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DIY Mercury Glass

December 28, 2011

I understand the poor timing of this post..I had it started before Christmas..but then life happened..and my post took the backseat and I’m ok with that. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday with lots of warm cheer!

As mentioned in this post… I went a bit overboard with mercury glass in my Christmas decorations this year…I found out how to make it myself and was like a freight train blazing forward…I could not be stopped.

Is there anything better than rustic and imperfect, yet shiny, bling-blingy and so distracting!

But why so expensive?

Ornaments, votives, lamps, candle holders, picture frames, and animal figurines – all so beautiful.

Lanterns / Votive Holders / Table Lamp
Owl / Ornament / Trees

There are about a bazillion different tutorials out there, so I wont bore you with the details – google “DIY Mercury Glass” and try whatever seems like it would work best with your time/supplies/look., but basically they all involved a few key supplies.

1) Glass…use whatever your little heart desires. Get crazy and experiment with different vessels. I went to goodwill and picked up a handful of votive holders, a larger candle holder, a few glass ball ornaments and some funky vases…all for about $7. Look for fun textures and shapes!

2) Krylon Mirror-Like looking glass spray paint. And let me tell you, this sucker was hard to find! I searched around town and ended up getting it at Hobby Lobby. Word to the wise..call ahead before you assume any store will carry it.

3) Tape…Make sure all your glass is clean and dry. Tape the top edge, and outside of the glass…you will spray the insides of the glass, so cover anything you don’t want sprayed. I used painters tape.

4) Vinegar. This is what you use after you spray your glass with the Looking-Glass spray paint. A vinegar-water mixture is what causes the paint to buble-up and peel off in random places.

Here are the two methods I tried.

Spray 5 coats of looking-glass spray paint inside the glass vessels – letting it dry in between each coat. Make sure you spray thin coats of the paint. Let the final coat dry at least 20 minutes. In a spray bottle, mix 50/50 water/vinegar. Spray the mixture inside the glass vessel. You want the vinegar/water to bead up on the glass, thicker is some areas than others.

Take a paper towel, or an old toothbrush, or anything that will fit, and gently wipe at the inside of the surface. You will notice the paint peeling off in some areas and not in others. This is the random look you want.

If you don’t like the glass completely clean of paint, or you wiped off too much, all you need to do is spray another coat or two of the paint.

If you want to glass to look a little more colored..(gold or black-ish are the modt common) dab a paper town or brush in some metallic gold craft paint and dab it on the side of the glass.

My second method is about the same, but instead of spraying all 5 coats of looking-glass spray paint, do one coat, let it dry, spray on vinegar, and let it dry. Don’t wipe anything. Then do another coat of the spray paint..repeat.

Spray Paint – 10 min dry

Spray Vinegar – 20 min dry

Spray Paint – 10 min dry…. until you like the look.

This will give you a much more mirror look with a lot more, smaller irregularities, that almost look like bubbles in the spray paint. I prefer the look of this better than the last..but it does take a little while longer.

And last but not least…I have a stock of blue Ball Jars in the basement, and thought I would give it a try on those..I LOVE IT! The silver mirror looks amazing behind the teal glass and I can’t wait to try it with more colored glass. The best part about this whole project, you can find glass just about anywhere..it uber cheap-o, and if you screw it up, just scrape off the paint and try it again!

And who says this has to just be for Christmas. I can think of a very sparkly and shimmery holiday coming up soon….why not make this your New Years Party DIY Bling-Bling?! Or maybe add some pink candles and decorate with a little Valentine’s L.O.V.E.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Patti permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:15 pm

    Could you please tell me if you used distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

    • January 24, 2012 10:04 pm

      Hi Patti!
      I used just your regular old distilled white vinegar..because that’s just what I had..I never even thought of apple cider vinegar?? I would love to see how yours turns out!

  2. May 18, 2012 6:53 am

    Is that lamp in the collage of pictures (with the Xmas ornaments, owl, etc) just a clear glass lamp?

    • June 2, 2012 6:14 pm

      HI Tiffany, the lamp is from West Elm, here..

      http://www.westelm.com/products/glass-jug-table-lamp-w598/?pkey=e|mercury|8|best|0|1|24||8&group=1&sku=4444568&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Holiday%202011%20D3%20Billboards-_-

      and it looks like it might be just clear class but painted metallic on the inside, so maybe use that mirror finish pray paint, but don’t add the vinegar to make it look antiqued? Give it a try! You never know 🙂

  3. Katie permalink
    July 19, 2012 12:26 am

    Thank you for this information! I see you’ve used your DIY mercury glass as votives. Once everything is dry, there is no danger in having a candle inside the glass, is there? I am thinking about doing this to larger jars to house candles, but I certainly don’t want to use the fire extinguisher… 🙂

    • Hannah permalink
      January 8, 2013 11:22 am

      I second Katie’s question. I want to do this for my upcoming wedding but am having a hard time finding looking glass. Also what gold paint did you use? Thank you!

      • January 14, 2013 11:15 pm

        Hi Hannah- I’m no fire safety expert… But I have had tea light candles light in ours on the mantle for various occasions…a few hours at a time, and no sparks or fires yet 😉

  4. Lela permalink
    January 13, 2013 9:09 pm

    Thanks for the instructions. I liked the 2nd method better, too.

  5. March 9, 2013 9:07 pm

    What a great tutorial. Can wait to try!

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