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Etching a Glass Pitcher

When I saw this glass pitcher at Aldi’s I thought it would look lovely with a band of different etched leaves around the bottom. So I bought it and proceeded to etch the pitcher.

I cut out a variety of different leaf silhouettes and weeded away the leaves. If you would like this SVG file, it is available for free in my store here: [leaves]

The next step was to prepare the leaf silhouettes with transfer tape.

I removed the labels from the pitcher and cleaned the surface with rubbing alcohol before placing the leaves around the bottom of the pitcher.

etchall creme was applied to the vinyl leaf design and I waited 15 minutes for the glass to etch.

After cleaning off the etching creme and removing the vinyl, the glass wasn’t etched. I have never had this happen before so I looked into it further.

Different kinds of glass don’t etch or don’t etch well. This can happen with cremes and sandblasting.

Cremes will not work on all types of borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is a highly durable glass material made from silica sands and boron trioxide used to withstand incredibly high temperatures.

Tempered Glass
The only type of glass that should not be etched is tempered glass. Tempered glass has been heat-treated in a way that creates great tension within.

I’ve heard that older Pyrex casserole dishes, like those made before 1998 are harder to etch or don’t etch. But most of the Pyrex casserole dishes sold in the U.S. since then etch just as well as any other sort of glass. 

Vintage Glass
I have also heard that vintage glassware doesn’t etch with creme.

So what do you do?
Do the “toothpick ” test on items. This would have saved me a lot of time and process. From now on, before moving forward, I will always test my glass pieces by applying a small dab of etching creme onto the bottom of the glass piece to see if it will etch. My lesson was learned, and I hope this post saves you some time as well.

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