Have you noticed a lot of mercury glass out there lately? I've been coming across either the real stuff or faux weathered versions of it in the shops and in some of these holiday catalogs that are piling up on my coffee table. Real or fake, it's all very sparkly and perfect for the holidays. And, even better, it's great inspiration for a DIY project!
These West Elm hurricanes were the look I was going for here.
I've been wanting to try out a mercury glass DIY paint job for a while. The problem is that it involves spray paint. I have a very low tolerance for spray paint fumes. On top of that, it's 20 degrees here and the paint directions tell you not to use it in temperatures under 50 degrees. So finding a well-ventalated painting space in winter is not easy. But I really wanted to try this, so I ran out to the garage and sprayed very quickly. The garage isn't much warmer than outdoors (especially with the door wide open), but it worked as a five minute painting studio.
When I found those plates last week, I also grabbed this 50 cent vase at the thrift store.
Before starting, wash and dry the glass completely. I'm using this vase as a votive candle holder. Don't try this on anything that will come in contact with food or plants.
For the aged mercury glass look, I used Krylon Looking Glass paint and a spray bottle filled with straight vinegar. I've seen different advice on this combination. Some directions will tell you that you only need to spray water on the glass before applying the spray paint. I went with vinegar because I thought it might react with the paint and give it more of a cool aged look. I didn't notice any kind of reaction happening at all, so I think water would work just as well.
You'll want to do the spraying on the inside of the vessel. The first time I sprayed the paint over a thin layer of vinegar, it just slid right off. So after drying the glass completely, I sprayed a very fine mist of vinegar and then the spray paint. I wiped up the excess liquid at the bottom of the vase and also lightly dabbed the wet paint with a paper towel. Then I repeated the process 4 more times. I didn't go crazy with the vinegar, so my weathered look is more subtle than it could have been.
After the paint dried, I mixed up about 10 drops of blue food coloring with around 2 tablespoons of glazing medium (more or less depending on the size of what you are glazing). Click here to see more about using this kind of glaze.
The glaze can be poured directly over the outside of the vase. Hold the vase horizontally and pour on the mixture. Tilt the vase right side up and let the mixture coat the glass. Set the vase on wax paper until it dries. Move the vase around a couple of times so the mixture doesn't pool at the base of the glass.
I love the way this turned out. If anything, I would have covered more of the outside with the blue glaze, but I may have a second chance. I'd like to try this out on a few glass jars. I think it would make a pretty little cluster of candle holders for a holiday table.
Hope you liked that. See you next time!