9 Best Glass Etching Cream For Beginners & Professionals In 2021

Various brands of etching creams

It's impossible to experience the beauty of glass engraving without having a little bit of knowledge about what is needed and how to do it. 

Whether you have experience or a newbie in crafting, these glass etching creams are easy to use. However, not all products are the same so be sure to check their specifications before buying one.

Our Top Picks

Etchall Etching Creme
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Best Overall - Etchall Etching Creme

Reusable
Approved for children over 12 years old
Conforms to ASTM D-4238

Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream
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Best Kit - Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream

Comes with 2 Moshify brushes for easy application
Reusable
Dishwasher-safe etching

Best for Industrial-Type DIYs - Etch-l-M Porcelain Etching Cream  

Matte finish
Improves adhesion
Short working time

    1. Etchall Etching Creme - Best Overall

    Etchall Etching Creme
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     Pros Cons
    • Reusable
    • Approved for children over 12 years old
    • Conforms to ASTM D-4238
    • Usable on glass, mirrors, marble, and slate
    • Works on small and large areas
    • The dark color may throw off first-time users
    • Takes longer to set

     

     

      What Customers Have to Say

      Etchall Etching Cream gives a better consistency than other brands since most users do not observe any crystallization on their etched projects, especially if you don't mix the etching cream well. It has a runny consistency than other brands, though. 

       

      Etchall Etching Creme

       

      Why We Think It's Great

      We love Etchall Etching Cream because of its commitment to safety. Not only is the formulation safe for younger crafters, but it also has ASTM D-4238 certification, meaning it's safe to use for home crafting.

      It usually starts off-white to cream but turns darker, especially when exposed to sunlight. However, the discoloration does not affect its effectiveness in etching. 

      It's less smelly, too. The pungent smell is characteristic of etching creams, but Etchall has a tolerable smell, though it still helps to wear protective equipment to protect yourself. 

      Who Should Buy It

      The Etchall Etching Cream is an excellent choice for younger crafters, though adult supervision is always recommended because of the acidic nature of the etching cream. 

      2. Armour Etch 15-0150 Glass Etching Cream

      Armour Etching Cream for glass and mirrors
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       Pros Cons
      • Best for use on mirrors
      • Reusable
      • Permanent finish
      • Opaque etching
      • Works on glass and bottles
      • Needs special care
      • Adult use only



        What Customers Have to Say

        According to many users, this product is ideal for etching glass candle holders, mirrors, bottles, etc.

        Why We Think It's Great

        The 3-ounce plastic bottle packaging is just the right size for newbies who are still learning the intricacies of glass etching. 

        The cream is white, slightly gritty, and has a pasty consistency. Be sure to stir it well before applying it to your glass surface to get the most out of your etching cream. 

        Although it may seem expensive at first, it is reusable, so scrape off the excess etching cream with a foam brush or a small squeegee and return it to the container. It won't affect the performance of the etching cream as long as you stir it well before using it the next time. 

        However, if you're not comfortable returning the used etching cream to the original container, you can also use other containers to avoid contaminating the whole batch. 

        Do not attempt to use Pyrex, plastic, and acrylic since it won't work on these materials. 

        Who Should Buy It

        We recommend this etching cream to newbies who want to start with glass etching. 

        3. Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream - Best Kit

        Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream
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         Pros Cons
        • Comes with 2 Moshify brushes for easy application
        • Reusable
        • Economical to use
        • Permanent
        • Easy to use
        • Smelly
        • Gritty consistency
        • Adult crafters only

        What Customers Have to Say

        Though the manufacturer recommends leaving the etching cream for 1-3 minutes only, many users find it leaves a better impression if left for 10-15 minutes. Some crafters suggest washing off the first application for larger designs, then reapply to get a better etching. 

        Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream

        Why We Think It's Great

        Moshify is known for its high-quality art tools, and the brushes that come with this kit don't disappoint. However, we find that applying the etching cream using a jumbo popsicle stick or a disposable plastic knife is easier.  

        The etching cream itself is of good quality, though some batches are extra clumpy than other batches. There is nothing that some thorough mixing cannot fix, but it also needs the patience to get it to its proper consistency.

        It is reusable, so it's economical to use, especially if you're usually working on small designs. 

        Who Should Buy It

        This Armour Etch and Moshify brush kit is an excellent choice for crafters serious about glass etching. It is easy to use, so even newbies won't have issues using it. 

