Mercury glass is a beautiful collectable, prized for its silvery, shimmery finish and rich layers of texture. But vintage pieces are as expensive as they are rare. Fortunately, you can use Krylon® Looking Glass® Mirror-Like paint to recreate the look with recycled vases and candleholders.

There are several ways to get the look and they could not be more simple. Don’t plan on making just one piece. Instead, give yourself an instant collection. Select mismatched glass with varying heights and shapes. The paint will unify them.

Display them with branches of greenery, candles, moss, velvet and crystals to create a high-style vignette that evokes the beauty of the season.

Project Steps

Find a space for a sweet vignette, like a mantel, bookcase or cozy nook.

Gather your materials. Set up a workspace in a well-ventilated area with a dropcloth protecting your work surface.

Shake the Krylon® Looking Glass® Mirror-Like paint vigorously. Rattle the can for 3 to 5 minutes.

The Krylon® Looking Glass® Mirror-Like paint is unique, and behaves a bit differently than standard spray paint. Instead of applying it to the outside of the object, the look is achieved by painting the inside. It’s a bit thin, and accordingly it is best to apply in quick, short bursts.

Hold the can close, less than 1′ away. Spray a burst of paint onto the inside of the vase, then turn the vase and spray additional bursts until the inside of the glass is completely covered in a single thin coat.

Continue adding coats, letting each one dry for 1 minute before applying the next. Add up to 5 coats of paint. Remember to continue to shake the can intermittently while you work.

As the paint dries, it quickly changes from dull and cloudy into a bright, reflective sheen.

Real mercury glass has a finish that looks cracked and damaged. To mimic that effect with the paint, there are several easy techniques. The first technique uses household vinegar.

Lightly spray a solution of half vinegar, half water directly onto the paint and let it sit for about a minute.

Gently and slowly rub the vinegar-misted paint in small circles. Use a paper towel that has also been sprayed with the vinegar solution.

The vinegar affects the paint by allowing it to “break” when you rub it. The result is many different interesting and beautiful textures.

Experiment with different amounts of pressure to achieve different looks. The speed at which the paint is rubbed also changes the texture.

Distress the glass as much, or as little as you like. To add another layer of depth, complete the look with a final coat of Looking Glass paint.

The second technique for creating these vases is extremely simple. Just spray the Looking Glass paint onto a wet vase. Very lightly spritz the inside of the vase with water, then add paint in short bursts. When the paint and water dry, the result is a texture that looks as if it were created with molten silver.

The last technique for creating the mercury-glass look takes advantage of the thin nature of the paint. Spray a longer burst of Looking Glass paint into the vase. Then, slowly rotate the vase to roll the pooled up paint around. Use a piece of paper towel to keep the liquid paint from dripping out.

When the paint is dry, bring your new collection in and add candles, moss and greenery. Never put food inside the painted vases. If you add water before the paint has completely cured the paint could peel, but branches and lights are perfect accents.