Mercury Glass (aka Silvered Glass) is one of those things that keeps coming back into style. For a few years now, it has been regaining popularity and turning up more and more in home decor stores. The silvery look has always felt very wintry to me, and I find myself drawn to it this time of year. The problem is that it can be quite expensive, especially if you want multiple pieces... so why not make your own?
Thanks to the abundance of options in spray paint, (yes, I know I am talking about spray paint again), making your own faux mercury glass couldn't be easier. This Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect is the paint I used, though Krylon 's Looking Glass will accomplish the same effect.
Aside from the paint, you will need a spray bottle with a nice fine mist, some vinegar, water, paper towel, clear spray paint, and obviously, the glass you want to finish. I found a few pieces in a thrift store. I figured at less than $1 each, I was willing to sacrifice a few in case this didn't go well the first time.
The first step is to thoroughly clean the inside of your glass. (Yep, you read that right. The inside is where this paint will be going.) Then, hold your vase at an angle, and apply the paint in very short sweeping bursts. This paint comes out pretty thin and runny, so you really don't want to get much on at one time. Rotate and then paint again until you have the covered the inside with one very thin coat.
This paint sets up very quickly so you can just set it aside for a minute or two before returning for another very thin coat. All told, you want to do about 5 coats of paint. When you are happy with your paint job, set it aside for about 10 minutes or until the paint is completely dry.
While you are waiting, prepare a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in your spray bottle. You won't need much.
You are ready to move on to the next step when you find that a mirror-like finish has appeared.
Just for the record, a mirror-like finish is really difficult to photograph. :-)
Now you are ready to take some of that paint off. This process works best in sections, so spray a tiny amount of your vinegar solution onto a small area of your painted surface. The water/vinegar will form these tiny little beads. Allow them to sit for a short time. After my final coat of paint, the vase sat for about 10 minutes of drying time, and I allowed the vinegar to sit for about 1 minute (which may have even been a bit too long). The longer your paint has dried, the longer you will need to let the vinegar sit.
When you are ready, use a small piece of paper towel (lightly moistened with the vinegar mixture) and begin very gently dabbing at the beads. You want to start off only dabbing, and if you find the paint is not coming off well enough you may progress to gently rubbing. Just remember to be gentle or you could end up with a huge section of paint coming off at once.
Repeat these steps until you have removed some paint from the entire piece of glass.
**I found that some portions required a few tries before the paint really wanted to flake off.
Once you have achieved your desired results, apply a clear coat to protect the finish.
**Remember that you should never put food or live plants into a container that you have sprayed.
Now remember when I said that it is really difficult to photograph an item with a mirror like finish?... I filled my vase with small, colorful ornaments. In person, you can really see the details, but I couldn't get that to show up well enough in pictures.
So when it got dark enough, I lit a votive inside the vase. Now I can't decide which look I prefer. Guess I'll have to hit up the thrift stores again and just make more. :-)
What do you think? Ornaments or candle?