        4. FolkArt Glass Etching Cream

        FolkArt Glass Etching Cream
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         Pros Cons
        • Reusable
        • Permanent 
        • US-quality
        • Works on several surfaces
        • Fine consistency
        • Needs extra precaution
        • May cause injury 



        What Customers Have to Say

        Many crafters appreciate its fine texture, especially since some of them have tried using other brands. It's a bit runny, but it is not gritty. 

        Why We Think It's Great

        The FolkArt Etching Cream is best to use for customizing glassware, glass decors, windows, and mirrors. It does not discolor over time, even after prolonged exposure to the sun, and is not gritty, so you won't have trouble applying it. 

        Because of its slightly runny nature, be sure to use an applicator to spread it over the design instead of using a paintbrush. 

        Who Should Buy It

        The FolkArt Etching Cream is a good alternative for crafters who are loyal to an art product brand. IF you're a FolkArt user, this etching cream should work for you. 

        5. Etch-l-M Porcelain Etching Cream - Best for Industrial-Type DIYs 

        Etch-l-M Porcelain Etching Cream
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         Pros Cons
        • Matte finish
        • Works on various industrial surfaces
        • Permanent
        • Economical
        • Short working time
        • It may leave a streaky finish
        • Not recommended for small-time crafters



        What Customers Have to Say

        One user used this etching cream to make a privacy screen for his bathroom, while another repainted his toilet and bathtub after cleaning it with this etching cream without sanding down. Overall, it's an excellent product to use for industrial-level projects. 

        Why We Think It's Great

        The Etch-l-M Porcelain Etching Cream is very economical, compared with other etching cream brands of smaller packaging, though we don't recommend this product to newbie crafters. 

        It works on glass and other industrial surfaces, like porcelain, ceramic, glazed tile, and porcelainized steel construction panels. It has excellent brushable consistency and is best for retouching these surfaces.

        It removes the glazed surface of tiles and glazed bathtubs so you can repaint it and improve its adhesion property. It also eliminates scratches and shortens preparation time for retouching and repainting. 

        Who Should Buy It

        If you work with more than glass for etching, the Etch-I-M Porcelain Etching Cream is an excellent product to try. 

        6. Silhouette Glass Etching Starter Kit

        Silhouette Glass Etching Starter Kit
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         Pros Cons
        • Complete glass etching kit for starters
        • Opaque etched finish
        • Reusable
        • Easy-to-follow instructions
        • Good value for money
        • Discoloration may occur
        • Too runny


        What Customers Have to Say

        Users love the etching kit, and many deem it of great value, especially for beginners in glass etching. The etching cream also works well and can work up to 8 projects. 

        Why We Think It's Great

        The kit includes a 2-oz jar of etching cream, stencil vinyl, transfer tape, a weeder, a squeegee, ten exclusive glass etching designs on a design download card, an instructional DVD, and an idea or instruction booklet. 

        Though recommended for Silhouette products, you can also use it for Cricut or freehand your design.

        It is of good value, too. At less than $30, you can get all the supplies and tools you need, though the consumables (etching cream and stencil vinyl) are small. 

        Who Should Buy It

        If you don't know what to get to start your glass etching projects, it is better to start with a Silhouette Glass Etching Kit kit. 

        7. Armour Etch 15-0151 Glass Etching Cream

        Armour Etch 15-0151 Glass Etching Cream
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         Pros Cons
        • Permanent
        • Easy to use
        • Works on various surfaces
        • Best for newbie users
        • Reusable
        • Almost invisible etching
        • Too long working time
        • Does not work on Pyrex and acrylic

        What Customers Have to Say

        Many of its users have made customized glassware to make as gifts for their loved ones for special occasions. Some users even claimed it cleaned the plastic lenses of their eyeglasses after applying etching cream on them and washing them with cold water. 

         

        Armour Etch 15-0151 Glass Etching Cream

         

        Why We Think It's Great

        While we don't recommend cleaning your eyeglasses with this etching cream, we cannot stop you from doing it but do so at your risk. However, we highly recommend it for etching on glassware, mirrors, and glazed ceramics, especially if you want a subtle etching. 

        At less than 3 ounces, it is a good choice for newbie crafters or those who do glass etching only occasionally. It is reusable, so you can use it for a long time, especially if you carefully scrape off the excess etching cream from your projects. 

        Who Should Buy It

        This product is best for crafters who want a faint etching on their glassware without leaving a gritty surface. 

