How To Etch A Photo On Glass: A Step-By-Step Guide

MAKEatx glass etching class
MAKEatx glass etching class from


Have you ever wanted to create a unique and personalized gift for a loved one? Or perhaps you want to add a personal touch to your home decor? Etching a photo on glass is the perfect solution. It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can easily create a beautiful and long-lasting etched glass masterpiece.

Materials Needed

To begin, you will need the following materials:

  • A high-quality printed photo on regular printer paper
  • Glass etching cream
  • Painter’s tape
  • A foam brush
  • A pair of scissors
  • A piece of glass (such as a picture frame or glass vase)

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Choose your photo: Pick a high-quality photo with a clear subject that you want to etch onto the glass. 2. Print the photo: Print the photo onto regular printer paper in the size you want to etch onto the glass. 3. Cut the photo: Cut out the subject of the photo using a pair of scissors. This will be the part that you will etch onto the glass. 4. Tape the photo onto the glass: Use painter’s tape to adhere the cut-out photo onto the glass surface. Make sure it is centered and secure. 5. Apply the etching cream: Using a foam brush, carefully apply a thick layer of etching cream onto the exposed glass surface around the photo. Make sure to cover the entire area evenly. 6. Wait for the cream to set: Check the instructions on the etching cream for the recommended time to leave it on the glass. This can vary depending on the brand and type of cream. 7. Rinse off the cream: Once the time is up, rinse off the cream with warm water. Make sure to remove all of the cream to reveal the etched design. 8. Remove the photo and tape: Gently remove the photo and tape from the glass surface. You should now have a beautifully etched design on the glass.


  1. Can I use any type of glass for etching?
  2. Yes, you can use any type of glass as long as it is clean and free of any debris or scratches.

  3. Can I etch colored or tinted glass?
  4. Yes, you can etch colored or tinted glass, but the etching may not be as visible as it would be on clear glass.

  5. Is it possible to etch a design instead of a photo?
  6. Yes, you can use any design or pattern that you want to etch onto the glass.

  7. Can I use a laser printer to print the photo?
  8. No, you should use a regular printer as the toner from a laser printer can resist the etching cream.

  9. Do I need to wear gloves when using etching cream?
  10. It is recommended to wear gloves when handling etching cream to protect your skin.

  11. Can I reuse the etching cream?
  12. No, the etching cream should be used once and then disposed of properly.

  13. How long does it take for the cream to set?
  14. This can vary depending on the brand and type of cream, so make sure to check the instructions for the recommended time.

  15. Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process?
  16. No, you should let the cream set naturally to ensure the best results.

  17. Can I etch on both sides of the glass?
  18. Yes, you can etch on both sides of the glass, but make sure to protect any areas you do not want etched with painter’s tape.

  19. Is etched glass safe to use for food and drinks?
  20. Yes, etched glass is safe to use for food and drinks as long as it has been thoroughly cleaned before use.


Etching a photo on glass may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple and can create a beautiful and unique piece of art. With a little patience and the right tools, you can easily create a personalized gift or home decor that will be treasured for years to come.


  • Make sure to clean the glass surface thoroughly before starting the etching process.
  • Use a well-ventilated area when working with etching cream.
  • Practice on a small piece of glass before etching a larger design.
  • Experiment with different types of glass and etching cream to create different effects.
Brand Type Price
Armour Etch Cream $10
FolkArt Cream $8
Glass Etching Secrets Kit $30

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