DIY Mercury Glass

4 years ago



I love Mercury Glass! LOVE! I have a few antique mercury glass ornaments that are REAL mercury glass and so pretty but very delicate..every year I pull them out and get scared of them breaking.  Its gorgeous all year round but especially in the Fall & during the Holidays!
And usually anything mercury glass even faux is fairly expensive so why not make your own on the cheap.  There is NO LIMIT on what you can make!
I first saw someone do this online while blog hopping (she did an old window) and I said "hmmmmm....I wanna try that".  So I refereed to her technique but changed it up a bit along the way to make it work for me. I did trial/test pieces to see how it would work..I highly suggest you do the same.
Here's what you will need:
- 1 can of Krylon Looking Glass Spray
- squirt bottle of 50/50 vinegar & water 
- clear glass objects 
- a sponge you can cut up
- a lint-free cloth
- papertowels
-acrylic paints in Gold
(black & silver optional)
Use only the Looking Glass/Mirror Spray...metallic silver will not me.
I only used gold paint on my mercury glass...but you can add extra silver or black if you want to vintage/distress it more. 
Clean your glass pieces well and then dry them and wipe out with a lint-free or tack cloth.
Cut your sponge into smaller pieces for each paint color you choose to use PLUS one piece for the vinegar spray.
BUT WAIT....find an old piece of glass or a cheap glass (Dollar Store) to test this process on before you try it on the things you really want to use.  TRUST ME on this.
The Krylon Looking Glass Spray is very runny so I found I had to LEARN HOW TO SPRAY IT!!
Short, far away, light sprays in the glass on the INSIDE ONLY on each side.  Light coats and you can respray after 1 will see it drying.  You do NOT want runny lines of paint!
I did 5 coats on each of my pieces...short light sprays each time...drying for 1 minute.
These are my pieces above after 5 coats.  You may want more or less...totally up to you.
(I had seen someone online suggest spraying it on the bottom and rolling it around the glass...I don't recommend that because it dries quickly and you will be left with runny streaks that aren't pretty..I tried it twice that way on cheap glass and it was awful and too hard to do for me.)
After you have enough coats on your glass...let it sit and dry for about 10 mins.
Then spray your 50/50 vinegar water into your glass on the inside lightly and far away.
Don't put the sprayer right into the it from a distance so you get lil balls of spray
like above.
Let vinegar water sit for about 20 seconds on inside of glass.
Now some tutorials suggested using paper towels to remove the paint...I tried that on my test pieces too.
But because I was working on a smaller object (she had a huge sheet of glass) I found a small piece of sponge to be easier to control and I liked the texture it gave..but its up to you on what you use.  
Spray your sponge piece with just a lil' vinegar/water as well to wet it.
Then holding your glass in one hand, use your sponge to dab at the paint from inside the glass.
Adjust how much you dab off and the direction you use each time for variation in your glass.
After I did a little bit I would check it from the outside to see how it looked as I worked around the inside of the glass.
Its up to you on how much you want to take off...I suggest starting with a LITTLE bit and then you can take off more as you continue on.
after you have removed the amount of paint from the inside that you want.
I let mine sit for about 10 minutes.
Antique Mercury can see the black peekin' thru!
Then you can start dabbing the paint (I used gold only) on the inside of my glass only on the places I removed had removed the Looking glass Paint from.  
After adding each bit I again checked from the outside to make sure it wasn't too much or too little.  
I didn't use the black or silver paints but perhaps next time I will try it...I was skeered and I liked just the gold on mine for now.  But I like how it looks in the above picture.
This is a close up of the piece after I removed some of the Looking Glass paint and added the gold.
Here they are all done...I am in love with how they turned out!  And it wasn't hard at all once I figured out what process worked best for me.
I am using flameless battery flickering candles in mine. ONE: because I don't want wax melting on the inside after all that work and TWO: I'm not sure if the heat would bubble the paint or make it smell.
I'd rather not push it, if you know what I mean.  Plus these candles are NO WORRY which is great!
(My battery candles are from Hobby Lobby...they were on SALE..and they smell like vanilla)
Cost Breakdown:
$11 $6.60 Looking Glass Spray
(use coupon for 40% off at Hobby Lobby or Craft Stores)
Large Glass Hurricane $4, small votives $1.99 = $4 total
(glassware was 50% off at Hobby Lobby)
Sponge & Rag - FREE
Vinegar Water - FREE
Acrylic Paints - FREE (I had already)
(but usually run $1-2 a bottle)
TOTAL:  $10
You can NOT beat that deal...$10 for these 3 glass would cost at LEAST $25 or more in stores!
And I have a lot left in my spray can for more projects..whoo hoo!
And I am ready to use this technique on a lamp and some ornaments I have.
Will share those when I finish those up.
Seriously if you want to try's not hard...just do a trial piece or two first.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from home

by Justina Huddleston | 14 days ago
by Allison Russo | 2 months ago
by Ashley @ Simply Designing | 2 months ago
by A SheKnows how-to guide | 3 months ago
by Justina Huddleston | 3 months ago