Etched Glass

Traditional But Modern

Etched glass or sandblasted glass as it is also known is the process of obscuring clear glass. When some areas are left clear, this creates a decorative design. The glass is obscured by blasting coarse grit against the glass at high speeds.

Leadbitter Glass creates thousands of etched panels for customers each year and every order we create is bespoke. There are no ‘pre-etched’ panels ‘ready to go’ because we create each panel to the clients exact glass sizes. If the etched glass pattern  can be imagined, we can probably create it in glass.

Family crests, a favourite tree or a Victorian Etched pattern can all be created by our studio. Supplying your own design is possible but you pencil drawings aren’t always suitable because of the time taken to turn it into a cutting file. You can find out what makes a suitable image here.

Etched Glass Field

Let The Light Flood In

Etched Glass is one of the oldest forms of decorative glass on the market but it can also be used to create modern and contemporary art glass. One of the great things about this glass is the amount of light the glass allows to enter the room. Other forms of decorative glass may contain coloured sections or lead strips that block some light passing through. Etched glass is pure glass without any of these extra materials obstructing the light coming through.

In our studio we have a very small window that faces South. We have etched the glass fully for privacy reasons and when the sun comes out, this window glows like a light bulb. When clients visit our studio we use this window to show how much light comes through Etched Glass.

Free Design Service

All orders placed with Leadbitter Glass receive a free design service. Our Client Pages Service is a great way to see how your glass will look before it is made. We will supply you with a Computer Generated Image of how your glass will look and you can request any alterations you desire. You may want an etched glass border moving or a house number changed to a different font or size. We will make the requested alterations until you are 100% happy with the drawing.

Etched Glass – Perfect for numbers and names!!

Etched glass is an ideal form of decorative glass for House Names & Numbers. One of the most popular requests that Leadbitter Glass receives is for etched numbers on or above front doors. If your home has a top light above the door, we can create a panel with your house number or house name.

When etching numbers and names, the best result is when the background is etched leaving the text in clear glass. This is because clear numbers and names stand out a lot sharper when surrounded by an obscure background. We do get request for etched names and numbers on clear backgrounds but the result isn’t as sharp this way.

Stippolyte Etched Glass

A great way of securing privacy but having the pattern etched, is to etch on to Stippolyte Glass. Leadbitter Glass can etch any pattern onto Stippolyte glass and as you can see below, the effect is excellent. Stippolyte allows the pattern to be etched and the background to remain un-etched. The Stippolyte texture preserves the privacy level and gives a great finish to the glass pattern.

Stippolyte Etched Glass

View Our Etched Glass Past Works

Over the years Leadbitter Glass has created thousands of Etched Glass panels for homeowners around the world. Our Past Works Gallery below contains many examples of finished projects and this is a great section to get inspiration. Some of the projects featured are original designs requested by the customer. Others feature some of the more popular designs requested by clients through the years.

Browse Our Etched Glass Galleries

The Leadbitter Glass site has hundreds of Etched Glass patterns to choose from. Visit our main gallery below, to view etched glass patterns in popular styles of doors so you can visualise your preferred design in your type of door. The main gallery also contains galleries such as animals, nature, traditional designs, house names and numbers, door glass and contemporary patterns.

Gradient Sandblast Shading

Gradient Sandblasting or Shaded Sandblasting as it is otherwise known is another service offered by Leadbitter Glass. This technique gives our etched glass even more possibilities with the obscuring effect fading as it rises through the glass.

This photo shows the effect that gradient sandblasting has on a glass panel. Look at the bottom of the glass and notice that it’s fully sandblasted. As your eyes travel up the glass, the glass gradually becomes almost clear. This great technique is impossible to create with a manual system but our studio has an automatic machine especially for creating gradient sandblasted glass.

Gradient sandblasting is popular for shower screens but there are limits to the size and weight of glass we can work with. This is because we need to manually lift glass onto benches so we cannot work with heavy glass. We would not work with glass past 2.5 metres in length and we cannot Gradient Sandblast anything wider than 1100mm. Glass thicknesses also add to the weight so please have the glass sizes and thickness available when making an enquiry.

The Etched Glass Process

A quick explanation as to how we etch glass would be to sum it up like this –

” a clear sheet of glass is covered with a temporary mask. The mask has a pattern pre-cut into it and some areas are then removed. The bare areas of the glass are scratched with tiny particles under high pressure. When the protected mask is then removed, a decorative pattern is revealed.”

How Etched Glass Is Made

In more detail – A decorative design, a repeating pattern or even numbers and words are designed on computer software for each individual job. Once the bespoke layout has been created, the design is then sent from the computer to a mask cutting machine. The design is then carved into a temporary mask which is then laid over the whole area of the glass.

By studying the pattern, the areas that need to be etched are peeled away from the glass and left exposed. The glass is placed into an automatic sandblasting machine that shoots abrasive material onto the glass panel at high pressure. Once the sandblasting process is finished the glass is removed from the machine and the glass is cleaned down.

Unveiling The Art

The protected areas are then carefully peeled away from the glass unveiling clear and unmarked sections. In this photo you can see the mask being removed from the glass after blasting. You can also see the ‘blasted’ areas that appear a light grey colour. These sections were the unprotected areas of the glass design and are now fully etched. Once the whole mask is removed, the clear and ‘blasted’ areas come together to create a beautiful piece of glass.

Make Sure It Is Real

We do not use ‘stickers’ for our etched glass panels. The glass created by our studio is made by sandblasting the glass so it is a permanent decoration. Some companies appear to offer ‘etching’ but just put a vinyl sticker onto the glass. Stickers can and do ‘yellow’ over time and vinyl also shrinks after being on the glass for a few years. Other companies may even screen print the ‘effect’ onto the glass and this product can also ‘yellow’ with time. Always make sure you are paying for a genuine product because as the saying goes – Buy cheap, Buy twice. See the results of ordering fake etched glass.