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How to Make Obscure Glass

Updated February 21, 2017

Manufacturers of shower doors often use obscure glass instead of clear transparent glass because it lets in light but obscures the view through the door, giving some privacy in the shower or tub area. At home, turn a piece of clear transparent glass into obscure glass by using etching cream, typically sold at craft stores. When applied to glass, the etching cream removes a layer of the glass, leaving the surface frosty in appearance and obscure.

Clean the glass and dry thoroughly. Always work with sparkling clean glass.

Tape off any area on the glass which you don't want to obscure. The idea is to keep the etching cream off any part of the glass you don't want etched.

Spread a sheet of newspaper over your work space to protect the surface and put on the protective gloves. Work in an area with plenty of ventilation.

Paint a layer of etching cream over one side of the glass. Be careful not to get any cream on your skin.

Leave the etching cream on the glass for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer, which might be about 10-15 minutes.

Wash the etching cream off the glass using warm, clean water. Remove the masking tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Window cleaner
  • Lint-free towel
  • Newspaper
  • Etching cream
  • Protective plastic gloves
  • Paintbrush
  • Masking tape
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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.