I have recently taken notice how mercury glass is becoming popular again. I am a little behind, I know. The craft stores are loading their shelves with all types of mercury glass vases, lamps and decor. It is beautiful and such a change than displaying ordinary plain glass. I was surprised how much I now have an affinity to mercury glass.
You can see from these examples that they are gorgeous replicas however I was surprised of their price tag. That is one reason I decided to diy mercury glass on my own. All of these shown were from $19.99-$29,99 and there were larger vases for $59.99. If you are frequenting antique malls and flea markets, you may want to hold out and try to find real mercury glass at these prices or you can try to diy mercury glass and get just as beautiful results.
Mercury glass, sometimes called silvered glass, is considered a very artful decor. According to Wikipedia, mercury was originally intended to be used for mirrors. Mercury glass does not contain mercury or silver but is actually clear glass that is free-blown or mold-blown double walled then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution, and sealed. That sounds like a lot of work! If you want to learn more about mercury glass, head on over to Martha Stewart. She has a great history and timeline of this beautiful glass.
I recently threw out (meaning recycled at our house) several glass vases I have held on to for years. I had collected way too many and decided to hold on to just a few. It was good because I was able to free up a lot of space yet keep a few different sizes. When I came across how to diy mercury glass I had to try it so I started with these vases that I kept and a Ball jar.
Supplies for this project include:
-Plastic wrap such as Saran wrap
-Looking Glass spray found at your local craft store
-Mixture (50/50) of water and white distilled vinegar
There are many tutorials online about how to get the best results for faux mercury glass and most of them describe how easy it is. Personally, I tried three different methods and I will let you know what worked best for me. Yes, in theory, the process is “easy” but I had about three rounds of “easy” before I figured out what worked best. The first method was to wrap the outside of the vases with plastic wrap to avoid getting the Looking Glass spray paint on the outside.
Then, it said to ‘lightly’ dampen the inside of the vase with water then spray the Looking Glass on the inside of the vase. This is where I probably got to much water on the interior and when I sprayed the Looking Glass on, it simply was too wet and the majority of it pooled in the bottom of the vase. On the taller vase it was also difficult to get my hand and the can all the way down the inside. I ended up taking a paper towel and blotching the moisture up until it was fairly dry.
While that was drying, I read that some people just spray the outside of the vase then spritz with the water and vinegar mixture when dry then blot with a paper towel to replicate the antique look . I tried this on the Ball jar and for whatever reason the paint just peeled off. People that know me well, know I want it done yesterday so just maybe I didn’t wait for the paint to dry long enough. The good thing about spraying the outside of the jar or vase is that if you plan to put fresh flowers in them they will not be affected by the paint.
So, back I went to the original technique of spraying the inside of the vase but this time I spritzed the inside of the smaller vase very lightly with the vinegar and water mixture then I sprayed the Looking Glass spray on the inside and waited VERY patiently until it completely dried. I had to coat it a couple of times to get the finish I liked. By the way, make sure you look for a coupon for your Looking Glass spray. It was originally $13.99 for the small can but with my JoAnn Fabrics coupon, I was able to save 40%. I used the entire can for all three vases but that did include all my “oop’s” so you may have more left over.
I definitely liked the mirrored antique look better when spraying the inside of the vases. When I tried spraying the outside I felt like it looked more like a metallic spray rather than the authentic look of mercury glass.
I really wish these pictures gave you a better idea of how beautiful I think they turned out. Although, they don’t look exactly like the the beautiful store bought ones, I am pleasantly surprised how antique and authentic they look plus I think if I practice on a few more I will have this craft perfected.
These are gorgeous to display anytime of the year but I especially like them setting out with the holiday seasons. I just cut a few decorative grasses we have in the backyard for a fall look but I can definitely imagine decorating with baby’s breath for the Christmas season.
Speaking of Christmas… check out this easy diy mercury glass ornaments from The Frugal Homemaker.
This would be a fun craft to do as well. I hope you are inspired to get crafty with diy mercury glass and most of all I hope you learned from my several attempts of getting it just right!