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Glass etching recipie


I have to do some large etchings on glass. Mostly floral motives.

There are few commercial etchers on the market (etching creme or
dipping solution for etching) from different manufacturers, but they
are unavailable for me and very expensive in quantities I need.

Also, there is a HF acid which is extremely dangerous.

Sandblasting is OK, and I shall use it in process, but chemical
etching is needed at the end to achieve smoother surfaces …

Can anyone share recipe for dipping solution or creme, or some other
kind of etcher that is not so dangerous to use


All glass etching cremes and solutions contain either hydrofluoric
acid or a salt of it like sodium bi-flouride all of them are very
risky from a health and safety point of view. If you must etch the
glass chemically then use the cremes made with the HF salts but still
make sure you are taking all appropriate safety precautions
(gloves, apron, face shield, proper ventilation etc.)

I etch glass beads and work with two hot glass studios who etch
significantly larger pieces. We all use biflouric acid for etching. I
use ST-101 made by Torlin Chemicals. See website


If the glass is simply a flat sheet, you can fire it to about
1350-1400 in a kiln (the temperature to use depends on the size of
the glass, the kiln and how smooth you want it) to “fire polish” it.
This will soften the appearance of the sandblasting.

Alternatively, there are companies that do acid polishing.

A good board to post this question on, if you don’t get a response
here, is the warmglass board for kiln-worked glass artists. It’s at

Geri Comstock

Sorry, I see I didn’t post the site address for Torlin Chemicals
properly - it is:

My apologies!

I also agree with the fact that all the glass etchants I am aware of
are nasty and need to be handled with due care and attention to
health and safety issues, not just safety in their use, but also in
their safe disposal.

:slight_smile: Kimmyg

Dear Orchidians,

Thank you for your time and effort to help.

I am antique restorer from Serbia and Montenegro (basically turned to
lightning restoration and small manufacturing) trying to revive or
use etching techniques on lamp shades. This forum is extremely
helpful and I am glad to be a member and share experience and

Does anyone know exact recipes for wet etching solutions.

Regards to all, Aleksandar