I don't think etching has to look dated. I have glass panels surrounding my deck and I come to this site as I am searching for ways to end the constant death of birds due to my I'll thought out out deck surround. After looking online there are many very attractive and "contemporary" designs that could be etched into glass. Think beyond the traditional swirls and leaves.
I agree with Vicky....don't etch the doors, and use the squeegee. Our shower has two sides plus the door in clear glass. I buy shower spray at the dollar store, and when we finish our shower, we spray down the glass, and also the two fiberglass walls with the spray and squeegee it down. No need to rinse. Hadn't thought about the Rain-X, but will use that idea as well in the future.
Harlean from Arkansas
I worked for an architect, and we etched doors regularly. It's not hard, just time consuming if you want to do a nice job, which is vital since it cannot be redone if you make a mistake. First we drafted the pattern we wanted, then we enlarged it to fit the area we were going to use it on. We taped it to the door, then we covered the area we wanted etched with clear contact paper (be careful to overlap slightly because if you leave a tiny strip between panels, it'll get etched). We CAREFULLY cut out the pattern -- anything to be etched was removed. burnish the edges to make sure the etching gel won't get under the contact paper. Apply the etching gel, spray, or whatever form you are using, and follow the instructions. When done remove the contact paper and admire your work.
Be sure to try the pattern on a large piece of glass your first time so you can make sure you understand the method and see how the etching will look. Some etching gels may look streaky if applied certain ways, and a mistake on the original door may be costly. Make sure you etch the correct side of the glass--for a shower, I'd etch the outside, allowing the water to run along the smooth inside surface. If doing a window, I'd etch the inside, leaving the outside smooth glass. Make sure to use a straight edge when cutting any straight lines in a pattern out. Good Luck!!
I agree with the others who said don't do it. But, if you still want to, then I suggest that you frost instead of etch. You can buy glass frosting at craft stores like Michaels. It will give you that etched look without permanently changing the glass. It usuually comes in a spray can so be careful to cover anything
you don't want frosted. Use contact paper, cutting out the design you want and making sure that you press down the edges where you have cut in the design so the frost doesn't bleed under the contact paper. Put the frosting on the outside of your shower (It gets less dirty) If you make a mistake there is a way to remove the error with frosting( you can't do that with etching cream) check the directions on the can. As always, it is much better to do 2 light coats (from about 10 inches away) than 1 heavy one. Good luck!
I agree, don't etch, you can't un-etch. There are kits in craft stores, maybe practice on a glass or whatever. You'll give it away and say 'whew!'
if you just cut out the shapes you want out of sticky paper and stick them to the door, you can just etch the whole window and then peel off the paper afterwards, leaving clear glass in those sections.
Don't etch the doors. I wouldn't. It ruins the look and it's dated.
Buy a squeegee for a couple of bucks and have everyone get into the routine of using it on the doors after they shower. Clean with ammonia or use the Mr. Clean magic eraser. After you clean it, use a bit of Rain-X to prevent buildup.
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