Thursday, June 21, 2018

DIY Mercury Glass



It's time for a DIY project for the true romantics out there.  Is there anything lovelier than fresh cut flowers in an antiqued mercury glass vase?  Perhaps the reason mercury glass is such a popular centerpiece at weddings is the nostalgic effect it has on us.  I absolutely love the understated beauty and elegance of silvered glass.  The look, and the effect, is way too wonderful to save only for special occasions.  

I invite you to follow along with me and transform your own gorgeous flower vessels.  It takes very little time and money to create the beautiful mercury glass effect presented here.  In less than an hour, you can be enjoying your own timeless centerpiece.  If you're like me, you'll get hooked and create any number of these mercury glass vases for yourself and for gifting to friends and family.  This is a gift you can be sure will be used and appreciated.


What You Will Need
* Glass vase
* White vinegar
* Water
* Misting pump bottle
* Paper towels

Optional
* Tarp or plastic drop cloth
* Wooden dowel rod
* Gloves

Steps 1-5
  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour into misting bottle.
  2. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe your glass clean.
  3. Protect work surfaces with a tarp, newspapers, or a drop cloth.  
  4. Test mister to ensure you will get a very fine spray.
  5. Shake up your spray paint for two minutes.

Step 6
Depending on the type of glass container you are painting, you may find it very helpful to use a dowel rod.  Supporting your vase with a dowel makes it easy to mist and spray all of the surfaces at the same time (without getting paint on your hands or fingerprints on your vase).  It also enables you to spray the bottom of the vase without waiting for the paint to dry on the sides of the container.

When I was painting the test tube vases, I used short dowel rods that I stood on end in an old piece of wood.  All I did was drill some holes in a two-by-four.  Then, I stacked each test tube on a dowel, leaving enough space in between to give me room to maneuver with the mister and spray paint.



Steps 7-8
Spray a very fine mist of the vinegar water on your vase.  The key to success is to start with a very light coating of the mist.  If you get large, running droplets, go ahead and wipe it down with a paper towel and start again.

Immediately spray over the mist with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint.  You will repeat these steps two to three times, so it is important not to try to get all of the silvering done all at once.  Light layering is essential to getting the desired vintage look of mercury glass.






Step 9
Very gently dab all over the misted and painted surface of the glass with a clean and dry paper towel. You want to blot up all spots of water and any larger droplets of paint.  This step creates the aged look of the silvered glass.











Step 10
Repeat the misting, painting, and blotting process until you are happy with the final effect.  I repeated the process three times on the vases pictured in this tutorial.


Step 11
Once the paint is dry, experiment with arranging your favorite flowers in your gorgeous mercury glass vases.  They look really nice in groupings of various sizes and shapes.

In this example, I placed three mercury glass test tubes in an antique bed spring.  The addition of a beveled mirror base created stability and an interesting reflective quality.  Peonies seemed just right for this type of vintage floral arrangement.















Mercury glass centerpieces don't have to be expensive to look like you spent big bucks at a floral shop.  Use the glass you already have at home.  It is so easy to upcycle any ordinary jar or cheap vase into something extraordinary.  There is something incredibly satisfying about giving a face-lift to a common, plain item.

We all hold the power of transformation in our hands.  Let's go create and share some beauty today.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

20 comments:

  1. What a great idea! Looks easy with your directions. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Wow, Diana, this DIY project is so effective! It’s amazing that such an easy method for simulating this lovely vintage finish can produce such beautiful, realistic effect. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you! It is amazing what you can do with a little vinegar, water, and spray paint. Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated... you.

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  3. Diana, this is a must do for me.....I have so many jars in shapes that I like, but there's something missing and I think this is just what that something is. I'm going to try this project for sure. I think it would also be lovely for a wedding or anniversary or any other "occasion". Thanks!

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    1. Hope you enjoy this project, Olivia. I was thinking the same thing about this being a lovely way to decorate for an anniversary celebration. I plan to use my new mercury glass vases to celebrate even the "ordinary" days. Right now I have several of these vases in my master bedroom.

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  4. Once again our clever DIY expert Diana has created a stunning, yet simple, project that can be done with a variety of objects. The ideas are endless and the finished results can be used in numerous ways. Wonderful, Diana!

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    1. Thank you, Elf. You are so right about the possibilities being endless. I plan to try this effect on a mirror and have already used it to upgrade some votive candle holders.

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  5. Your vases are really beautiful Diana and I love this idea. The old bed spring and test tubes together create quite an artistic design. I doubt I would have thought to turn the vase upside down on a dowel. Awesome! These beautiful vases really would be perfect for wedding table centerpieces, or for any party or banquet.

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    1. I appreciate your comments, Mouse. Glad you like these vases. It's an elegant way to decorate without breaking the bank. I can imagine a grouping of mercury glass on the mantle for the holiday season... candlesticks, mirror, vases, etc.

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  6. Wow!! What beautiful creations Diana. Easy step by step instructions and I love the idea of the wooden dowel. That is a perfect way to sprat paint these. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Sam! Always appreciate your visits and comments.

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  7. I love this idea and have lots of vases to try it on. What a great tutorial on DIY mercury glass! Thanks!

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    1. Your vases will love you for giving them a whole new look. Kind of like a spa day for glassware. :-)

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    1. Have fun! Hope you enjoy your DIY mercury glass adventure.

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  9. What a great tutorial! And I love the effect. I love this idea and enjoy your DIY projects so much.

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    1. Thank you! Always appreciated... your interest and support.

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  10. What a cool DIY, and your instructions are clear and straight forward, I'll be sharing this one on my home décor fan page

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