Monday, December 10, 2012

Faux Mercury Tutorial -- Again

This is the week I actually get the holiday decorations up! I know ... I'm a bit late (ya think?). 
From what I see in Blogland everyone else's homes are beautifully decorated, their shopping is all done, gifts are artfully wrapped and under the gorgeous tree ....

I hang my head in shame.

But I finished up some ornaments for the shop over the weekend, worked a bit on some furniture pieces, did some re-merchandising today, and now I'm raring to finally get the house in order and decorated!


So until I have something finished to show you, I thought I'd repost this tutorial from last year. It's my one and only post that's gone viral, and my most posted on Pinterest. :-)

When I first tried this last year I came upon my method by experimenting with someone else's way of doing it. I still like this way best because you spray the outside of whatever piece you're mercurizing (I think I just made-up that word!). I not only find that easier, but this way if you're doing something like a bowl or a covered dish, you can still use the inside for edible items such as candy or cookies if you wish.
A couple of tips:
  • Another thing that makes this technique a little different is the blotting.  I discovered that by accident because of the drips, but it turned out to make it more realistic, in my view.

  • I had to stop when I did these pieces because I wasn't in a well-enough ventilated area and I started to get a headache.  On later pieces I did more spraying, spritzing, and blotting, and the pieces turned out more like the Ballard look I was going for. Do your blotting randomly. I just used a paper towel.

  • I still haven't found the paint at Michaels in Northern Virginia, although I've been told it's available in other regions, but's it's available at Hobby Lobby in-store and online.

If you haven't tried this yet, give it a go--it's easy!

Take a few of these ...

Thrift store finds - about $1.50 each

Add this and a spray bottle of water ...

I couldn't find this at Home Depot or Michaels, so I ordered online from
The large size is around $17

And get this - faux Mercury Glass!

Here they are with some tea lights in them.

I first saw this done by Maury of A Fabuless Home. Mine didn't go as smoothly as hers -- I accidentally sprayed the front of my shirt with the paint (I blame a faulty sprayer valve ... not the fact that I'm basically a klutz!).

But it's easy. All you do is spray the glass piece with the Krylon paint, let it dry for about 20 seconds or so, then lightly spritz it with water. I decided to spray mine on the outside of the piece.

Because of the aforementioned issue with the paint sprayer valve, I got drips. But all I did was blot with a paper towel and spray again until I got the desired effect. Actually I should have done more spraying and blotting, but the paint fumes were giving me a headache (note to self and to you, make sure you do this in a very well-ventilated area).

The best thing about this project is you can't screw it up! The more you blot and respray the more realistic it looks. Well, maybe that's the second best thing. The very best is the fact that you can get the same look as this ...

Ballard Designs, $25 - $39 each

For a whole lot less. I'm trying it on glass ornaments next!

Sharing at the Crafty Christmas Link Party at Primitive & Proper


  1. Thanks for reposting! I definitely want to try this!

  2. Love them! I did some plates and old flower vases, but I did paint the inside so it's nice to see that it looks good with the outside painted too!

  3. Deborah, dear, you're not late with Christmas decorating ... especially since you have the shop to stock and fluff in addition to everything else. (When I ran the fall craft show circuit back in the 90s, my Christmas decorating was done by my husband and kids, and shopping was accomplished during the very frenzied week before the actual Day.) Almost everyone I know retrieved their decorations from storage and got a start with them this weekend. Me? The tree is assembled, no ornaments, the hall is full of boxes and totes, and that's all. Does that make you feel better? :)

  4. No worries, I just got my tree up and decorated last night. I have 95% of my presents purchased but none are wrapped. Everything I pulled out of the closet to decorate for Christmas is sitting in the living room waiting to find a home or travel to the Goodwill store! So the house is a mess!

    I think I like how your glasses turned out better than most that I have seen. Yours look more real which is what I was wanting. Guess I will try it!

  5. So glad you reposted this. No, you are right on time . . . enjoy!

  6. you did a great job with this and love the vessels you chose!

  7. so, so beautiful .. your pieces came out gorg! thank you so much for linking up to our party!

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  12. thank you :) i tried this before Christmas with the hope that silver spray paint would work. IT.DOES.NOT!! lolol oh yeah, i did try to get away with it! I never got to make some for Christmas, because I couldn't even find the Looking Glass Paint til about a week ago. It was a small can, and about $13 and 7 cents a dollar tax. I'm glad to hear it can be done on the outside, so it makes perfect candy dishes..I can't wait to make something <3


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