Join Date: Feb 2006
Hand sand the piece starting with 400 grit down to 1500 to 4000 grit.Do not destroy the contours of the piece the finer the polish the better the etch. clean the piece some use windex others alcohol others soap and water cleaning the soap off completly. use a clean brush with running water nearby. pick the acid or salt you are going to use. Mild ones include vinegar,ketchup,worteshire sauce,urine,alum,soy sauce anything with a acid base or salt base add a touch of soap to it. warm the solution and paint it on the piece using long strokes continuously. Rinse the piece under running water ever few minutes. After completing the pattern to the point you wish completly rinse all solution off. Many use a baking soda mix to neutralize. waxing will protect the piece
WARNINGS- these solutions will also eat and destroy silver copper brass cloth any wood finishes,cloth leather.
Some of these will burn your skin badly especially strong vinigar and will stain clothing.
I really am not comfortable in discussing how to use more potent acids to easy to screw up and do serious damage to yourself and the piece.
Ferric Chloride should be diluted down to the color of urine or lighter.
This is one method among others including immersion and heat etching