This simple DIY project can make any clear glass look like mercury glass. Follow our simple step-by-step instructions to add some glitz to your home.
When we decided to give our hallway bathroom a makeover, we had a limited budget to tackle the task. We started with a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Then we painted the builder-grade cabinets and built a frame to go around the builder-installed mirror. You can read the details about those updates here:
- Bathroom Makeover on a Budget: How to Paint Cabinets
- Bathroom Makeover on a Budget: How to Frame a Mirror
- Makeover Reveal
Our goal was to keep the updates to just $200. The paint for the walls was $62, the primer and paint for the cabinets and mirror was another $25 (we used less than half a gallon of each, so I’m only counting half the price since we can use the rest for another project). The wood to frame the mirror was $17, and the mercury glass knobs were $12. That left us $84 to do the rest.
The sink faucets needed to be replaced too. We got these brushed nickel ones from Lowe’s Home Improvements for $46 thanks to a coupon. The $38 remaining wasn’t going to be enough to get two new light fixtures plus some decor items.
Sticking to Our Budget
To freshen up the light fixtures, I tried my hand at a DIY mercury glass project! I had a 40% coupon from Hobby Lobby so was able to buy the Krylon Looking Glass paint for $8. All I needed next was some white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, some paper towels, and a little time. Check, check, check and check! I had all that stuff at home.
You can make your own DIY mercury glass using any clear glass container. This would be fun with some votive jars, or mason jars to make little candle holders! Or you could make a cute vase using one of those Starbucks glass bottles (or any taller glass container).
DIY Mercury Glass Tutorial
You want to do this project in a well-ventilated area. The Looking Glass paint has a VERY strong smell! You also want to make sure you have everything you need with you before you start because the paint dries so quickly.
I set up a station outside in the shade with a trash bag and a piece of cardboard to protect the driveway. Keeping it classy over here in the dirty Mo… 🤣
Mix up equal parts of vinegar and water in your spritz bottle. Some tutorials I saw recommended using paper towels, other suggested old t-shirts. I didn’t have any old t-shirts handy so I went with the paper towels.
Before you get started, wash and dry the items you’re going to turn into faux mercury glass. Especially if the items are from light fixtures that are super dusty and a little grimy because you haven’t washed them
in a few years in a while… 🙈
Paint the INSIDE of the container using Krylon’s Looking Glass Silver spray paint. Use quick strokes to lightly apply the paint. It goes on so evenly with a really fine mist.
Let it dry for about a minute. Since I was doing six globes, I just did each step on all six pieces before moving on to the next step. That was plenty of time for the paint to dry.
Next, lightly spritz the wet paint with a fine mist of the vinegar/water mixture. Let it sit for a little bit, then gently blot it dry with a wadded up paper towel. This lifts a tiny bit of the paint off the surface which gives you the mottled look of mercury glass.
Paint. Spritz. Blot. Repeat.
Repeat the process of misting with the vinegar/water mixture, blotting and lightly spraying another layer of the Looking Glass paint until you’ve achieved the effect you like.
After you’ve done several layers, it really begins to look like mercury glass! I chose to end the process with another little spritz of the vinegar/water mixture to blot away a little more of the paint. Apparently, I don’t have a light touch when it comes to using spray paint so every time I added more paint I covered up the speckles too much. 😁
Once you’re satisfied with your results, let them dry for 10-15 minutes.
The Finished DIY Mercury Glass Fixtures
And there you have it: a DIY mercury glass project to spruce up the old light fixtures for just $8. I love the way the mercury glass adds a little sparkle and glitz to the girls’ bathroom!
If you’re keeping track, I’ve got about $30 left to spend on this project. Next week I’ll share the finished space and show you how we accessorized.
More posts about bathroom updates:
- Bye Bye Kiddie Bathroom, Hello Updated Teen Bathroom
- Farmhouse Master Bathroom Makeover
- Simple Powder Room Storage
- Plumbing Pipe Shelving | Easy DIY
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