Introduction: Glass Etching Using Toner Transfer Templates
Step 1: Tools & Materials
Glass Etching Cream (such as Armour Etch)
Glossy printer paper
Ironing board or cotton towel (nothing synthetic or it could melt)
Laser Printer or Photocopier
Step 2: Print and Trim Your Stencils
Find some stencils and create negative image prints of them.
You will need to either print using a Laser printer, or you can print on an inkjet and then make photocopies. You will not be able to transfer inkjet printed designs directly. Make sure the printer is on its highest resolution and print using black toner only.
The white area should be the design you want etched. Keep in mind that glass etching creams only work well with small areas, so don't go overboard.
All of my pieces were only about 2.5" wide.
Trace the glass outline onto the paper, and then affix two ends with masking tape. Note: Make sure the glass is VERY clean. Any oil or dirt can cause problems with the toner and etching cream.
Step 3: Toner Transfer
Use the leather gloves for this step! Glass conducts heat incredibly well!
Be sure there is no water in your iron and set it to the highest setting. Once your iron is incredibly hot begin applying it to the back of the paper. Try to cover all areas of the stencil with equal pressure and heat. This step is tricky. Not enough and the toner wont transfer. Too much and the paper may bind to the glass. Glossy paper transfers the easiest, but also has a higher tendency to stick to the glass. Keep in mind that quick changes in temperature will cause glass to crack. Let these slowly cool at room temperature. Resist the urge to run them under the sink!
Step 4: Remove the Stencils
Once the glass has coolled, carefully pull the paper from the glass. Most of the toner should remain on the glass. Unfortunately the paper on the Ninja-Nun stencil got too hot and I was unable to remove it without damaging the toner. If this happens, you can clean the glass with Lacquer thinner and try it again.
Step 5: Apply Etching Cream
Use the latex gloves for this step! Etching Cream is VERY nasty stuff. Even a small amount can be absorbed into your skin and cause death! Be sure to read the warnings on the back of the bottle carefully before use!
Brush on the cream, avoiding areas you don't want etched. I usually swirl the cream a bit on the glass to make sure I get an even etching. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 6: Clean the Glass
The etching cream can now be rinsed off with just water. Some of the toner will now probably flake off as well. Once you have rinsed and dried the glass, use a paper towel and Lacquer thinner to wipe off the remaining toner. Finally clean the pieces with glass cleaner and enjoy your work of art!
The etching shows up quite well in person, but it was very hard to get a good photo of them.
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