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Re: [Orchid] Sandlasting resists question
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myredcar Sunday, March 03, 2002
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    Aloha Everyone, There are several methods to etching, and then there
    is faux etching.  One can etch almost anything with the correct

Most CARVED, etching that has depth is done by using sandblast
    grit (there are various sizes) and an air compressor.  When etching
    glass for a 3D effect, a skilled hand is needed not to bore a hole
    through the glass due the strength of the pressurized grit being
    pumped from the nozzle.  This type of etching normally is done in a
    confined box, for the grit flies everywhere while working, and
    protective gear and environment is needed. The other types of etching
    are done with Armour Etching Cream or Armour Etching Liquid. 
    Extreme caution must be used with any process.  Needed are heavy
    gloves, good ventilation, good lighting, a face mask, EYE
    PROTECTION, and your design. When we etch, we use a thick, self
    adhesive mylar film (otherwise known as contact paper) to cover the
    protected, surrounding areas while the acid is being applied by
    brush.  The largest area we have etched is a 4'x8' design on two
    interior, glass sliding doors.  From this experience we have learned
    quite a bit.  Some people use colored mylar to see what areas are
    being etched, our company uses clear mylar. 

    1-If working inside, and your glass is upright, you must run mylar
    over the bottom of the glass, starting from the floor upwards:
    reason? All acid must be washed off with water and either a soft
    brush or sponge...a brush works better. 

    2-Protecting your surface from the ground up means that when you
    rinse, no acid water will leak under the mylar, streaking the surface
    you are working on, and ruining your surface. 

    3-This type of project requires you must protect the floor, so you
    will need about four to five inches of newspaper to absorb the acid
    water. Thus, you must place plastic bags, taped together under the
    newspaper, and starting about 5 inches under the lowest placed mylar
    sheet.  Be aware, once water hits the paper you are looking at about
    50 pounds, easily, to pick up and dispose. 

    4-The heaver/thicker the mylar or coating the better the etching

    5-Use hospital x-ray film for your design.  Transfer your design to
    the x-ray film. For our 4'x8' project, the x-ray sheets were taped
    together to make a large template but the design was drawn onto it,
    filled in with black marsh pen ink, taped on the other side of the
    glass that will not be etched, then place the mylar on the side to be
    acid etched. 

    6-The design is colored black so once you cut and lift off the clear
    mylar, one knows exactly the area that will need the acid to apply
    to, otherwise, cutting a clear mylar, with a pattern, one may become
    confused in the etching process; having the black design signifies
    the exact place the acid will be applied and where the mylar is being
    removed to apply the etching cream. 

    7-The acid cream never should be applied to a dirty surface.  It is
    said that a good window cleaner should be used prior to etching
    because mylar leaves a sticky residue.  I have found that plain,
    white vinegar works better at cleaning the surface prior to etching,
    leaving a better product in the end. 

    8-The larger the design, the greater the brush strokes shows (this
    why many books state of have intricate patterns to avoid the brush
    strokes showing). We have learned that using a smaller brush, adding
    more cream over the acid cream we already applied to the surface
    being etched works best.  The various books state once the acid is
    applied, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse.  WE HAVE FOUND THIS TO
    BE INACCURATE.  A smaller, soft brush, using more cream, and working
    the cream over the unprotected glass, produces a better etched
    product in the end.  For our experience, we left the acid on for
    about 20 minutes.  The end result is better. 

    9-Delphi Glass company sells this product, ARMOUR ETCHING CREAM in
    different size bottles.  Our 4'x8' pattern for two full size sliding
    glass doors, used 8 bottles of the 17oz. cream. 

    10-If the cream looks brown, don't use it, return it.  Furthermore,
    you must be quick to remove any circular globs that are applied to
    the surface for these tiny little clumps leave a pitted, circular
    look in the end product. 

    11-Amour Etching Liquid is normally used for a reversed etching
    style.  You cover with your pattern the area you want smooth and
    untouched, leave the rest unprotected, and bathe it in the acid
    liquid.  Only the protected patterned area retains its normal
    appearance and the balance of the surface has a frosted look. 

    12-It is imperative to be safe while using this product.  Long sleeve
    shirt, thick gloves, good ventilation, protective eye wear, and good
    products. Should the cream hit you, wash it off immediately.  Since
    it is an acid, it definitely burns, we know from first hand

    13-Our 4'x8' design took much planning for if you keep your sliding
    glass doors open, the patterns should match.  We used identical
    patterns so there would not be a conflict in images when the doors
    are opened. Now when the doors are opened (one in front of the
    other) the design looks more 3D.  When closed, the pattern is
    identical for both doors but many people are not aware of the
    duplication because it is a continuous Hawaiian leaf pattern. 

    14-You may purchase pre-made faux etching patterns that can just be
    placed on a surface and the end results look like the pattern was
    etched on by cream or liquid, until you rub your hand over the
    surface and feel the raised image, signifying that the etched image
    is a sticker. 15-There is a liquid resist that can be purchased to
    apply over the surface not to be etched that will protect the
    surrounding areas.  Sandblasters use it for etching glass. I should
    say through carving glass or other surfaces, from the grit and high
    compressed air through a nozzle.  80 pounds of pressure, and rough
    grit, can bore a hole right through the surface if one is not
    careful. 16-For smaller designs, I have used Blue Painters tape,
    taped the entire surface, then placed my pattern over the top, and
    used an exacto blade to cut the paper pattern and tape off, leaving
    the rest of the tape on, cleaning the surface with white vinegar,
    then applying the cream, always using a soft brush and moving the
    cream in different directions, even though the directions say not to,
    I do because the end result is much better. As a side note, check the
    yellow pages for sandblasting or stained glass stores in your area. 
    Normally they carry the resist you are looking for.  Here in Hawaii,
    if you know how to etch using a sandblaster, one may rent a booth for
    the day to do their work in, instead of spending a large chunk of
    change buying the equipment for actual sandblasting an etched design.
     Sandblasting is more for carving the surface giving it a dimension
    by shadowing and carving deeper, which gives the 3D image as a result
     in the end. For more information about etching or stained glass
    information this company can assist any one: Delphi Glass at and check out their web site. Currently on sale
    is Dichroic Glass, Beveled Glass, and other things: CBS DICHROIC

    What an incredible value - you can save between 25% and 35%! This
    surprise pack contains a random mixture of colors, but be assured
    you'll get some of the most sought after colors, as well as a
    textured piece (or maybe even two!). Pack contains six pieces of the
    great quality dichroic glass made by Coatings by Sandberg. Each
    piece is at least 4 inch square. If it were sold separately this
    pack would have a MINIMUM value of $95.70. Act now to get this
    amazing savings on the dichroic glass that fusers love! (Item: 64002
    Sale:$66.00) More INFO... Sorry to take up so much of your time, but
    since this has been an Orchid discussion for the past week or so,
    perhaps this will help. If a person sandblasts metal, the end result
    should look like a Pave surface.  Pick your resist well, for even
    resists have their limits.  If uncertain, ask a professional glass
    company like Delphi or a similar company. Take care every one.  I
    wish all of you a Healthy, Wealthy, and Prosperous 2002. 

    Barbara in Hawaii If you would like more information, write me off
    line at: myredcar AT 

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