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Talking About Glass

Hello, I am Kaylea Signoli. I would like to share my expertise on glass for your home and business on this website. The type of glass you choose for your building changes its overall character. I want to talk about the different shapes and sizes of glass windowpanes available worldwide. I will share information about the history of glass and windows in general. I will also talk about new technologies coming to this industry. I hope you will visit my site often to learn all you can about window glass. Thank you for visiting. I will see you again soon.


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Talking About Glass

How To Etch Designs Into Your Glass Shower Enclosures

by Gaëtan Meunier

Plain glass shower enclosures can be a little boring and offer very little in the way of privacy. You could replace the enclosure entirely, or you could do something that changes their appearance permanently and decoratively. If you choose to just change your shower's appearance, you could etch the glass with a hobbyist's etching kit. The process is as follows.

Visit an Arts and Crafts Store for Supplies

Arts and crafts stores carry the brushes you will need, the utility knife with a pin-point blade, the clear vinyl, adhesive shelf paper and the etching cream. Be sure to buy the largest bottle of etching cream you can get, because you cannot use it sparingly and get good results. You may also wish to purchase a black, felt-tipped permanent marker, unless you are really confident about free-handing a design with the knife. The marker will help you draw the design onto the vinyl shelf paper.

Thoroughly Scrub the Glass

If you want the best results possible, thoroughly scrub the glass walls where you plan to place your designs. The walls should be completely free of soap scum and hard water build-up, as well as fingerprints, or the etching cream will not be able to cut through the grime.  The etching cream may even etch your fingerprints into the glass because the oils in your fingers will block the acids in the cream. If you have to check the cleanliness of the glass to make sure it is "squeaky clean", wear protective gloves. (Since you will need to wear protective gloves to keep the etching cream off your skin, this just makes sense anyway.)

Apply the Vinyl Shelf Paper in Small Sections

Vinyl shelf paper sold on rolls is only so many inches wide, so you will have to work in small sections all the way around your glass enclosure. Cut only pieces you can manage on your own and peel the backing off of the shelf paper. Stick the shelf paper onto the glass, and smooth all the air bubbles out. It is okay to leave air bubbles near the edges, so long as your intended designs are not going near the edges of the shelf paper. Designs that cut into or through air bubbles leave pockets for the etching cream to sink into and ruin your design. If your design runs the whole length or width of your glass enclosure, make sure the edges of the shelf paper are tightly fit together without overlapping.

Use the Marker to Make Your Design and Then Cut

Next, take the permanent marker and draw your design onto the shelf paper. You can make corrections to the design as you go, otherwise you may not get the opportunity when you start to cut the design out of the shelf paper. Keep in mind that everything you write and draw on the inside of your shower will appear in reverse on the outside. Finally, using the pointed utility knife, cut your design out, taking care not to press too hard and scratch the glass. Pull away the cut pieces from the rest of the shelf paper and leave the rest on the glass--this is your design template.

Finally, Etch the Glass

Liberally apply the etching cream to your cut out template. Take care not to drop or dribble the cream on porcelain, skin or any other part of the glass and wipe it away quickly with a wet sponge if you do drip. Leave the cream on for thirty minutes or more before turning on your shower head and rinsing all the cream off the glass. Finally, pull your vinyl template off the glass, clean the glass with glass cleaner, and enjoy your "new" glass shower enclosures!

For more information about glass enclosures and etching, talk to a specialist like Glass-Pros.