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Problems with Armour etching cream

DSC00415I gathered everything together and made another try at glass etching.  I can’t figure out how this can go wrong–there are warnings all over Armour Etch about how powerful it is!  You would think it would get the job done, but so far I have been disappointed.  Not as disappointed as I am with my glass cutter from Hobby Lobby–but still.  Made me feel like a bit of a failure since it sounds so easy.

So, now I am trying to figure out what went wrong….

Well, it seems the first time I tried this my wine glasses might have had a bit of a coating on them according to some research I did.  I thought I had checked everything–they were real glass and they were clean.  Yet they didn’t etch!  Ah, well.

So, today I have a clean glass that feels coating free, armour etch, tape, paintbrush and a stencil.  I cleaned the glass carefully, taped it in a painstakingly careful slow fashion and set to work.

Disappointing results again.  Aaaargghh!

So, I searched on the internet and came up with a great site with really helpful tips at

A couple of things I learned–you must clean with straight rubbing alcohol.  Check!  This made a big difference.  And do NOT touch the clean glass with your bare fingers afterwards.  If you have smudges or oil from your fingers your etching will not work as well in those areas.

But, the biggest trick I learned was to apply the etching cream with popsicle sticks. Well, I learned that but didn’t do it–not a popsicle stick one to be found in my house.  But I did use the thick wooden end of a flower pick.  It goes on much thicker and you can make sure you have a good coating on everything.  The cream kept sticking to my brush and this went much more smoothly and quickly!

Then, the big kicker–you only have to leave the cream on for 5 minutes, right?  So that’s what I had been doing.  Put it on, leave it and then rinse.  But over at The Yummly Life she said you have to work it a bit in those 5 minutes.

This is what you do, at 1 1/2 minutes–take your stick and rub the cream around a bit & tap it.  I know–I thought “tap it??? what?””.  Well, that’s really the only way to describe it–just tap the stick against the cream.  Then do this again at 3 1/2 minutes.

Unfortunately I messed up all of my “good” thrift store glass. 😉

So, I tested this on a Famous Dave’s pickle jar and it worked great!  This is the first time I have had a solid etch with no clear glass spots.  It looks really good in person but was a little bit harder to photograph than I thought.  So, below you can see it against dark fabric, light fabric and sitting on a table.

Voila!  Etched glass!  Now, I will try putting cutout letters on the glass and taping around the top and bottom of the glass like she did.  I will post those results later!



One thought on “Problems with Armour etching cream

  1. Awesome! I’m so glad I found someone with the same issues as myself! I was ready to just toss the stuff away. I used acetone nail polish remover to clean the area because I didn’t have any running alcohol. It worked great! I’m so happy it worked, it’s awesome! Now I want to etch EVERYTHING! Lol

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