What Materials Can You Use Etching Cream On – A Full List

Etching glass is a really cool crafting project and etching cream makes it easy to etch glass at home without the need for any special equipment or expensive tools. But the creative crafters amongst you will quickly arrive at the question if etching cream can etch other materials than glass. I did some research and I did some testing for myself so that I can confidently answer this question for you.

Etching cream can etch materials such as glass, mirrors, porcelain, and glazed ceramics. The time for how long the etching cream has to stay on the material in order to etch it may vary and, in some cases, it will take off any protective layers, such as the glazing of ceramics.

So etching cream can be used on multiple different materials other than glass.

MaterialCan be Etched
GlassYes
MirrorsYes, but it may take a little longer than usual to etch.
PorcelainYes
Glazed CeramicsYes, but the glaze will be taken off by the etching cream.
PlasticsNo. It is possible to etch plastic with etching cream but it is not recommended.
Acryl SheetsNo. Again it is possible but the outcome can vary greatly depending on the exact type of plastic used.
WoodNo
StoneNo
PaperNo
MetalNo

You can, for example, etch mirrors with it. Just follow the instructions on the package, as you would when etching glass. A lot of mirrors will actually have a protective coat on them which will make it a little harder for the cream to etch deep. So you may have to leave it on the mirror slightly longer than usual.

Porcelain can also be etched with etching cream but depending on the type of porcelain and if it has a protective coat on it or not, the outcome can vary greatly. I would recommend testing how long it takes and how it looks like on a scrap piece of porcelain, if possible.

Otherwise, you may end up ruining a perfectly good piece of porcelain.

And finally glazed ceramics. Etching glazed ceramics can be very tricky. The etching cream will take off the glaze. So you might have to add another type of protective layer on top of it or you may even have to reglaze it at the spot that you etched (which is really hard to do).

So while it can have a really great effect on glazed ceramics you should keep in mind, that you edge off the protective layer. So as long as you don´t use the ceramics much afterwards it will be just fine.

You could also etch plastic but the results can really vary greatly. I just can´t recommend using etching cream to etch plastic materials because the result can be great or they can be awful. There really doesn´t seem to be anything in between.

So if you really want to etch plastic, then do it in a well-ventilated area and, if you can, do a little test etch on a scrap piece of plastic (it should be the same kind of plastic) before you etch the final product.