Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to make [even better] Mercury Glass

Yes, I know… a Mercury Glass tutorial… surely every DIY blog has one by now, right?! [Yes. Yes they do.] I can assure you, if that is all I had to offer you today then I would simply link you up with Martha Stewart’s tutorial and call it a day! But NO!! Not here. Not today. Today I’m super excited because I took the typical tutorial and [in the words of Paula Abdul during her American Idol days] “made it my own!” [too much?!]
Sooo, anyway- here are the details: I wanted a richer two-dimensional look like the beautiful glass that I find in stores.

And I think I got it :) Here's how:

Materials you'll need:
Krylon’s Looking Glass spray paint
Gold metallic spray paint
Spray bottle with water
tape & newspaper
rough cloth soaked in vinegar

I went and purchased all of these glass vases from Goodwill for $0.99 each.
Then I taped off the outside because you don’t want any paint on the outside.

Next, spray the inside of each vase with water [just one or two spritz’ is enough].

Then, right away spray the Looking Glass Paint over the water. You’ll want to do two or three very light coats of the spray paint [you’ll only need to spray the water for the first coat, though].

Be sure to let it dry completely before moving onto this next step [I did it the next day]. Now, it's all dry- right?! Good- now spray one light, quick coat of gold right over the silver.

Let it dry partially [only about 5 minutes] then take a rough cloth with vinegar on it and rub/scratch off bits of the paint to create an even more mottled effect.

Now. You could be done. Here’s what it would look like if you stopped here [the one on the right side]. Yes, it's very beautiful. But too gold for my table because I’ve got more of a silvery Christmas thing happening. So- I added one more step to get it to look like the one on the left.
Here’s a side by side comparison so you can decide whether or not to proceed…

 The final step [should you choose to accept it] is really, really super quick.
Just spritz the inside with one more shot of water and immediately follow it with one quick, light spray of the Looking Glass Paint. Then you’re done!
I just love the mottled gold and silver tones.
And when lit up at night they are GORGEOUS.

 Not bad considering that if you had to go buy the paint and all the vases... you still would only spend $26!


  1. Very pretty! Great job! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. I LOVE these! Did you let the paint completely dry between the 3 coats of the Looking Glass paint? You say "spray with water, then immediately LG paint." Do you want the water to stay wet, and therefor spray the 3 coats pretty quickly in succession before the water completely drys up? Hope this question makes sense!

    1. Thanks :-) I did let them dry completely in between LG coats, but the water takes longer to dry than the paint so it was still beaded on the sides, plus as some may evaporate you'll actually get more texture because the surface has changed since the 1st coat. If you notice that the water is completely dry then you could spray it again... You just don't want to get it too wet or you will get a bunch of runs and it will look drippy.

  3. Really cool! I'm going to save this tutorial and one of these days I'll use it ;-)

  4. I would so like to do this, but I don't know where to buy this looking-glass-spray in Germany.

    1. It can be tricky to find here as well, check your local craft store, that's where I purchase it. Also, I have seen people use brushed silver spray paint, it doesn't have the exact same effect, but still looks good!

  5. Funny that I should stumble on to this. I've been thinking about adding gold to some of my DIY mercury glass. I love the silver that I've done, but something a little 'richer' might be nice too.

    For those having trouble finding the Looking Glass paint, try Amazon. The craft stores in my area no longer carry it (go figure), and I've ordered my last two cans from there.

  6. Love this idea! This idea could be used for any theme you want. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I've looked high and low for a "recipe" for this. I am making a bunch of different sizes to sit on a table at my daughter's wedding reception n December. She has also requested I do votives for all the tables at the reception too. I love the look of what you have done - way over all the others I have seen. Can' wait to try it tomorrow afternoon. Will report back :)

  8. I love tutorials, even if it has been done before, especially when 'done your way' with great pics!!
    these are lovely!!!! :)

  9. If I wanted to add color, how would you advise I do that? In other words were would it fall in all the steps? I have found vintage cobalt blue pendant shades, but turquoise is the accent color that I am trying to add to my kitchen. Wonderful pictures!!!

  10. Could you tell me what brand gold spray paint you used?

  11. Will these vases hold water for fresh flowers?

  12. Hi Salvage Savvy,
    Thanks for the smart innovation on the typical posts! I have been trying to find some info on how to create pink mercury glass for wedding centrepieces (yes I am Canadian!), and you have given me hope that I can use the same process, but substituting the pink for gold, or just adding the pink first and then the gold to give it more depth of colour. I also like the idea of spraying the inside of the vase, as opposed to the outside and letting the glass on the outside give the vase a more authentic look. Only worry, would the finish inside not flake off, if used to hold water? How has yours held up? Have you used it for fresh flowers? Thanks for any feedback.

  13. Can you put real candles in here or just LED? Guess it kind of makes me nervous to use the real candles with all the spray paint...


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