        8. Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Etch Cream with Brush

        Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Etch Cream with Brush
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         Pros Cons
        • Intermediate-size
        • Works on various surfaces
        • Easy to clean up
        • Less smelly than most brands
        • Complete ingredient information
        • Dries up easily
        • Poor quality complimentary brush
        • Expensive

        What Customers Have to Say

        Some crafters claim that this is the only etching cream they use because of its easy application and exemplary quality. It is also very forgiving because it is less smelly to work on multiple projects at a time. 

        Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Etch Cream with Brush

        Why We Think It's Great

        The Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Etch Cream includes a short brush designed for a more straightforward application of the etching cream. Apply the glass etching cream with a brush to avoid any direct exposure and ensure maximum safety.

        The etching is permanent and is safe to wash in the top rack of the dishwashing machine, but the etching cream is easy to wash off with soap and warm water. 

        Who Should Buy It

        Crafters who love working with Martha Stewart's craft products will love the etching cream as well. 

        9. Armour Etch 15-0250 Glass Etching Cream

        Armour Etch 15-0250 Glass Etching Cream
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         Pros Cons
        • Works on various surfaces
        • Reusable 
        • Easy to use, even for newbies
        • Permanent etching
        • Opaque, matte finish
        • Nasty fumes
        • Gritty consistency
        • Uneven finish

        What Customers Have to Say

        Users love to use the Armour Etch 15-0250 Glass Etching Cream when making frosted glass and customized etching on wine glasses, wine bottles, and other glassware on windows and mirrors. 

        However, they also recommend using proper protective gear like protective gloves, eyewear, and a respirator to protect yourself while working with it. 

        Armour Etch 15-0250 Glass Etching Cream

        Why We Think It's Great


        Who Should Buy It

        We strongly recommend this product to professional crafters only, though newbies can use it with the proper protective gear because of its nasty fumes and health hazards. 

        Best Glass Etching Cream Buying Guide

        When buying glass etching cream, consider the following factors:

        • Compatibility

        Always check the compatibility of your etching cream with the materials you will use. This process will ensure that you get the best result on your projects. 

        • Ease of Use

        Etching creams are generally easy to use, but you have to take extra precautions since they can cause death and other debilitating injuries when it gets into contact with the skin, or you inhale the fumes. 

        Kids are advised to stay away from it, and crafters should store it where curious kids can reach it. Some brands, though, allow kids over 12 years old to use their products with adult supervision. 

        • Accessories

        Some products include freebies. However, don't be tempted to buy it because of the accessories. They may be enticing, but if they are no use for glass etching or crafting, then it's not worth it. 

        • Drying Time

        Different brands have varying drying times. Some manufacturers recommend 1-3 minutes, though many crafters swear by 10-15 minutes to get the best results. But some brands can get as much as 30 minutes to get the etching quality you want. 

        Glass Etching Cream FAQ

        1. How long do you let etching cream sit?

        Five minutes is generally enough time to create a great etch without damaging your stencils. Let the cream do its work for at least a minute. A shorter time won't allow the etching cream to do its magic on the glass.

        However, some brands take as much as 15 minutes, so use the recommended stencil brand to avoid damaging your design. It is best to read your products.

        2. What chemical will etch glass?

        A chemical etching spray is typically a hydrofluoric acid that quickly dissolves unprotected glass, etching the desired pattern. After that, you can use an appropriate resistor to remove it selectively, so only the etched design remains.

        3. Can you add color to the etching cream?

        No. Adding color to etching cream is impossible because of its acidic nature.

        4. Can you remove glass etching?

        No. The glass etching cream removes a layer on the glass, thus leaving a matte and cloudy finish that becomes permanent.

        5. What can etching cream be used on?

        You can use glass etching cream mirrors, glass, porcelain, and glazed ceramics. Depending on the brand of gel you use, it may take varying amounts of time for the solution to wear away your material. Use a good stencil so it won't curl if you leave the etching cream for 5 minutes or so.

        Conclusion

        Our overall winner is Etchall Etching Creme because it is safer to use with its ASTM D-4238 certification and approval for younger crafters (over 12 years old), so it is much safer than the other brands. It is also reusable, making it very economical to use.

        We also recommend the Armour Etch 15-0200 Glass Etching Cream Kit because it includes 2 Moshify brushes for safer application. It is reusable and has a dishwasher-safe finish.

        Lastly, for industrial-type DIYs like your bathtub and glass shower doors, get the Etch-l-M Porcelain Etching Cream. It effectively cuts preparation time by over 80%, thus improving the adhesion of paint and other repair materials you want to use.

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