In this paper, measurement method for the refractive index of chemical substances based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor was proposed. The relation between Bragg wavelength shift and surrounding refractive index (SRI) was analyzed theoretically and experimentally. The SRI sensitivity of the chemical sensor could be enhanced by reducing the cladding thickness of the FBG using hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution etching process. The experimental results indicated that the variation of Bragg wavelength increased as the SRI increased. In the low SRI region, the relationship between the Bragg wavelength shift and the change of the SRI was approximately linear.