver Spring, MD

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Here at Hutchins Glass and Mirror, we have a beautiful selection of etched glass to add to your collection at home. But do you know how your etched glass was made? 

There are several methods used for etching, each creating a slightly different effect.

Acid etching 

Acid etching uses the colorless chemical called hexafluorosilicic acid combined with several other chemicals that are all heated. Acid etching results in a frosted look. It became popular in English pubs during the 1800s, because the frosted glass prevented people from looking in, but still let in natural light. 

Glass etching cream

This is a simpler method than acid etching and popular among hobbyists. The cream is made up of chemicals that, when combined, lightly eat away at the glass parts it contacts. Glass etching cream is best used on smaller surfaces because the etching often comes out uneven. 

Abrasive blasting or sandblasting 

This method creates deeply etched designs and is good for larger surfaces. High pressure air mixes with sand to etch out the glass. This method is often used commercially. 

Mold etching

The mold etching technique emerged in the 1920s and became popular during the Great Depression because the simplified process meant a comparatively low cost. This technique consists of etching directly into the mold so that the glass emerges with texture already in place. 

Etching is done using a variety of techniques, each leading to a unique piece of glass. If you're interested in learning about the etched glass here at Hutchins Glass and Mirror, please contact us.

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