How To Create Etched Mirror Patterns

Create a unique accent on mirrored doors with an etched pattern.


The subtle etched pattern on this mirror gives ordinary closet doors a unique detail.

The subtle etched pattern on this mirror gives ordinary closet doors a unique detail.

Materials and Tools:

etching cream
paint brushes
laser level
masking tape
X-acto knife
two bottles-Acid Etch Creme
rubber gloves
two mirrored doors
hose for water
protective eyewear
cloth or paper towels


  1. While the doors are still hung, measure and then mark 4 inches down from top of mirror. Using the laser level as a guide, tape off the top section. Run the bottom of the tape along the laser line.
  2. Measure 3 inches down from the bottom of the taped line and use the laser to create your next straight line. Tape off the bottom section with the top of the tape along the laser line. Re-measure to make sure the space between the two pieces of tape is 3 inches wide. The bottom line of the first piece of tape is the basis for measurement for the rest of the project.
  3. Take the doors out of their tracks and move them to a well-ventilated area that also has drainage.
  4. To create the square pattern, tape along the top and side edges of the glass. Use the ruler and T-square to tape out a 3-inch square that is 1 inch from the edge. Use the X-acto knife to remove excess pieces of tape. You will end up with a 3" taped square with a 1" border to be etched.) Repeat the process 3 inches lower.
  5. Measure 1 inch down from the bottom of the top square, and up 1 inch from the top of the bottom square. Tape off those areas to create 1" sections to be etched.
  6. Wearing rubber gloves and protective eyewear, carefully apply the etching cream with a paint brush. Apply a thick layer, going back and forth and up and down, in taped-off areas (Make sure you do not splatter the cream; it starts to work on contact.) Let the cream dry for 5 minutes.
  7. Use a hose to rinse the etching cream off the glass thoroughly. Remove the tape, and dry the mirrors with cloth or paper towels. Reinstall the doors. It is safe to use any type of glass cleaner on an etched mirror.
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