Mercury Glass Light Fixture

3 Materials
1 Hour

How to make any clear glass object look like mercury glass. Includes easy, step-by-step instructions and an example of using this technique to transform a builder-installed light fixture in a hallway bathroom.

I tried this idea as part of a budget bathroom makeover. We completed the entire makeover for $200 so didn't have money in the budget to buy all new light fixtures. The faux mercury glass technique was a great way to add a little something extra to the builders-grade lights for just $10.

You want to do this project in a well-ventilated area. The Looking Glass paint has a VERY strong smell! You also want to make sure you have everything you need with you before you start because the paint dries so quickly.

Get all your materials together

What you'll need:

  • paper towels
  • Krylon Looking Glass spray paint
  • spritz bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar
  • clear glass items

I set up a station outside in the shade with a trash bag and a piece of cardboard to protect the driveway.

Be sure to wash and dry the clear glass items you’re going to turn into faux mercury glass before starting.

First Coat of Looking Glass Paint

Paint the INSIDE of the container using Krylon’s Looking Glass Silver spray paint. Use quick strokes to lightly apply the paint. It goes on very evenly with a really fine mist.

Wait For the Paint to Dry

Let it dry for about a minute. Since I was doing six globes, I just did each step on all six pieces before moving on to the next step. That was plenty of time for the paint to dry.

Make the Magic Happen!

Lightly spritz the wet paint with a fine mist of the vinegar/water mixture. Let it sit for a 15-30 seconds, then gently blot it dry with a wadded up paper towel. This lifts a tiny bit of the paint off the surface which gives you the mottled look of mercury glass.

Paint. Spritz. Blot. Repeat.

Repeat the process of misting with the vinegar/water mixture, blotting and lightly spraying another layer of the Looking Glass paint until you’ve achieved the effect you like.

Once You’re Happy With Your Results, Let Dry for 10-15 Minutes.

After you’ve done several layers, it really begins to look like mercury glass! I chose to end the process with another little spritz of the vinegar/water mixture to blot away a little more of the paint. Apparently, I don’t have a light touch when it comes to using spray paint, so every time I added more paint I covered up the speckles too much. Once you’re satisfied with your results, let them dry for 10-15 minutes.


Sit back and enjoy your results!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Karen Hyde
    on Aug 25, 2020

    My full length mirror already looks like this. If I use the looking glass paint, will it restore my mirror to solid?

    • CJ
      on Aug 25, 2020

      Simply2Moms, you did a beautiful job, I love the "new" light shades!

      Karen, I've used Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect spray paint to repair a mirror, it wasn't a great finish, a little grayish or darker than a real mirror but it is better than the black areas that were showing where the original finish flaked off.

      Be sure to scrape off all loose paint on the back before trying it. I've heard that you can get mirrors repaired by professionals, too.

  • KareNW
    on Aug 25, 2020

    Love the idea and would like to try. Would you please post photos of the lights on in the darkened bathroom?? Curious on how much light comes through for illumination.

    • Simply2Moms
      on Aug 26, 2020

      Here you go! Pardon the “real life” stuff on the counter. Here is an unedited picture with the lights on

  • Sue Brehm Neigel
    on Sep 15, 2020

    I'm just curious why you spray the inside and not the outside of the glass? I love the look!

Join the conversation

4 of 21 comments
  • Cherie
    on Sep 23, 2020

    just curious. I used looking glass paint and did not spray with spray paint after and it never dried all the way and smudged. Did it dry inside the light sconce?

    • Simply2Moms
      on Sep 29, 2020

      Hi Cherie

      I'm sorry you had trouble with your project. Following the steps I used for my project the paint did dry inside the light sconce.

  • Jill
    on Oct 12, 2020

    Will this work on white frosted globes? Very nicely done. Love the look! It really adds a lot of interest to the lights.

    • Simply2Moms
      7 days ago

      No unfortunetly it won't work exactly like this on white class but you could get a cool effect. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out! :)

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