Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Faux Mercury Glass DIY How-To


Finally getting around to posting my how-to for DIY faux mercury glass. I've read quite a few other tutorials on this technique to get and idea for the process. Some of the suggestions were really good, others, not so much. Here are quite a few pictures from my projects and the steps. I'd definitely recommend getting some "practice glass", maybe something small you can try the process on. Also, no matter what any other tutorial says spraying on the OUTSIDE DOES NOT WORK the same way! You MUST spray on the INSIDE. The whole effect and point of the paint is that it creates a mirror finish, if you spray the inside you get to see the effect of this! See pictures below for examples. The steps to reproduce this effect are at the bottom. Enjoy! 


$4 Goodwill vase turned fabulous! I love this piece! It's about 18'' tall. Used the mirror finish (as you can see part of the neighborhood reflection in it) and also some gold Rustolium.


No paint - old boring flower vase

Empty liquor bottle. This one was tricky due to the small opening at the top. Still looks pretty good. 
Notice the spots inside this one, you should see this as your spraying. 




Details: the spots are created from the vinegar water solution. The gold peaks through where the mirror finish disappears. 
Inside detail of another large vase. These spots are good and will dry. Then they create a cool effect.

Some parts look better than others. It's due to chance and how much you spray.  The uniqueness is what makes each piece.
Test piece of paint on the outside. Clearly, this doesn't look like much more than a flat silver coat. This is why I tested! 

99 Cent Goodwill glass candlesticks with light coat of mirror spray and gold. 

This is a great detail shot of what you should see! 
Bottom of candlestick - remember the effect shows through to the outside! 



Another shot of this vase. Check out the sun glowing in the mirror reflection! 
Reused some glass jars which I glued to the candlestick. 
If that isn't a "mirror" finish, I don't know that is. That's me taking the pic! 


Faux Mercury Glass Directions & Materials:

Materials:
- Assortment of glass
- Spray bottle
- Vinegar
- Water
- Paper towel (if desired, I didn't use too often)
Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint
- Spray paint gun such as Spray Grip Gun - This piece is optional, but helps.
- Additional spray paint color, such as gold, bronze, etc. if you want another color to show through as I've done. I've not tested out any "colors" besides the gold. I'd love to hear feedback if anyone tries it.


1. Rummage for all the glass you can find. It's amazing what a coat of cool paint can do. Certainly get at least 1 or 2 test pieces.

2. Remove any labels, residue and dirt. Clean and dry glass is important. Make a solution of 50/50 white vinegar & water in a small spray bottle. 4 oz or so should be plenty.

3. Lay out a large tarp, newspaper etc. in your spraying area.  If possible to this in a garage where you won't have high breezes. If painting outside, just be careful of debris in the air. I'd also recommend working in the morning when it is cool. I did a few in the afternoon and the paint dried MUCH faster.

4. Layout all the pieces you want to paint. Space far enough apart to reach all pieces and paint can't transfer from one piece to another.

5. Start painting your test piece. I like to use a spray paint grip, as it makes the paint go on much more evenly.

6. Spray a medium thick layer of the Krylon. Let it dry for  ~ 15 seconds. Spray lightly with the vinegar solution. Your goal should be medium to large spray dots. Less is more until you get the hang of it. If you spray too much or too fast that is when it begins to run. You can lightly blot the glass with a paper towel if desired. I personally didn't prefer this effect as I think it smashes the paint too much. You may like the effect and your use of it could be totally different.

7. Let the vinegar solution "dry" for  ~ 10-15 seconds. This really depends on the temperature! Use your best judgement, but when the Krylon is dry and the bubbles are still a bit wet, spray on your second coat of gold (or other color). You will then see this color peek through to the outside.

8. Let glass dry for 30 min until well set.

9. If gluing jars to candlesticks, use a glass formulated glue (found at Hobby Lobby). Glue usually takes a few hours to soft set, overnight for best results.

10. Proudly display your amazing new faux mercury glass finds!


Notes: I've used 1 can of Krylon & have coated 2 very large vases, 3 medium sized vases, 5 (15-20oz.) jars, 4 glass candlesticks, a 20 x 16 piece of glass and still have a little paint left in the can. Don't worry, I bought 2 cans ; ) Considering 1 piece of cool faux mercury glass costs as much as my entire glass stash, I would say this paint is worth it, even though it is so expensive!

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