Mirror, mirror

A few exciting things have happened to me recently. First, I found Krylon Looking Glass Spray (a US product) available for sale in Australia (yay) and second, I resigned from the job I’ve had for the last 3.5 years as a PA/secretary to start life as a temp and have a bit of an adventure. As one of those people who doesn’t have a really super specific career direction, I figure temping in lots of different roles will expose me to different industries and ideas and I might find that thing that really gets my motor running (besides being crafty which, at this stage, is not going to bring home the bacon). I’ve kind of thrown myself in the deep end here and I hope this decision pays off but sometimes you just need to take a risk.

Right, now I’ve covered that, let’s get back to the excitement of the Looking Glass Spray…

Krylon Looking Glass Spray is applied to the back of glass and will give it a mirrored look. According to everything I’ve read, there is no other product on the market that will do the same thing so you must get the Krylon brand. I got mine at Caswell Australia.

These are the beautiful Pottery Barn glass hurricane lamps that have inspired many a mercury glass DIY’er!

I am a big mercury glass fan but really only started seeing it when I started reading design and DIY blogs. I have managed to find 3 mercury glass candle holders at my local op-shops but I definitely wanted to try making a replica version of these gorgeous Pottery Barn Hurricane Lamps I’ve spotted a number of times. Lots of other bloggers have done DIY mercury glass tutorials and so after reading many of those I felt ready to tackle my own version.

I also had a gold frame on the fireplace mantle (I’ve changed the mantle AGAIN and both Dave and I are hoping this is it for a while as I seem to have a slight obsesssion with rearranging it every week or so…) that I wanted to turn into an antique mirror. I’m not 100% thrilled with the mirror but it doesn’t look too bad.

For my first attempt at a distressed mercury glass look I used an old coffee jar and began by spraying a light mist of water to the inside of the jar. I then applied about 6 coats of the spray, pausing to wipe some away with damp paper towel while it was still wet. After the five coats I sprayed some black paint over the wipe marks. I used the same method for the mirror. While they both look ok and the mirror is ‘antiqued’ it’s not what I was after so the below instructions are for the hurricane lamp, my second attempt, after reading a few more tutorials.

To make faux mercury glass you will need:

Krylon looking Glass Spray

Spray bottle with white vinegar

Masking tape

Paper towel

Glass Hurricane Lamp (mine was $4 at the reject shop) and/or glass from picture frame, both clean and dry

An old toothbrush

Black spray paint if you are making a mirror

Begin by taping up the outside lip of your hurricane lamp so no paint gets on the outside or rim. I also made a skirt with the paper towel for extra protection.

Spray a very light coat on the inside of the glass as the paint is very thin and will run easily as you can see from the photos. Wait one minute or until the paint has dried (you will know because it will suddenly become mirrored) and then spray some vinegar on a scrunched up paper towel and put on a section of the paint and drag slightly to lift it off the glass. Do this randomly all over the inside of the glass avoiding the ‘lip’ area (having a solid ring of paint around the lip helps recreate the Pottery Barn look). I used a toothbrush sprayed with vinegar for the harder to reach places.

Be careful not to scratch the paint in other areas inside the glass and if you do just use the paper towel technique on the scratch and do the same with drips. Do this spray and paper towel thing about 4 times but remember less is more and you want a decent amount of transparency. And that’s it! Wait for it to really dry for a few hours before putting a candle in there or do what I did and use a battery operated candle until a few hours have passed.

If you are making the antique mirror then leave more solid paint areas and only lift the paint off a small area of the glass. Spray over this with black paint. On my mirror you can see it has a real aged look because I sprayed it with water before applying the paint but in hindsight, I wouldn’t use the water at start because it interferes with the ‘reflectiveness’.

Enjoy!

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