How to Combine Color with Acid-etched Glass and Mirror

Although black and white are classics, a splash of colour always changes the atmosphere or ambiance in any room. The influence of color in both interior and exterior applications can have a stunning effect.

Posted by on 02/09/2015

How to Combine Color with Acid-etched Glass and Mirror

With the different acid-etch finishes, combined to different materials, one can really create any look they desire. For instance, a popular trend right now in the glass industry is marker boards. With a light acid-etch finish such as Satinlite, combined with a white back-paint, one can have a truly elegant marker board.

Another way to combine color and etched glass is to actually have colored glass! There are some “standard” colors in the industry all varying from one glass manufacture to the other of course, but in essence there is blue, black, bronze, grey, and green to name a few. For example, the Canadian Union of Public Employees building in Ottawa combined regular blue and clear glass with acid-etched Satin finish blue and clear glass to create a unique kind of collage effect from the outside. From the inside of the building the acid-etched glass obscures the view while diffusing the light.


A different way to use colored glass is by applying a silver coating to the back, thus making a colored mirror. This is great for a wall application. Having the other side of the mirror acid-etched provides a slight reflection and light absorption, which is perfect when you want to illuminate a room. For example the Marriott Hotel in Montreal decided to use a blue acid-etched mirror for a large wall in the restaurant area facing windows; this really opens up the space and reduces glare and reflection as the acid-etched mirror truly absorbs the natural light. A more subtle yet sophisticated look is having grey mirror walls in the elevator lobby, like at the M9 Condos.  In this case both un-etched and etched mirrors were used to get varying visual effects.


And finally one can combine acid-etched glass and color by having colored interlayers. This is a great way to create glass panels that have a multitude of color. As mentioned earlier, there are only so many glass tints available in the market, whereas having a colored interlayer in a laminate assembly offers a much wider range of color options. The wonderful thing about acid-etched glass is that it really enhances the colour rendering making them POP really well. An example of this is the St-Joseph Oratory Project. The architects wanted to make a theme around the elevator cab areas and decided to go biblical. The lower levels are around red tints, which represent the underworld. As we go up, the colors change to lighter brown and green to represent the harvesting, and then finally turn into blue and light blue, representing heaven. The effect of the colors is really remarkable all the while letting the light pass through.  This was all made possible by using two sheets of acid-etched Starphire glass and an interlayer made of liquid resin to achieve the desired color.

The combination of color and acid-etched glass can also be used in exterior applications, such as the Barnard College project. In this case, the architect wanted to replicate the look of brick without actually using any. This was accomplished by using the acid-etched Velour finish on surface #1 of the insulated unit with a Terracotta ceramic frit on surface #2.

Feel free to share your ideas on the use of color in interior or exterior glazing applications, we would love to hear from you!

For more information or questions on how to incorporate color in your acid-etched glass or mirror makeup, please do not hesitate to contact our architectural experts.

The Walker Architectural Team

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9551 Ray Lawson Blvd., Montreal, QC, H1J 1L5, Canada, Phone: (888) 320-3030 ‎

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