Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Cristina
Decorating your home with mercury glass adds a rustic feel to a home and fortunately learning how to make mercury glass with vinegar is highly cost-effective.
Answers may vary when trying to answer the question of what is mercury glass. Typically mercury glass is a reflective silver coating set in between two layers of glass. But that is often replicated, with great success, using paint and looking glass spray.
Two methods can be implemented for a DIY mercury glass project. One using a looking glass spray paint, and another with acrylic craft paint. Both are quite similar but have different results.
How To Make Mercury Glass With Vinegar And Mirror Spray
A looking glass spray makes a shiny, highly reflective surface, perfect for making an actual mirror. This DIY mercury glass can be distressed to look old, as the layers dry and set. Learning how to make mercury glass with vinegar has never been easier.
What You Will Need – Method One
- Glass item
- Looking glass spray paint
- A spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Paper tissues
- Gold or silver acrylic paint (optional)
- Rubber gloves
Step By Step
Step One: Clean Surface
It’s important to start with a clean glass surface, so washing them with some dish soap will provide a clean surface to work with. After washing the glass items, leave them out to dry completely.
Laying down some newspaper sheets will protect the table as some of the spray paint falls on it. Prepare the water with vinegar solution by combining two parts of water with one part of white vinegar.
Step Two: Spray Paint
For Flat Surface Mirror – For a flat piece of glass, lightly spray some with the looking glass paint, then promptly mist with the vinegar water. This will eat away at the paint layer, leaving discolored patches similar to an aged mirror. Let it dry like this for about 15 to 20 minutes.
After which, spray with the mirror paint and vinegar water again, until you obtain the desired effect. Clean residual blotches of paint with a rag, after the paint, has dried.
For Other Glass Items – For glass pieces that are not flat, such as jars or vases, a little more care is needed when applying the paint. To protect the inside part, if you want to use it later, cover the opening with some tape and plastic wrap.
Place the jar upside down and spray the first layer with the mirror paint, going all the way around. Mist with the vinegar water and let dry for a few minutes, then wipe with a paper tissue. Repeat a few times until you get the desired result. For a more distressed effect press harder on the paint.
Step Three: Add Some Details
Once the paint has dried and the marks left by the vinegar solution are visible, some extra details can be added. Using some metallic paint like gold, silver, or even copper is a great way of making mercury glass pop. Dab paint on the back of the mirror to highlight the mark in the front.
Black paint instead of metallic silvery will also render an aged look to the mercury mirror. Splaterrig a few drops to cover the marks made with the vinegar water in the back adds depth to the reflective surface.
Shimmering Mercury Mirror
When discovering how to make mercury glass with vinegar, the option to turn anything made of glass is available. Glass items that need not function as looking glasses can be made into less reflective mercury mirrors with a shimmering effect. These frosted glass objects make for great decorations, especially around wintertime.
What You Will Need – Method Two
- Glass items
- Old toothbrush
- Silver acrylic paint
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Paper tissues
- Rubbing alcohol
Step One: Prepping The Glass
Whether it’s jars or vases, cleaning them is important to start the process, so that no residue hinders the paint. Wash the items with dish soap and warm water then dry them with tissues or leave them out to dry.
Using rubbing alcohol to wipe the glass is not crucial but it may help the paint adhere and dry faster. It also reduces dust particles that might have stuck to the glass as it dried off. At this stage have the vinegar-water mixture ready to use as soon as the paint is applied.
Step Two: Applying Paint
Pour some of the silver acrylic paint onto a plate or tray you don’t intend to use again. Use the paintbrush to pat the glass with paint, randomly applying it in splotches. This will make a very uneven cover with paint to emulate old molten mirrors.
Step Three: Use Vinegar – Water Solution
Before the paint can dry, spray the painted glass with the vinegar-water solution. Take care to apply in an even layer so that it beads in droplets rather than drip. It will dissolve the silver paint somewhat creating a cracked effect.
Remove the water solution after a few seconds by dabbing it away with a crumpled-up paper tissue. Quickly cleaning the vinegar away so as to not take up too much of the paint, resulting in making mercury glass.
Tips And Tricks
- Other colors can be used instead of gold or silver, pink or black paint creates a nice finish.
- Normally it is advised to spray paint inside the pieces, but it’s easier to distress the paint from the outside.
- Blot excess vinegar water with a tissue, rubbing it will make streaks and spoil the overall mercury mirror effect.
- Acrylic paint dries up fast so don’t wait too much before using vinegar.
Conclusion On How To Make Mercury Glass With Vinegar
Making mercury glass is a fun easy project to jump into. Seeking out how to make mercury glass with vinegar may cause you to want to turn anything made of glass into mirrors. There is a wide range of items that can make for great decorative pieces, votive candle holders come to mind.
Implementing a variety of colors with making mercury glass will offer some interesting results, as it complements the piece. Bronze or gold make it look even more antique and beautiful as if the reflective copper backing has weathered with time.