Disclaimer for the feds: Incite, Conspire, Inspire is a solely-for-fun section never designed to give real advice. The tools, tactics and ideas given on the series are only thought to entertain. We would never dream of anyone using any of this tools as a form of dissent and we do not promote, partake in or condone any illegal activities that might derive from said tools.

Looking for a new hobby? You’ve tried rock tumbling and crochet but nothing really scratches the itch? Let us tell you about glass etching! 

Etching glass is a fantastic hobby where you grab glass (like a window or a cup!) and you permanently mark it with a frosty and translucent decoration. You can etch using a stencil, or you can freehand if you want! 

Etching fluid is sold either as a cream or as a liquid, and it normally is made from hydrofluoric acid. For that reason, you should be incredibly careful handling it and wear all the necessary PPI, like mask and gloves! Both forms of etching materials are easy to find in hobby stores. If you end up with cream etching fluid, you can dilute it, but remember that then the frosty look will be lessened. 

Now, let’s get to work! Folks recommend many different tools to start your hobby, but we find that the cheapest are always the best options. Grab a shoe polish bottle with a sponge tip and make sure you clean it thoroughly, getting rid of all the paint. Once that is done, you can fill it up with your fluid (or with your diluted etching cream) and seal it shut. Put the shoe polish bottle in a little plastic bag so you avoid any leakages.

Choose a window in your house that you really don’t mind getting ruined. Some companies are able to buff etching fluid off the window, but it’s expensive, and sometimes the only way you can clean your own mess up is to change the window completely. 

You can now use a stencil you’ve previously cut and use a thicker, more cream-like etching fluid to dab all over it, or you could simply freehand whatever drawing or message you want to permanently mark on your window! At first, it might look like water, but after a while the glass will be frosty and beautiful, allowing you to send a message to all the neighbourhood. 

Please be responsible and only etch your own windows. Remember that it is permanent, so don’t cover the whole windscreen of your car with it if you have an important delivery to do tomorrow! 

So there you have it, if rock tumbling is just too loud and Robert next door keeps calling the council with noise complaints, consider trying glass etching!

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