How Etched Glass Panels are Made

Etched glass panels can add an artistic flair and unique element to your home or office space. Etched glass is a decorative glass that creates art on the surface by applying acid, caustic, or abrasive substances after the class has been manufactured. It’s been known by the French as French embossing. A few techniques can be used particularly to etch the glass and create the desired design customized for every person to fit their needs.

How is etched glass made?

Abrasive substances or materials are used to delicately chip away the surface of the glass, creating a frosted-looking surface that allows light to pass through without transparency giving levels of privacy while allowing natural light. The etched glass designs are traditionally produced using stencils made of abrasion-resistant material. Also, one of the etching techniques is used after the stencil is secured. The stencil has a similar effect as airbrushing or painting, although, with etching, the design is permanent.


Sandblasting is the most commonly used technique, particularly among commercial etching companies. After the stencil is secured to the glass, the etching is applied using a high-pressure blaster to cut away the glass using sand particles or small materials at direct precision.

Acid etching

Acid Etched glass is processed with hydrofluoric acid that erodes the surface of the glass to give the panel a frosted appearance.

The process used for creating an etched glass panel is different from that for sandblasted glass. Sandblasted glass is usually a more delicate process and requires more time. Conversely, acid-etched glass requires less maintenance, is less likely to leave fingerprint marks. It is also more durable.

The advancement of techniques and machinery with glass etching has created a way to use etching to customize your space in any imaginable design. The designs can be intricate patterns and even incorporate colors. Additionally, etched glass is ideal in kitchens and bathrooms and is commonly used as partitions and balustrades.

The difference between etched glass and frosted glass

There isn’t much difference between frosted glass and etched glass. Basically, etched glass is used primarily to describe decorative glass and is the process of altering the glass’s surface to achieve beautiful patterns. The frosted glass process changes the glass from transparent to translucent, creating an almost cloudy appearance with no designs.

The frosted glass will be the best option for a simple look with a bit of privacy. The etched glass allows you to add flair and character to any room by adding patterns and art styles. Etched glass is a more intricate process and tends to increase the cost of glass panels. It depends on your privacy needs and whether you want an elaborate design.

Another critical factor is how opaque you want the glass to be. Many etched glass panels are made to be partially opaque, but this can be a good choice if you’re looking for a more subtle look. If you’d like more opacity, you can go with acid-etched glass. However, this etched glass is more prone to fingerprints and smudges than frosted glass.

GMD Industries produces high-quality, architectural, decorative etched, and back-painted glass for the commercial and residential industries. GMD Industries has earned its reputation in the trade for creating unique, oversized pieces and meeting demanding deadlines. All of our products are made in the USA.

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