Etched marble tiles, whether as a wall hanging or a plaque on the easel, tend to be very attractive. Etching the marble yourself is simpler than it looks, and inexpensive to get the materials. Etching enables you to carve designs and words in marble tiles that are highly polished. Most of the popular etchings are either a family monogram or an important family phrase or date. Here are some tips to consider while etching marbled tiles.
Tips for Preparing to Etch
When getting prepared to etch, it is best to find an etching stencil or an etching template for the marble tile. For the best results, you will probably want to try to avoid any small lettering or wording, as well as any thin lines in the template. Since most marble has “vein” lines in them, the thin lines in the etching may be difficult to see. It is best to complete some etching samples on a piece of marble and use different text sizes.
You can purchase etching stencils or templates at your local craft store. You can also use contact paper to make stencils, but keep in mind that contact paper stencils will not be able to last through too many etching applications. If you want to etch many tiles with the same pattern, you can make copies of your stencils cut from contact paper. It is a good idea to tape your stencil down with masking tape. This ensures that only the pattern you intended will get etched.
Etching Safety Tips
Etch in an area that is enclosed. This will help prevent spreading sand all over the place and keep dust from irritating anyone else. You will also want to wear a ventilation mask since the etcher will force a lot of sand and dust into the air. The mask will prevent you from inhaling this debris in. Wear safety goggles and gloves when working with the sand blaster.
Another tip to follow when etching is to avoid holding the sand blaster in the same spot for too long. This will cause damage to the stencil and ruin the tile. You want to be sure to spray the whole pattern equally on the marble tile. Work on small areas at a time. Since you are carving into stone, it is a little different from etching glass. You have to blast stone a little bit longer and at a higher pressure. This will also allow the lettering or graphics to stand out more with a high quality look.