Acid Etched vs Frosted Glass

Etched vs. Frosted Glass

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021| SpeedPro



While an open concept is beautiful, privacy is a necessity when it comes to designing functional spaces. However, building solid walls can make a room feel small and dark. One method to divide a space while adding a stylish accent is with architectural glass. Glass fixtures come in various finishes that look beautiful and serve a purpose. Create an intimate dining space at a restaurant or segment the workplace with semi-opaque glass that lets the light shine through.

You can transform any space with the versatility of privacy glass. Architectural glass can be frosted or etched to make the surface more decorative and opaque. It is important to know the difference between finishes to achieve your desired look. The ideal style depends on the purpose and style that you have in mind.

Here are the qualities of acid etched and frosted glass to help you compare:

Acid Etched Glass

As its name implies, acid etching is done with hydrofluoric acid that erodes the surface of a glass panel to create a translucent finish. The translucent glass allows light to pass through but has a blurry finish that obscures shapes and figures on the other side.

Depending on how much privacy you hope to create, acid etched glass can be made more or less opaque. The entire panel can be coated for an even finish or decorated with creative artwork and patterns. You can etch geometric and floral patterns onto the glass to accentuate the rest of the venue. Designers can add a logo, numbers, letters or other images by placing an acid-resistant substance on the glass before etching. The covered areas will remain clear, and the rest will have a cloudy appearance.

Acid etched glass has a bumpy texture which helps conceal fingerprints for a low maintenance solution. The process of commercial etching is permanent and can create more intricate designs than other finishes. You can create a custom look by choosing the design, opacity level and accents like paint or backlighting to enhance the glass. Acid etched glass can serve as a simple divider or a statement wall, depending on how you choose to use it.

Frosted Glass

Frosted glass is commonly achieved through the process of sandblasting. Sandblasting involves bombarding a piece of glass with sand particles at high pressure to wear away the surface and reveal a permanent matte finish. The glass is left with a rough texture and frosted appearance to blur the view from both sides. You can control the opacity of the finished product to let in as much or as little light as you want.

Sandblasting is best for fully frosted glass panels and simple designs. Designers can apply masking tape and other barriers to protect choice areas from the sand for a basic pattern or logo. The covered area will maintain the traditional glossy finish and transparency.

You can also achieve the look of frosted glass with a temporary film. Glass films can create a translucent finish while preserving the surface of the glass. A film is easy to apply and easy to remove for maximum versatility in your space.

Where to Use Finished Glass

Whether you choose to use acid etched glass, frosted glass or glass film, you can get creative with architectural glass in your space. A mixture of patterned and plain finishes can help you achieve function and style. Consider trying one of these glass fixtures in your next interior design:

1. Statement Dividers

If you prefer an open concept but require separate rooms, finished glass can help keep the space bright and airy while providing essential privacy.

In an office space, frosted dividers can define the conference room with style and function. Obstructing the view from both sides will help employees stay focused. You can frost the entire panel for a crisp look or use acid etching to create a geometric pattern for a modern design.

Statement dividers are a great option for restaurants and waiting rooms as well. They can break up the space to create designated areas for the checkout or seating area. Solid walls can make an area feel stuffy, but glass panels let the light shine through and add interest to any space.

2. Branded Signage

Finished glass is a great way to decorate the interior or exterior of a building with branded signage. Use a detailed design for artistic branding or a simple logo to promote the business.

You can add a design to an existing window, room divider or accent wall to enhance your building. Architectural glass provides a unique way to showcase your branding and can be emphasized even further with color and dynamic lighting.

Use detailed design for artistic branding or a simple logo to promote the business.

3. Patterned Partitions

Glass partitions provide a functional divider to separate distinct areas. Restaurants can place partitions around the bar or in between booths to create an intimate atmosphere. Patterned partitions can be etched with an interesting design or the company’s logo.

Finished glass also makes great partitions for office cubicles. Surround each desk with frosted panels to give employees privacy so they can focus on their work without blocking light. The translucent finish softens the aesthetic, so the office looks open and inviting.

4. Translucent Windows

Windows are a great feature for any space because they let in natural light. However, views to the outside are not always ideal.

Frosted or etched windows are a great addition to a spa or hotel room, especially if the view is less than captivating. The translucent finish lets in the light and creates a calm environment by blocking out the bustling streets.

These windows make an excellent addition to office spaces as well. Workers can be distracted by the view from a clear window, but closing the blinds will shut out natural light that can boost energy. Translucent windows will blur the view while letting the light pass through for maximum productivity.

Adding Architectural Glass to Your Space With SpeedPro

You can customize glass with film to mimic the look of acid etched or frosted finishings and enhance your business location. No matter the industry, finished glass can provide essential privacy and unique style to any space. You can decorate the entryway with a branded glass sign, divide the office into private spaces or separate a banquet hall from the rest of the restaurant. Translucent glass fixtures allow the natural light to illuminate your business while defining functional work zones.

Use detailed design for artistic branding or a simple logo to promote the business.

Our designers at SpeedPro can help you create a glass fixture with your preferred method, opacity and style. We take pride in our high-quality products that we can fully customize to your specifications. The possibilities are endless at our full-service visual communications studios. Visit the SpeedPro studio nearest you to bring your vision to life.

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