But having a finely crafted ale out of just any old pint glass simply won't do. Nor would it be appropriate to drink a $90/bottle of Scotch from a Dixie cup. To truly appreciate a beverage it should be served in the proper vessel. Stepping it up a notch by having that vessel custom engraved can add a touch of class to the occasion.
This is different than chemical etching glass that you see quite often. This method of etching it much deeper in the glass, as much as 1mm in some areas. You can see and feel the difference in glass depth with sandblasting, chemical etching always gave me lackluster results.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Computer with vector art software (Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape)
Utility knife or xacto knife
Squeegee or credit card
Sandblast media (I use Aluminum Oxide 80-90 grit)
Glass substrate (Mug, pint, shot, scotch, glass)
Step 2: Prepare Image
Step 3: Output Image to Printer
Step 4: Wait
Step 5: Weed Image
Use your Xacto knife to carefully remove the area to be sandblasted, leaving the background to act as a mask.
Step 6: Apply Application Tape
Step 7: Apply Image to Glass
After your glass is cleaned slowly remove the backing from the vinyl sticker and apply the sticker to your glass. Take the time to put it on straight and square. After the sticker is applied smooth it out and push out any air bubbles with your squeegee.
Slowly peel away the application tape, peeling it at an angle helps as well. This should leave only the decal on your glass.
After the decal is applied use some masking tape to mask out any nearby areas that may get hit by over spray. If in doubt simply mask the entire glass.
Step 8: Prepare the Sandblaster
Make sure that your air compressor has a moisture separator on it. Any moisture in the sand and it will clump up.
Make sure your air compressor can output at least 90-100psi.
Only use silica free sandblast media, breathing in beach sand, play sand, and silicon carbide can cause Silicosis.
If you don't have a sandblasting cabinet wear a face mask and goggles (two sets of goggles if necessary) or a sandblast hood.
Without a cabinet the sand gets everywhere. On every inch of your both, in every pocket, crease, and crevice. Really it makes a huge mess so do this outside. If you wear prescription glasses put a pair of goggles over them. The sand will etch/scratch everything it comes in contact with, including expensive prescription glasses.
Step 9: Blast Off!
Step 10: Remove Vinyl Resist
It is important to wash the glass before use as there will be residual blasting media dust all over everything, yourself included. In fact, go take a shower because you will find sand in place you didn't know you had.