I have this turquoise table that I bought for $5.00 at the local thrift store. I refinished it in a previous post, and it sits in my family room. I like it, but I kept thinking that it needed a little something. My brothers both have etched glass in the past, and I loved how their projects turned out, so I decided to try it.

Step 1: Find a pattern that you like. This pattern came from a tablecloth from Target. The pattern must be something that you can cut out. Sidenote…think how awesome this pattern would be using the stencil technique in THIS post. :)

Step 2: Once you have your pattern picked out, you need to get contact paper (NOT wax paper…I used wax paper and it didn’t work very well) and lay contact paper on the top of the pattern

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto the contact paper.

This is what it will look like after the tracing is complete.

Step 4: Lay it on your glass to make sure that it fits the glass.

Step 5: Turn the contact paper over and cover the pattern with painter’s tape. I used the kind that prevents bleeding…I can’t remember the brand I have but another brand that is similar is called Frog tape. It is worth it in my opinion to get the no bleeding kind of tape.

This is what it looks like on the other side.

Step 6: Carefully, cut out the pattern.

Step 7: This is the tricky part. If you are using contact paper (not wax paper) it will be much easier for you than it was for me to peel the paper off the stencil. The wax paper kept sticking and it was super hard to get it off. But, I’ve heard from friends that contact paper is much easier.

Step 8: Buy an etching cream. I found mine at Michaels (I heard Wal-Mart also has it) and brush a heavy coat of cream over the portion of glass you would like to etch. Follow the directions on your bottle. We removed the glass out of the end table to make it easier.

Step 9. Wait for about 5 minutes…and voila :) a subtle addition of character for any glass!

I had to move the table into the light so you could see it better. :)

I love the end result! Think of the possibilities!!! What a cheap way to add character…and I have a ton of etching cream left. I have also heard that you can buy a spray etching solution, but I had already bought the cream, so I decided to use what I already had. :)

UPDATE: After receiving some comments about an easier way, I decided to do a little research. :) There is a much easier way to make a stencil for etching using ONLY contact paper. You live and you learn right!?!? :) Sometimes I do things the hard way! Ha ha. Check out a simple tutorial HERE.


  1. says

    Good idea. I've kind of gotten into etching lately. One question, though: If you use contact paper, that makes a stencil, so is there a reason you added the step of putting tape on it?

    I have heard you can reuse the etching cream. Just put it back into the bottle. Hopefully that's true, cause I've been doing that!

  2. says

    If you think you might not like the design forever than the spray is a great way to go, it looks etched, and when your done you can scrap it off. BUT if you know you want to keep the design etching is a great way to go. You won't have to worry about it getting scratched or maybe peeled off (depending on how focused your kids are at getting it off!)

  3. says

    I have also used my cricut to cut numerous designs on vinyl or contact paper, that makes it super simple! So if you have don't have one, I am sure you know someone that does, and then you can get very intricut designs made easy!

  4. Michelle says

    I've done glass etching before, and yes, contact paper and an Exact-o knife is MUCH easier then what you did. I've traced an image onto paper with a pencil and made the lines VERY dark. Then you flip the image over onto contact paper that is already stuck on the glass and rub it off on the contact paper. This leaves a faint image of your pattern. You could re-trace it on the contact paper if you wanted to see it better. Use the Exact-o knife to cut out pieces you want etched.

    We've also done neighborhood projects where people etch monograms or names on the bottom of casserole dishes so they are easy to return.

    Mirrors can also be etched in the same manor.

  5. says

    Very cool!

    Question about your glazing technique…

    Did you use one can of spray paint on this table or was there enough for multiple projects?

    Does your can of Kilz last pretty long? Would there be enough for three tables?

    Do you do anything after you wipe down the glaze? Like put a finish on it or anything to "seal" the glaze in? I'd be putting mugs and such on the table (a large coffee table) right after it, so I was wondering if I'd want to cover it with something so nothing "rubs off."

    Thanks! :)

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