Christmas Etching

Etching Reminders

etchall® etching crème enables you to etch objects made of glass, mirror, porcelain, ceramic, marble, and slate. Etchall® etching crème evenly etches on large as well as small areas. Remember, etching crème will permanently etch all glazed surfaces almost immediately, so avoid letting crème touch any area you do not want to etch, including porcelain sinks. Stainless steel sinks are preferred.

Using etchall®

1. Clean glass or mirror surface. Dry with lint-free paper towel or cloth.

2. Apply your own original stencil to the surface, or use an etchall® etchmask pre-cut stencil. Follow directions on the stencil package to apply stencil to surface. Use an etchall® squeegee to rub down the stencil edges and to remove any air bubbles. Be sure that all areas of glass not to be etched are covered.

 3. Apply a heavy coat of etchall® etching crème to area of stencil where glass is not exposed. Pouring the crème directly onto the glass could cause irregular etching.  Just as throwing a stone in a pond creates ripples on the water, pouring the crème directly on the design causes it to etch in a ripple-type pattern.

4. Using the squeegee, pull crème over entire area to be etched all at once. Gently pull the crème with the squeegee as if you are icing a cake.

Do not use a brush, since brushes do not distribute the crème thickly enough or evenly enough and can cause streaking.

5. Leave crème on design for 15 minutes.

6. After time has elapsed, use the squeegee to return majority of crème to etchall® container to be re-used.

7. Rinse etched surface well with water to remove any remaining crème.

8. Remove stencil, wash and dry glass, and your design is permanently etched!

Cutting your own stencils

1. To make your own stencil, cut etchall® etchmask paper 1" larger than surface to be etched. Pull backing off with one hand while other hand is smoothing paper down to surface with etchall® squeegee. Rub paper down slowly, working the squeegee back and forth. Make sure the etchall® etchmask paper has no wrinkles or air bubbles.

2. Place traced tracing paper pattern on to etchall® etchmask paper with graphite paper underneath. Retrace pattern.
NOTE: If you trace with a pencil and then retrace using a pen or colored pencil, you will always be able to see if you traced all lines.

3.Use etchall® squeegee to insure all edges are tight against glass. With etchall® a swivel knife, cut design out by running knife around edges of pattern, just as you traced it. Always hold the knife straight up and down, using only the tip. A light, but firm touch is all that is required, as you are only cutting the etchall® etchmask paper. Cut an entire piece without lifting your blade. By cutting this way you will never have little tails on your pattern from starting and stopping.

Once you have a small piece entirely cut, make a small cut into center, carefully slide straight knife into cut and lift this piece out.
CAUTION: Do not attempt to pick or gouge out individual pieces from the side, as this destroys the sharp clean cut edge. It is really quite easy once you get the technique going. Practice on scrap of self-adhesive paper on an old jelly jar. Continue until entire pattern has been cut out.

 Place slick backing paper from etchall® etchmask paper over design. Rub down all edges of pattern with etchall® squeegee. Rub finger over surface to see if you feel any loose edges or tails, particularly at sharp points, turns, or corners. If you have any tails, carefully cut then away. This is a very important step - if paper is not down tightly or your edges is not cut smoothly - you could get a blurred and fuzzy etched image. Hold glass up to light to see if there are any little patches of glue that might be remaining on the glass surface from the self-adhesive paper. Any adhesive substance remaining will affect the consistency of the etching. Remove excess glue by rubbing off with your finger tip. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT use any type of glass cleaner at this step, it destroys the self-adhesive qualities of the paper.

4. When you're satisfied that your pattern is smooth and tightly pressed to the glass, make sure all areas of exposed glass, not to be etched, are covered with etchmask paper. Pour a generous amount of crème in corner of stencil where pattern is not exposed and pull crème over entire design all at once with etchall® squeegee. DO NOT USE A BRUSH! To get a sharp, even etch, make sure patterns is fully covered and that crème goes beyond the cut lines. Let stand 15 minutes. Do not remove etchall® crème once it has been applied to surface.

5. When time has elapsed, pinch corner of etchmask paper to form a trough. Scrape crème back into jar, using an etchall® squeegee.

 6. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Be carefully not to allow any crème that is flushing off to run onto bare glass, as this can streak of cloud your exposed glass. Peel off pattern by running water between paper and glass. Dispose of used pattern. Dry glass and now you have a lovely, permanently etched gift or keepsake.

When using an etchall® easy to use stencil, remove backing paper and apply to clean surface with squeegee as in step 3. Carefully remove pre-mask protective cover form face of stencils. Continue Steps 4 through 6. 

Etching on rounded surfaces

To etch on rounded surfaces, try to find objects that have as large a surface as possible where you are going to apply the stencil. Remember, you are working with a flat piece of vinyl. A good rule of thumb is to take a piece of paper the size of your pattern, and if you can lay it on the curved surface and the pattern part is flat, it is a go! Small areas call for small patterns.

After the pattern is applied, cut four strips of self-adhesive paper and form into a box around your pattern. This makes a small well that will hold your etchall® etching crème while it etches your piece. Crimp corners of paper inward to make a bowl effect. Position piece on "cushion" like surface to keep object from rolling. After the 15 minute processing time, pinch a
corner of the paper to make a funnel, and return the crème back to the bottle for re-use. Rinse and dry your object.

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