Create a Beautiful Mirror Etching in 7 Easy Steps

woman sitting on couch under mirror
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When it comes to DIY projects, whether big or small, what you're hoping to accomplish is always the same: to create beauty. Creating an etched pattern in a mirror is a beautiful project to take on and the results can be nothing short of breathtaking. 

Important note: When using glass etching cream, exercise caution. It contains an acid that dissolves a fine layer from the glass and it can cause damage to skin and surfaces. Protect hands and arms with long sleeves and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Cover the area where you're working (it should be over a sink) with plastic and poke a hole in the center so that water can go down the sink. (Glazed surfaces such as porcelain will be permanently damaged by glass etching cream so be very careful).

DIY Mirror Etching Instructions

There's no limit to the designs you can use when etching a mirror. Think about creating a border around the edge of the glass, a monogram, or a pretty floral design. Choose something to suit the style of your décor and get to it.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 hours

What You'll Need:

  • Mirror
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Shelf liner
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil
  • Glass etching cream
  • Paint brush
  • Paper towels or sponge
  • Rubber gloves

Here's How:

  1. Find an old mirror that looks like it could use a pick-me-up. Flea markets, yard sales, and antique shows are great places to look. If it's your first time etching glass don't spend too much money on it. Become comfortable with the process before etching an expensive mirror.
  2. Clean and dry the glass surface with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  3. Trace the design onto a shelf-liner and then cut it out using a sharp utility knife.
  4. Place the paper onto the mirror making sure it is stuck to the glass with no bubbles or creases.
  5. Use a small paint brush to fill in the stencil with glass etching cream. Use a thick, even layer and leave it on for the recommended time according to the manufacturer's instructions (usually 5-10 minutes).
  6. Remove the cream. If it's reusable (it will say on the container), scoop it back into the container. If not, remove it with damp paper towels or a sponge. Make sure to get it all off.
  7. Peel off the paper.
  8. Admire your handiwork!