mercury glass – tips & techniques

Mercury glass tips & techniques

Do you love mercury glass as much as I do?  I have accumulated quite a few pieces over the years for both everyday decor to particular seasonal items.  

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Mercury glass, also referred to as silvered glass, was considered poor man’s silver when it first hit the scene in the mid 19th century.  The funny part is that it does not contain mercury or silver.

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In order to create the mercury glass effect, silvered colored metal is unfused in between a double walled glass object.   The hole or gap is then sealed where the silvered metal was inserted between the two glass walls.

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A few years ago I shared how to create faux mercury glass when I knocked off some Ballard Design’s pedestal bowls.  You can read the original post by clicking on the link below.

Mercury glass2faux mercury glass DIY – Ballard Designs knock-off

To create faux mercury glass you use silver looking glass spray paint and a 50-50 water to vinegar solution.  All the DIY steps  are included in the original post which you can click on the image above.

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I created the faux pedestal bowls over 5 years ago using inexpensive glass pieces and the mercury glass technique elevated these items to regular decor items around here.  I mix and match them with my real, store-bought mercury glass items.

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I also used the faux technique to fix a store bought piece that I inadvertently damaged.  I used this mercury glass container as a cache pot for one of my house plants and unfortunately the water ruined the silvering on the inside.  

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Clearly this is not an authentic mercury glass piece since the metal silvering was not between the glass but on the inside of the glass instead.  I bought this piece at Home Goods years ago so I was aware of the quality but I really liked the profile.

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Since I liked the profile so much I wanted to salvage the piece rather than get rid of it.  I sprayed the inside area where the silvering washed away and after it dried I sprayed it with the 50-50 water to vinegar mixture.  I then dabbed it with paper towels to create the mottled look of mercury glass.

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I went through the process a bunch of times to create layers which add some depth to the silvering.  I did it so many times I lost count.  In my original DIY tutorial I went through the process 5 times but that was starting with a clean, clear piece of glass.  Here I was working with the water line I was attempting to cover up, which turned out to not be totally possible but I was able to blend in the different effects.

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I will be using the piece as a hurricane lantern moving forward to prevent any further damage.  I actually really like it with the light flickering inside.

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I mix my real and faux mercury pieces in my decor all the time, and at a glance, without a super discerning eye you really can’t differentiate between the various varieties.

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I have so many other projects planned for 2021, both big and small.  I am not sure if I will get them all done but I am sure going to give it the old college try.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you back soon.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

~Edgar Degas~

Related posts:

Bottle & jar decor projects     Urntransformation partdeaux    Urntransformation



  1. Naush Samama says:

    Wow !! You are so talented and creative. Never thought faux mercury was even a thing !! These jars and bowls are stunning ! I’m always learning something new from all of you.
    Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party.
    see you this evening.

  2. Yes, Mercury glass is a Big thing around here. lol. And it IS great to learn so much from each other. One of the many great reasons I love this community. XO- MJ

  3. I love this! I bought all the supplies to create mercury glass ornaments and candle holders, and still haven’t done them! So I will live through you!Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens.

  4. I am so glad you liked my faux mercury glass. I hope this inspired you and you get yours done soon. Do it! You’ll love them, XO- MJ

I love hearing from you!