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Armour Etch Cream, 10-Ounce
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- 10-ounce bottle of armour etch cream
- Permanent etched designs
- Dishwasher safe
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Armour Etch is a fast acting specially formulated glass etching compound that lets you create permanently etched designs on windows, mirrors and household glassware. Create your own custom glass etching stencil or use a pre made stencil like Rub N Etch, Over N Over or Peel N Etch. This unique glass etching system allows anyone to personalize and decorate glass or mirrors in minutes with no previous experience. Try it, you will love it. Not intended for use by children. Will NOT etch Pyrex or plastices. NOT recommended for etching large solid areas of glass.
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- Don't use a brush to apply the cream. It works much better to use a flat popsicle stick (available in packs of copious quantities for cheap right here on Amazon, known as "treat sticks"). Using a flat sided stick helps you smooth the cream into an even layer, and the stick can be loaded with much more cream than a brush can for the initial application. Plus no brush strokes, since the stick never actually has to touch the glass.
- Clean your glass thoroughly before applying the cream. Make a glass cleaning solution of 50% of the highest concentration rubbing alcohol you can get (97% or higher is ideal) and 50% distilled or purified water. Use a microfiber cloth to clean just like you would for eyeglasses. The cleaning solution will help remove oils from skin contact like fingerprints, and it will dry quickly too.
- Stencils apply to glass better if neither the glass nor the stencil is cold. ~70deg F / ~21deg C is fine, just be aware that temperature is a factor if you store your glass or stencil someplace cold.
- When applying the stencil to your glass, use your finger to press firmly all the way around the edges of the design itself. The idea here is that you want your stencil to adhere as closely as possible to the glass to prevent any of the liquid cream from seeping beneath the edges of the stencil.
- Don't follow the directions on the bottle. Apply the cream over your stencil in a thick layer, then poke it a bit with the stick to break up any bubbles that might have formed from the application. Leave the cream on for 10 minutes. Every few minutes, use the stick to stir it a bit and re-smooth it. Periodically redistributing the cream over the glass surface is critical to achieving the most consistent, smooth etch possible. If you're having trouble with this product, that's probably the reason.
- You can achieve a whiter etch by rinsing and repeating the process up to three times. This is not necessary unless you really want the whiter etch, as the results from a single application are pretty good. And don't expect a world of difference from multiple applications. The difference between one application and three is noticeable but not by any means like night and day.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses. It is not at all likely you will get this stuff in your eyes or even on your skin, but be safe! This cream is a potent acid that can irritate your skin (or even burn it if not washed off immediately) and seriously damage the soft tissue in your eyes. Accidents can happen, and it's way better to look like a dufus wearing gloves and goggles for twenty minutes than it is to be caught in an unlikely accident that leaves you blind.
- When disposing of this cream, rinse it first into a medium mixing bowl, fill the bowl with water, and stir to mix well. Diluting the acid will preemptively protect you from silly mistakes like forgetting to run enough water down the drain when you rinse it.
The 10-ounce size is pretty big and will let you etch more than you're probably thinking about etching if you're just getting started with this stuff. It's a good size for getting started if you have a few dozen glass pieces to etch. If you just want to do 2-4 glasses, there is a smaller size available that will work fine for you.
The process is simple enough. Cut out your own stencil using your method of choice (I use my Silhouette CameoDie Cutter and vinyl to create mine - be sure to mirror the image if it's showing through a cutting board!), use transfer tape to apply the stencil to the glass, cover any remaining glass area with masking tape (or else you end up with unwanted etched lines during the wash off time) and apply the etching cream. Let sit for 5-10 min, and wash off. Here's the thing though - you have GOT to use this stuff safely. Thankfully they make this very clear on the bottle, however many of the youtube videos I watched show people using it without gloves or glasses. I don't recommend that at all! This is serious stuff! I personally put down newspaper, wear disposable vinyl gloves, and safety glasses in a well ventilated area.
I learned the hard way that the little crystals that are part of the cream, will make the etch splotchy unless you take a popsicle stick and swirl the cream around mid etch. Not necessary for small thin designs but if you have thick or large areas to etch, you'll want to swirl, trust me. After learning that trick, my etchings come out even and clear every time. Absolutely love this stuff!