I’ve used this type of etching cream for doing a gentle etch on
glass baby food jars as part of a craft project. The kind I bought is
brand name “Armor Etch.” According to my science teacher dad, its a
type of fluoric acid (NOT hydrofluoric), which is much milder. I
didn’t find it to be particularly nasty, although I’m still careful
to use gloves, safety glasses, and good ventilation. I figure it
doesn’t pay to take unnecessary chances, and it only takes one
accident to discover why safety precautions are a good idea.
The Armor Etch produces a gentle, matte surface on clear glass, not
a really a strong, white frosted look. I experimented with leaving it
on longer, but didn’t find it deepened the finish overmuch. I haven’t
tried it on anything but glass.
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