Getting the Look of Frosted Glass
A popular feature in today's furniture and other interior decor is frosted glass. Frosted glass has the effect of rendering the glass translucent, obscuring the view while still allowing light to pass. This feature can give furniture cabinets the benefit of closed storage space with a lighter look than wood door panels. When used on windows or doors, frosted glass provides privacy while still illuminating a space. The Amanda Collection shown below is an example of frosted glass in minimalist home design
How the Frosted Look Is Achieved
One method to frost glass is to apply an acid etching fluid, usually hydrofluoric acid, to remove the shine from the surface of glass and produce a matte finish. This technique became popular during the 19th century, although it had been known and used occasionally since the 17th century.
Another method for glass frosting, and one of the simplest techniques, is sandblasting. The result is very similar to acid etching, but the sand blasting can produce a slightly rougher texture. When a piece of glass is sandblasted, a jet of fine sand is forced against the glass, removing the polish from the glass and leaving a dull matte and frosted finish. Benjamin Tilghman patented the technique in 1870.
According to legend, Tilghman noticed the effect of wind-blown sand on windows in the desert while serving as a general in the army during the Civil War. This observation was the basis of his sandblasting invention.
There are many other ways to achieve a frosted look on glass. Popular products include a special spray paint, decals or pre-fabricated window film.