Make Your Own Mercury Glass Planters: A Quick And Easy Tutorial

Okay, so I’ve been eyeing this particular Pinterest tutorial for a long time now. There are a lot of pretty examples on Pinterest, which can give you a great idea of what Mercury Glass looks like. It can be done in silver, gold, copper–whichever you prefer!

It only requires five items (if we’re truly stretching it):

  • Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint, Michael’s ($12.99)
  • Whatever Item You’re Painting:
    • Ashland Rose Bowl, Michael’s ($1.29)
    • Glass Votive, Thrift Store ($0.69) or similar one from Michael’s for $0.99
    • 2 Ceramic Planters, Thrift Store ($0.99 each) or similar one on Amazon for $7.99
  • Spray Bottle, Target ($0.99) or similar at Amazon for $3.99
  • Water
  • Vinegar

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I made the mistake of forgetting to photograph my ceramic planters and my rose bowl before the project, but–here we are. Fill your spray bottle with an equal mixture of Vinegar and Water. Set up your spray painting area. If you normally spray paint in your garage or another enclosed space, I would highly recommend moving your craft outside. The Krylon Looking Glass paint has an especially strong and unpleasant odor–even more so than traditional spray paints.

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The spray paint is designed for clear glass. I sprayed a bit on the inside, flipped it over, and then spritzed the outside. This paint is very thin and very streaky, but that’s okay! Even though it’s not perfect, I think it adds to the rustic and worn look. Immediately after spraying, you want to spritz your water and vinegar mixture onto the wet paint. You can either leave it as is to distress the glass or buff it in further. I used a plastic shopping bag to rub the water and vinegar in, which created an even more distressed look.

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When you use the paint on ceramic, it creates more of a metallic look than a glass look. I only sprayed the top edge of the inside (just enough so you wouldn’t see the original hideous green color once I put plants inside). I sprayed a coat on the outside, waited for it to dry, then sprayed again. The second coat is when I sprayed on the water and vinegar and buffed the planter for distressing.

Wait for them to dry for an hour or so and voila!

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Mine are certainly not perfect. You can see in this image the olive green underneath my ceramic planters. I think that really adds to the overall look and I love the way they turned out! I bought a simple boxwood mat from Michael’s and cut it in smaller pieces to fit each container. Here is a similar one for $20, but I paid much less for mine (around $6).

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I picked up a rose bundle like this one from Michael’s for my large container and added some interest with this heather bundle. I am a totally amateur florist, but it at least looks acceptable (to my eyes, anyway!).

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Overall thoughts?

  • The Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint is intended for clear glass, but works on other surfaces as well.
  • Very streaky, so use caution if using without the “distressing” technique. It may be challenging to make it perfectly smooth and beautiful.
  • Requires a second coat for ceramic surfaces.

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Would I do this project again?

Absolutely! I love the way my items turned out and I have been brainstorming about where else in my apartment I could use some glamorous containers!

Note: All images from Pinterest link to their original Pinterest post and DIY tutorial. Click on them for more information and different Mercury Glass techniques.

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