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Make Your Own Mercury Glass

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Simple method of taking any cheap glass vase and making it into a faux antique mercury glass piece. I used two standard glass vases that I picked up at a discount store for less than $10 each. I'm now on the lookout for more pieces at thrift stores to make sparkly Christmas vignettes. Get a can of Krylon "Looking Glass" spray paint (available at Ace Hardware/K-Mart/Craft Stores, according to the Krylon website, but I couldn't find any in Las Vegas, so I ordered the small can online to give it a try). Paint is about $11/can. Step 1. Clean glass well. For the larger piece, I sprayed the inside, for the narrower piece, I sprayed the outside, with identical results. Step 2. Spray, using several light coats, being careful not to overspray to avoid runs. The paint is slightly cloudy when sprayed, but dries VERY quickly to a mirror-like finish. Step 3. After about 3 light coats, mix a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mist the painted surface enough to create beads. Step 4. Let sit about a minute, then dampen a paper towel with the vinegar/water mixture and firmly "pat" the beaded moisture that sits on the paint. You can actually rub a little in places, removing some of the paint as you go. Keep dabbing/wiping until you create the antique/worn look you desire. Step 5. After the piece completely dries, spray one very light coat of the looking glass paint over the already painted surface. This fills in the wiped away spots, adding dimension. You can repeat steps 3-5 until you get the look you want, although I only did it once.
This is the spray paint you will need. Chrome, nor stainless regular spray paint will work. I tried it with normal chrome spray first and it was a disaster.
This is what it looks like after you spray with vinegar/water mixture and blot. Then just spray another light coat over it to get the results below.
The finished product.
  • Z
    Z
    on Oct 2, 2012

    I've wanted to do this, but have yet to buy a can of the Looking Glass spray paint yet. I have loads of clear glass containers just waiting. You're look beautiful Leslie. I didn't realize you could do this to the outside of glass too.

  • Leslie D
    Leslie D Las Vegas, NV
    on Oct 2, 2012

    The results were identical on the pieces for the inside vs outside spray. It would have been impossible to get the spray inside the narrower apothecary jar. I tried typical "chrome" spray paint, trying to save a few bucks, but couldn't get the same results, and tried a method I found on youtube for "floating" the spray paint in water inside the jar and swirling to get the effect, but it didn't work well, either. Thankfully, if you screw up, the paint will wash off with a scrubbie and vinegar/water solution, so there's no fear of messing up One of the quickest and easiest projects I've done!

  • Z
    Z
    on Oct 2, 2012

    I tried the chrome spray paint too since I had some on hand. It really surprised me how awful it looked.

  • House on the Way - Leslie
    House on the Way - Leslie Boca Raton, FL
    on Oct 3, 2012

    Gorgeous! Love the mercury glass look!

  • Between Naps on the Porch
    Between Naps on the Porch Atlanta, GA
    on Oct 3, 2012

    Leslie, I haven't been able to find this in any of the stores either. One hardware store near me said they expect some in this Friday. Been wanting to try this for a while. Love how your vases came out!

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