Etching on slate is a quick and easy DIY project. Making personalized slate cheese boards, coasters or signs are a perfect way to dress up your entertainment pieces or to give as a gift.

Did you know you can etch slate? Check out this tutorial.

One of my most popular posts last year was one for DIY Etched Mason Jar Mugs. I’ve done several glass etching projects since then and I’ve been wanting to try the process on slate to see if it would work similarly. I’m so happy to say, IT DOES!


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Etching on Slate (supplies)

1) Wash your slate to get any debris off of it. Dry thoroughly before applying your stencil.

2) Adhere your stencil to your slate. I made my stencil using my Silhouette Cameo. I used contact paper, but you could also use vinyl or other stencils that are sticky on one side. (I know you’re all surprised that I chose a monogram!) You’ll want to press down all over your stencil and try to seal stencil to your slate so that the etching cream won’t bleed underneath it.

Etching on Slate - applying stencil

3) Apply the glass etching cream with a thick even layer inside your stencil. Be careful not to touch anywhere with it that you don’t want etched. I used my finger to apply it. The directions say to use a paint brush and wear gloves. I find I get a more even application with my finger, but proceed at your own risk. I have also used a paint brush with good success. My etching cream has discolored over time. This is completely normal and it does not affect its ability to work its magic.


Etching on Slate

Etching on Slate

4) Let etching cream sit for 10-15 minutes and then wash off completely under running water. You may have to rub off the etching cream to help remove it fully. After patting dry, I repeated the process a second time just to make sure it was fully covered and even.

Etching on Slate

5) Remove your stencil and wash your slate again.

Etching on Slate

6) Dry completely and you’re ready to use your new personalized piece!

Etching on Slate

I already tested it out tonight by having some cheese and crackers for dinner (not that uncommon of an occurrence at our house!)


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  • Charlotte Pemberton
    Posted July 20, 2015 4:59 am 0Likes

    Great tutorial! I’d like to make this, but I worry – is the finished product definitely food safe considering the chemicals within the etching cream?

    • Erin @
      Posted July 20, 2015 7:00 am 0Likes

      With a thorough washing with soap and water I would think it’s fine. I’ve used mine several times. It’s a good idea to read the label on your individual product though.

      • Charlotte Pemberton
        Posted July 21, 2015 3:02 am 0Likes

        Thanks Erin x

  • Merrick
    Posted November 28, 2015 10:41 pm 0Likes

    Where did you get your slate? I want a piece roughly the same dimensions for a possible Christmas present for my mom (the cheeseboard seems too wide and not long enough). Also, does the slate chip at all? How well do you think it would hold paint? Thanks Erin!

    • Erin @
      Posted November 28, 2015 10:47 pm 0Likes

      I got my slate at World Market. I have not had any issues with chipping. Are you planning to use for food? If so I’m not sure it would hold up well to washing (or be food safe). If it’s not intended for food and is just decorative, paint would likely adhere fine as long as it’s not polished slate.

      • Merrick
        Posted November 28, 2015 11:04 pm 0Likes

        Thanks Erin! My idea is to make the slate into a decorative piece. I want to etch a word or design onto it as well as paint it. I’m new to the DIY world, so if I wanted this to be able to be hung on the wall, how would you recommend I secure it? Picture hooks might be tough because the slate isn’t very thick.

      • Merrick
        Posted November 29, 2015 12:27 am 0Likes

        Also, what are the dimensions of your slate (LxWxH)?

        • Erin @
          Posted November 29, 2015 8:50 am 0Likes

          Mine is about 12 x 6 x 0.5. They sell one that is 12 x 18 as well. Depending on the size of your slate, maybe a plate or platter hanger? Send me a picture or share a link when you’re done with your project, I’d love to see it!

  • Megan
    Posted March 2, 2016 5:32 pm 0Likes

    Love this idea! We’re considering this for our wedding groomsmen gifts. I’m new to using my silhouette. Can you tell me how you made your stencil? It would be greatly appreciated.


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