Make Your Own Mercury Glass

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.

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Have a question about this project?

4 questions
  • Cheryl Hughes
    on Nov 20, 2015

    can you use a red or green paint along with this???

    • Leslie D
      on Nov 26, 2015

      @Cheryl Hughes I don't know. You may be able to use a "stained glass" paint before doing the steps, which would still allow light to shine through the spots that are wiped back.

  • Audybrady
    on Jan 3, 2016

    Do you stay n inside or outside? I would like to do wine bottles. Thank you and happy new year.

    • Leslie D
      on Jan 3, 2016

      @audybrady The thinner one was done on the outside and the larger on the outside. It works both ways.

  • Judy Wills Chaperon Young
    on Sep 10, 2016

    how long do you wait before spraying the vinegarwater mixture onto the looking glass paint

    • Leslie D
      on Sep 10, 2016

      As soon as it turns from cloudy to the mirrored finish. It dries very quickly, so I sprayed as soon as it dried.

  • 16999903
    on Sep 16, 2018

    Hi Leslie! I am so excited to try this. I have a grouping of mason jars that I'm hoping will go in a stationary clerestory window to have more privacy. There is a tall building across from us whose residents can see right into my kitchen. I'm going to use a mixture of jars with sea glass paint to let more light in, but I'd like to make it interesting with having a few with the mercury glass look. Will this work on the lids of the mason jars with the same effect of the shiny mercury sparkle?

Join the conversation

3 of 86 comments
  • 169756
    on Sep 29, 2016

    I would like to make one to put coffee pods in and leave on the counter. Guess I'll be doing the outside technique only. And a spray sealer when done.

  • Leigh Ann Hughbanks Koksal
    on Oct 22, 2016

    Walmart carries the looking glass spray also, it's cheapest I have found.

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