Etching Steel

First - thank you Leslie Kail Villarreal for her inspiring video on how to etch  steel

I did use 3" x 6"  (.125) Hot rolled steel - you just have to clean the scale off with some elbow grease and  steel wool (although I could have used muriatic acid to clean it as well )  - I cut a pattern with my scan n cut machine using 651 oracle vinyl (going to try pnp another time )  and used both the negative and positive image and used both sides just to see how it etches.

I bought the glass vase at the dollar store  and used a metal cake pan for underneath.  I had an aquarium pump from my pysanky eggs and just cut a piece of the tubing to use to bubble and clipped it to the edge with a plastic clip - from the dollar store .  I also got a plastic pitcher to mix the water, copper sulfate and salt  then put my piece in  and poured the mixture in - 2L is enough to fill this vase to the top.  2L is  1 cup of copper sulphate   and 1 cup of salt (I used the pickling salt - no additives ) and then filled the container up to top (2l mark) mixed and mixed till disolved.

So it was soooo green and bubbling - after 1/2 hour took out and used a soft toothbrush to brush off some of the copper build up then put back in.

once finished just brush more and clean off - the hardest was puling off the vinyl with tweezers

cant wait to try it out in my rolling mill 
My notes : 

Next phase is to test out using my PNP blue which is easier to use - and can do more details as well - and I want to go revisit my steel washers  for pendants if you remember 
I used pnp blue for the pattern but the etch was really for copper and not strong enough - this formula gives a really good etch  so will try it this weekend - go here to find washers


  1. Hi there.....I've just found your blog. It's very inspiring with so many ideas!

    I have a question - do you prefer etched brass or steel for your rolling mill plates? I see them all the time for $40 a go which frankly i cannot afford! I really want to have a go at making my own.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Kind regards

    Kelly Archer (BenjaBlue)

  2. steel for sure - not only they seem expensive then you have freight as they are not light. I found it very easy to make . the most time consuming is finding the patterns and cutting them out an applying the etching was the easy part

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