View Full Version : How to mask areas when etching?

04-14-2005, 02:19 PM
Hi all,

Just got my Dip 'N Etch (from Colored Sands) and love it. Instant beach glass! Now I'm wondering how I mask off areas on the beads that I want to stay glossy. I suspect I could use little stickers (e.g. price dots) or something, but I'm looking for a method that would allow me to mask some very skinny areas (e.g. a line), or free-form areas. Clear nail polish? Apologies if this has been covered before.


04-14-2005, 02:25 PM
I have a bottle of Etch All resist gel, kind of the consistency of Elmer's glue (and could be that for all I know, tinted green). It has a pointy little top that you squeeze the "glue" out of in thin lines, or use it to spread the glue around. It needs to dry - I left mine overnight. It worked really well.

Kimberly Affleck
04-14-2005, 02:35 PM
The Etchall resist works great and so does nail polish. I don't use clear, though, as I can't see where I just put it on the bead. I use white or one of the really bright colors that contrast with the base of my bead so I can see where I have painted. When you are done etching, it just peels off!!

04-14-2005, 02:46 PM
My wife hasnt tried it as of yet, but she told me about using her stamps(stampin up not postaage) to create the mask on glass. I am not positive but I believe she said she would use the versa-mark stamp pad(a clear slow drying ink) and then put the etching cream to fill in the parts the stamp didnt cover. The ink could then be washed off along with the excess etching cream.

Sorry if this doesnt make alot of sense, it is just what I remember her telling me and she isnt availble to ask. I will post more if I remember to ask her later.

Good luck,


04-14-2005, 02:48 PM
You can also buy stickers at Hobby Lobby for just this type thing. They have Letters Numbers and tiny detailed designs. Peel and stick then etch and peel of that sticker and your done. I hope this helps.


04-14-2005, 04:16 PM
When I took a class with Jackie Trudy (who teaches Art Clay Silver and fusing with dichroic glass), she showed us how to use a sharpie permanent marker as a mask for etching the dichroic. Make sure the surface is well covered with the marker where you don't want it to etch. For very fine lines, or to sharpen edges, she used a toothpick to remove some of the sharpie marker. After etching, the marker is easily removed with rubbing alcohol. Make sure the marker is well dried before applying the etching substance.

I have also used dimensional fabric paint, which worked well, except that it spread a little after application if I was trying to get a very fine line. Peels off easily after etching.

I also saw in one of the bead publications (I don't remember which one or who wrote it or I would give credit to the author) where white glue was used on the end of a pencil eraser to mask circles for etching.

Stickers work very well, but if you sell your work, and the sticker is anything but the most basic of shape (circle, square, heart etc) there is a copyright issue. (You are not supposed to take Mrs. Grossman's dinosaur shapes, etch them onto your glasswork, and then sell it to the public.)

Another way to get fun shapes to mask is by using a paper punch on peel off labels, but again, beware of the copyright if you sell.


04-14-2005, 06:56 PM
Hi, I konw this, I'm new and don't often have answers, but you can use white glue (elmers type) I think any white glue will do, you can paint it on with a small paint brush, so you can create a design, or just cover glass that you do not want etched. I allow the glue to dry befor putting in the etchall, then when your finished just wash your glass, the glue will peel off. good luck. Bj :D

04-14-2005, 07:45 PM
Wow - thanks, everyone! :clap: These are all great ideas, and I especially like peeling nail polish...that's why I don't wear it much on my fingernails... :wink2: I'm going to try some of these out.

04-15-2005, 12:12 AM
I've used hole punches and contact paper on sheet glass a number of times. Just make sure that the contact paper "sticker" is pressed onto the glass securely, I use the back of my finger nail, a fid (used when putting copper foil onto glass) or a brayer (a hard plastic wheel type thing) to make sure they're on good. Any wrinkles or bubbles may allow the etching solution to get under the "sticker" and etch the glass where you didn't want it. I use basic shapes like spirals, stars, hearts, etc. You can also cut the contact paper out by hand too and make your own shapes.

I haven't tried it yet but I was thinking of using one of those little tools that Ukrainian egg artists use to apply melted wax to the eggs when creating their designs. Melt the wax, draw on the glass, etch the glass then toss the glass in an old pot of boiling water perhaps? But the white glue concept makes a lot more sense and seems much easier. Going to have to try that next round.