What is Frosted Glass?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Frosted glass is glass that has been rendered opaque through a process that roughens or obscures the clear surface of the glass. There are numerous applications for it in both homes and businesses. In addition to purchasing glass that is frosted, intrepid crafters can also make it at home with a few basic supplies. This can be an excellent beginner craft project.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Commercially produced frosted glass is usually frosted with acid etching or sandblasting. Acid etching is used to make a pattern. Patterned glass sometimes appears in ornamental windows, as well as in mirrors, vases, and other glassware around the house. The pattern can be simple or extensive, and it may include floral or geometric elements. Sandblasting is used to frost an entire sheet of glass for installation in places like bathrooms and other areas where people might want privacy.

A sheet of frosted glass is an excellent privacy aid because it admits light without allowing people to see through it. In medical offices and bathrooms, the use of a curtain or blinds could make a room gloomy and unpleasant to be in. Frosted glass, on the other hand, keeps a room light and friendly while still allowing people to be comfortable. People may also use it for privacy in entryways in urban areas, so that passerby cannot see into a home.

When making frosted glass at home, experienced etchers can use acid, but crafters can also use a frosting spray. The spray adheres to the glass, obscuring the clarity and creating the slightly pebbled, light look which people associate with this glass. Stencils are usually laid down with tight taping to ensure that the glass frosting does not seep. The spray is applied over the stencils and is allowed to dry before the stencils are pulled off, leaving a crisp pattern behind.

When crafters are learning to make frosted glass, they usually start out on practice pieces before moving to major projects. Once they have mastered the basics, they can start frosting windows, mirrors, and glassware around the house. Glass frosting can be accomplished on glass of any color, and can look quite striking and distinctive. Crafters who want to work with acid should take classes first, so that they can learn acid etching in a safe environment. Eye and face protection should also be worn when making frosted glass.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


Can you help me on how to clean frosted glass?


Can frosted glass block uv rays?


Please tell me how to clean the water stains from my shower doors that are frosted. I have tried everything I know to try. Thanks


Yes, test tubes can be frosted by the normal sandblasting method. and yes sandblasted glass is frosted glass. the different types and coarseness of your blasting material gives different effects. I've found the finest cutting sands give a really good effect, but each can be used for various reasons.


can test tubes be frosted? if so, can I do the frosting at home? how can i do it?


What product do you use to clean frosted glass?


Frosted glass can be a sandblasted glass or not?

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