Sandblasting Glass & Sandcarving with Abrasives

A.K.A Abrasive Etching

Glass sandblasting is one of the most desirable etching processes available today because it can help you achieve artistic items with various unique effects.

This process uses a sandblaster and an air compressor to power the system which blasts high pressure abrasives onto the glass. The hard abrasives then lightly chips the surface of the glass to create a frosted look. The longer you blast, and the higher the pressure, the deeper the exposed parts of the stencil are etched into the glass.


With the sandblaster’s high pressure characteristics, you can achieve what people call glass sandcarving. To sandcarve glassware, the abrasives are blasted at a very high pressure which carves deep into the glass. This process can help you create 3 dimensional etchings when used with staging techniques. A common practice is to look at this sculptured glass through the backside.

Mirror etching of a toucan.

Above is an example of a quickly blasted mirror design of a Toucan. This was done with a simple two-stage sandcarved technique using the inexpensive equipment and a stencil design taken right from the internet for free. I show you this in my information resource. By the way, this example is an easy, quick, and basic two-stage etching that anyone can do. With a little more practice and technique you can produce marvelous works of art. Also, this design is basic but is still unique.

Sandblasting verses Etching Cream

There are many advantages to use the sandblaster method in comparison to the acid cream method. One of the most desirable advantages is it produces a sharper and more noticeable frosted appeal. Since, the sandblaster actually chips surfaces of the glass, the etchings stand out more and look very elegant. On the other hand, cream is more for the casual hobbyist and creates a less noticeable etching.

Most people chose the etching cream method instead of the sandblaster method because sandblasting equipment is expensive. When you use cream, you only need a few supplies which are very inexpensive.

Here are some other examples of beer mugs made by sandblasting the outer surface. Let your creativity show and create a gift for someone on a shot glass, beer mug, mirror, shower door, window, or anything you desire. The possibilities are endless.

Etched and personalized beer mug.Custom beer glass.

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