Creating an Antiqued Look
I posted a crafting challenge on Friday to my Facebook page asking people to make and post pictures of their silver antiqued glassware. I was a little disappointed that nobody excepted my challenge – and then I thought well maybe giving a little direction would be helpful. So today I will be sharing Mary and Tim Vidra’s, author of the 17 Apart Blog, instructions on how to make DIY Mercury Glass.
How To: DIY Antiqued Mercury Mirror Glass
Today we’re excited to share this simple and affordable method for transforming any piece of glass into a beautiful decor update with an antiqued mercury glass style finish — it’s amazing.
I’ve been eyeing lots of different decor accessories in the style of antique mercury glass as of late — this trend seems to be everywhere and I have to admit I’ve gotten a little sucked into the idea of a mirrored glass bedside lamp or even a bedside table. Given the fact I’m the only one in this household with this opinion, I’ve decided to get my feet wet slowly and figured out how to achieve the antiqued mercury glass look in a completely DIY method with smaller glass accessories I already had lying around the house.
Here’s what I was working with —a glass mason jar, milk bottle, ridged flower vase and a smaller round votive type candle holder. They were all things I either had in hiding down in the cellar or headed for the recycle bin, so I figured I had little to nothing to lose in the event things went horribly wrong, haha.
What I really liked about experimenting with all these different shapes and textures was the ability to test the finish on a smaller scale so I’d be able to imagine different possibilities as I come across glass pieces in the future on a larger scale (like that clear glass lamp just waiting for me to find it).
Back in the day, real mercury glass was used a decor accents and was an affordable option to it’s silver decor counterparts — today we’ll be making the affordable version of this original hack (kinda funny, right?).
- Various glass containers (must be glass, I used all clear versions).
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Krylon looking glass spray
- Paper towels
- Newspaper or other protective covering
The one catch to this tutorial is the fact that you’ll really need to look for the specific Krylon looking glass spray. I was able to find it in more than one of our local craft stores, but if you are at a loss, you can find it online. While I haven’t actually tried any other sprays, I did read in a few other Pinterest tutorials from people that did who wish in retrospect they had gone with the Krylon looking glass spray (just tyring to save you all a little time, money and frustration here).
Cover area outside (or in an extremely well ventilated area) where you plan to spray with newsprint or other protective covering — we used cut up grocery bags that we had on hand for projects like these.
Thoroughly clean and dry all glass pieces you’ll be working with — you want to make sure the glass is clean in order for the spray to fully do it’s thing. Fill a spray bottle with 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar and shake to combine. Set nozzle of spray bottle to it’s finest mist setting. Put on any protective gloves or masks you wish to use and let’s get started!
This is where I armed myself with my water/vinegar spray bottle in one hand and my looking glass spray in the other. First gently spray a fine mist of vinegar/water on the outside* of your glass container; you are looking for small droplets of water that bead up and do not run.
Follow up the water/vinegar spray almost immediately with a gentle and even layer of the metallic spray.
*Note about spray: if you are like me, you read all the directions and warnings on the looking glass spray before using, so you know it requires lots of shaking before and between use and recommends using on the inside of the glass — this is where you need to trust me — I (gasp) used it on the outside of the glass. I did this because I wanted to actually be able to put things like flowers and candles inside the containers and the end result was good for me, so I’m just putting it out there.
Allow to dry for just a minute and apply another fine mist of water/vinegar solution — then let them sit. Here’s what our glass containers looked like as they began to dry with both sprays applied — notice the fine beading from the water/vinegar solution creating variations in the mirror spray:
Allow to dry for about 2 minutes, then gently blot the beads of water/vinegar with your paper towel — they should lift off areas of the mirror spray in a varied pattern. Don’t rub very hard as the metallic finish will streak, though you can apply gentle pressure in various places to achieve a more realistic and varied mercury glass look. Don’t worry that the glass is still see-through at this point, since you’ll be doing several thin layers to build up the look over time.
Just repeat the same process over and over, and rotating between resting your glass container on its base versus its top so you get full coverage. All in all I probably went with between 3-4 coats in total.
You want to go with several thin and even layers of the spray to avoid runniness and splotching — trust me, the end result is worth the patience. Keep building up your layers until you are happy with the overall look and feel of your containers — then allow to dry for at least 3 hours until bringing inside or off the protective covering; you want them to set and seal.
After your container is completely dry, now you are ready to either tweak or style. If you think an area needs a little more or less coverage you can simply spot treat with more spray or spray with more water/vinegar and continue to blot away the treatment — this is where you own creativity and taste come into play.
So know that you know how – go out and make you own antiqued glass pieces and share how they turned out. I will post mine tomorrow will you?