Do you love the look of old fashioned mercury glass like this piece?
I DO!!!! I just LOVE it. A WHOLE lot… but sometimes, it can be really hard to find the vintage-y looking mercury glass pieces at a lower price point (at a teacher’s price point, especially!!)
I found the piece of glass above when I moved into the Burrow (which is what I named my sweet craftsman home from 1929) and then I created this awesome wall hanging with a wooden piece I found at my favorite antique store, Green Oak Antiques outside of Rochester, IN! Visit their website here!
They also have an awesome Facebook page: Check it out!
I could literally spend hours at their store… DREAMY.
I have done tons of digging around online and found many different tutorials on how to create some DIY mercury glass! You can find a couple tutorials I browsed at these links:
Check out this tutorial at attagirlsays.com
Check out this tutorial at tidymom.net
Here is a Mills-version of these tutorials here. I took pieces of advice from the above tutorials and then put my own spin on the project!
Find some spare glass!
I had some spare glass sitting around from some frame art I made. A simple solution is to run to your local Goodwill or thrift store and pick up some cheap picture frames and use that glass! Or, your local Ace Hardware will cut glass to the size you want for reasonable prices!
Then pick a suitable work space that you won’t mind getting messy! We’ll be using the following materials:
- Mirror Spray Paint (any brand will do! I picked mine up at Lowe’s)
- Vinegar Water (2/3 cup water to 1/3 cup vinegar – I used Apple Cider Vinegar) in a spray bottle
- Cotton Balls
- Black Spray paint
- Razor Blade (optional)
- Some tunes (for jammin’) or Netflix (which is what I did…. : )
Okie Dokie Artichokie… Ready to go? Let’s make some Mercury Glass! (Can you find the glass in the above picture?!?! Gold star if you can!!!)
The first thing you will want to do is coat your glass in the Mirror Spray Paint. It does NOT have to be an even coat; although, try not to have drips!
Once you glass is coated let it sit and barely, sort of, kind of dry for about 1-2 minutes (this is SUPER scientific, can you tell? heehee!!)
Now, you’ll want to pick up your handy-dandy spray bottle filled with your vinegar solution! The solution will just sit on top like normal droplets of water.
Spray wherever you think you’ll want some distressing. This was trial and error for me! The best part about this DIY project is, if you mess up, you can just hit your glass with the Mirror Spray Paint once more and try again! I started COMPLETELY over on a piece of glass, and it turned out fine! Remember the immortal words of Bob Ross:
This is where you’ll take a cotton ball and start blotting. I tried paper towel and it left weird patterns in the paint, I tried fabric and it did the same… a cotton ball left no visible marks! Woot!
I also found that a “press and twist” method removed the paint almost entirely, while a simple press barely removed any paint at all. So, play around with the forcefulness of your BLOT! : )
Here is what a piece of glass with the blotting completed will look like! It isn’t completely dry, but if you let the vinegar water solution just kind of hangout, it won’t remove any more of the paint. The paint will ONLY be removed if you rub!
Now, you can leave it like this and hot glue it into a frame and let the color of your wall show through! It would be an awesome accent to your home!
However, if you would like to take it one step further for some extra vintage-y goodness, here is what I did.
Step Five (if you’d like):
Once everything was dried, I took some black spray paint and spray painted the side I had been working on!
This will give the back of your mirror a bit more depth and provide a darker, older look!
Here is a piece that is not quite dry so you can see what I mean!
I let all the pieces I was working on dry for quite awhile.
You’re probably wondering why I had an option for a razor blade listed under materials… WELL, there is one more step you *could* do if you wanted.
If the blotting and the black isn’t quite vintage-y enough, the final step would be to take a razor blade and strategically scrape off sections of the paint.
Below I have one option that is Scraped:
You can kind of see the wall color peek through in certain areas. It just adds another level of dimension!
Here is an option that is NOT Scraped:
Still equally cool!!! There is still dimension, there is still reflection, there is just no peek-a-boo of the wall behind.
And finally, here they are side-by-side:
Firstly – my light fixture looks like an insect… But, I suppose it is demonstrative of the reflective quality of the mirror paint! The piece on the left has been scraped, the piece on the right has not been scraped. So, all-in-all this final razor step is truly up to you!
I don’t know if I would have done such heavy sections of scraping, but what I REALLY like that doesn’t come through in the photos is if you take the edge of the blade and run it over the whole piece. That takes off the bubbles and reveals tiny dots… it looks super cool. (I have no clue if that makes sense, but… there you go HA!)
I had an absolute BLAST making my own mercury glass and now I have a skill I can use any time I want to add some flair to a project! I hope you give this a try!
Comment below or send us a message to share how YOUR mercury glass magic turned out!