How can I Make Sandblasted Glass?

Carol Francois

There are five items that you will need in order to make sandblasted glass: a well-ventilated work area, safety goggles and related equipment, a sandblasting machine, special sand and access to sheets of glass. Sandblasted glass is created by using a highly pressurized machine to etch a design or pattern into a pane of glass. The glass used can vary in size and thickness, ranging from a wine glass to a glass door. The sand used is specially designed for this purpose and can be found in any large hardware store. If this is your first sandblasting project, look into renting the equipment, because it can be very expensive to purchase.

Safety goggles should be worn when making sandblasted glass.
Safety goggles should be worn when making sandblasted glass.

The first step if you want to make sandblasted glass is to secure a well-ventilated space. This might be a workshop, garage or other large space. Sandblasting is messy and noisy, so a residential basement or workshop might not be a suitable space. Talk with staff members at the local hardware store or the instructors at a community college or technical college. They might have space available for rent or know of a location where this type of work can be done.

Ear plugs are recommended when making sandblasted glass.
Ear plugs are recommended when making sandblasted glass.

Purchase safety goggles, gloves, an apron and ear plugs before attempting to make sandblasted glass. Working without the appropriate safety gear increases the risk of injury and can increase the risk of permanent hearing or vision loss. The goggles should fit comfortably and include a wraparound design, complete with ventilation holes so that they do not become foggy. Many places that rent sandblasting machines will recommend certain safety procedures, all of which should be followed.

The next step required to make sandblasted glass is to rent or purchase a sandblasting machine. These units are often available from artisan or specialty hardware stores. Check the capacity of the machine and compare it with the requirements of your project. For projects with a large area to sandblast, make sure to select a machine that has sufficient storage space for the sand. Stopping to reload and starting again might have a negative impact on the results.

The sand used in sandblasting glass is listed as commercial-grade sand, and it comes in a variety of grit levels. Choose a grit level that will provide the effect you are looking for. The levels are very similar to sandpaper and have the same effect. The sand can be purchased from a range of hardware stores and typically is sold in the same section as other sandblasting supplies. The glass required for sandblasting varies widely. The most important consideration is to ensure that the glass will be able to withstand the pressure without breaking. Contact a local glazier or glass company to find out what is available in your area.

Sandblasting glass may help repel dirt build-up on shopping mall doors.
Sandblasting glass may help repel dirt build-up on shopping mall doors.

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