Every glass surface can be matt or sanitized – either fully or partially – by etching or sandblasting, i.e. it can be given an opaque, silk-matt surface.
Etching is done with hydrofluoric acid (FH30), the only substance that can dissolve glass immediately. This has been a common practice in the glass industry since ancient times; hydrofluoric acid was “always” used to clean, mat or decorate glass surfaces.
Sandblasting is not always an alternative to etching. Although the optical result is almost identical. However, sandblasting creates small surface defects in the glass, which can reduce its bending tensile strength.