It seems like sandblasting wine bottles is a popular topic that people have been looking for so I figured I would create this quick guide on how to sandblast wine bottles. I included a bonus in the sandblaster plans manual which also talks about this. Its actually very easy to do and the hardest part is cutting out the stencil.
First, you need to grab a wine bottle that you want to sandblast and peel off the paper label with a knife. Some labels are hard to get off. One way to make it easier to remove is to soak the bottle in warm soapy water so that it softens up. This makes the adhesive and paper label easier to shave off as seen below:
Second, you need to make sure the surface of the wine bottle is clean. I like to use rubbing alcohol to remove any excess glue residue and any oils from your hands. This ensures the surface is clean. Now you can start on the stenciling process.
Third, start by drawing or transferring a black and white pattern onto a sheet of sandblasting stencil material such as vinyl or contact paper. If you use contact paper, you will need to use light blasting pressures and a fine abrasive grit so that the sandblasting media doesn’t penetrate through to the glass in areas you don’t want it to.
The stencil design can be pre-cut first or cut after the stencil sheet is placed on the bottle. I found that it is usually easier to place the stencil sheet on the bottle first and then cut out the design, but it depends on the process. In this case, I pre-cut the stencil as you can see below. I simply cut out the design by following the lines with a sharp knife such as a hobby knife or razor blade. Once cut, you can pull the areas that will be etched with the sandblaster in the following steps.
For the fourth step, align the stencil onto the bottle and smooth it with something flat. You can use a plastic putty knife or a vinyl material applicator. Also, mask off the outside of the stencil with a strong tape. If you use regular masking tape, you might want to double or triple it up so that the abrasive doesn’t go through.
Once your all set and ready, all you need to do is sandblast a few inches away at a desired PSI until the wine glass bottle is etched to a desired depth as shown below. The higher the PSI, the quicker and deeper the sandblaster will etch into the glass but 30 PSI should do just fine for most folks. I used my homemade variable pressure nozzle which was explained in the member’s area here.
After the wine bottle is sandblasted to a desired depth, remove as much of the stencil off with your fingers or use a knife to peel off. Then, rinse the bottle off with water.
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