How to DIY Mercury Glass

DIY mercury glass candle holders

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Overview
  • Working Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Mercury glass adds such a beautiful touch to decor! The vintage vibes of the irregular, crackled, and spotty glass are a lovely addition to a tablescape or mantel. This DIY mercury glass is so fast and easy to make, and you can apply it to any plain glass vessel you have! Use classic silver paint or put a modern spin on it with a copper, rose gold, or gold finish. This is a pretty project to try for any crafters—from beginner to expert

DIY mercury glass
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What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Tools

  • Spray bottle
  • Protective gloves

Materials

Materials

  • Glass vessels of any size or shape
  • Paper towels
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Silver reflective spray paint

Instructions

  1. Gather Materials

    As you are gathering your materials, consider the size and shape of your glass vessels. This DIY mercury glass technique looks great on a variety of pieces. You can choose a matching set, like we did here, to create a trio of votive cups. Or you could go larger and do the same treatment on a hurricane lantern, a large low bowl, or even a tall vase.

    A great place to look for glass items is at a thrift or secondhand store. Keep an eye out for pieces that have a smooth surface, no damage, and an interesting shape.

    DIY mercury glass materials
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  2. Create Liquid Mixture

    In the spray bottle, create a liquid mixture that is one part water and one part vinegar. Put on your protective gloves. You'll want to hold the item by putting your hand inside it completely so that your fingers don't cover any of the surface area.

    Next, spray a bit of the liquid mixture onto the surface of your glass item. Try to get the finest mist you can -- you don't want large droplets remaining on the surface. This first layer of spray will help resist some of the paint to create the irregular, crackled look of mercury glass.

    Water sprayed on glass cup
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  3. Apply the Spray Paint

    After you have a very fine mist of the liquid on your glass, then follow this with a very light coat of spray paint. It's best to spray from a distance of about 12 inches, very lightly, until you get the hang of your spray paint. This will avoid painting your glass too much too soon.

    After you have a very light coat of paint over your water mixture, immediately blot this with a crumpled paper towel. The blotting will remove lots of the paint and all of the liquid. You should start to see some mercury glass textures emerging.

    Gloved hand inside candle holder
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  4. Reverse Process and Repeat

    Now that you have your base coat, you'll reverse the order of what you apply to the glass. For every coat that you apply going forward, apply a very light coat of spray paint first. Immediately after, spritz the liquid mixture all over the painted area and blot as soon as possible.

    To make this process smooth and seamless, we recommend having your work area set up with all of your materials readily available. If you wait too long after you spray the paint, it will be too dry for the water technique to work.

    Continue this process. Spray paint, spray liquid mixture, blot, and repeat. Do this approximately five to six times, or until you're satisfied with the mercury glass texture.

    DIY mercury glass
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  5. Allow to Dry

    Once you have the mercury glass look you like, allow the glass items to dry completely. If you like, you can finish with a glossy sealer to add some shine and a polished finish.

    DIY mercury glass
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  6. Fill With Candles

    Candles look particularly lovely in a DIY mercury glass container! They highlight the irregular texture, as you can peek at the light coming through the areas of the glass that have less paint. These would look so pretty at a wedding, a holiday party, or as year-round home decor!

    DIY mercury glass candle holders
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