Midweek Craft: DIY Mirror Glass

You know what’s super annoying? When every damned thing on a blog is something that would take your whole weekend/all your vacation days/the rest of your life and a degree in fiber arts to complete. Chronderlust is not about that. Chronderlust is about coming home from the gym and deciding to make something kinda pretty on Wednesday before you reheat curry and watch The Sopranos (actual description of today). Behold: Mercury glass, the ultimate stupidly easy craft that also looks awesome.

Oh, look, both of these are pretty, but only one is expensive.
Oh, look, both of these are pretty, but only one is expensive.

You have three of the four things you need for this in your house right now. After the jump, I’ll show you how to do this, and then you, too, will have a bunch of nice hostess gifts in your present closet that you can stuff full of Publix flowers if you get invited to a dinner party last second. Stop looking at me like that; that is a totally normal thing to stock for and I resent the accusation that it isn’t.

Yep. Glass cleaner and spray paint and you’re in business.

Okay, I lied. You need a couple more things than I said. You need a spray bottle filled with half white vinegar and half water (I use this as my glass cleaner, so it was ready), paper towels, Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Spray Paint, and a couple of those cheap vases you get when you order flowers, old milk bottles, or whatever you’ve got hanging out at your house. The fifth thing you need is a well-ventilated area because oh my good gravy, it is that Krylon stuff the real deal. Halfway through my little experiment, I had to go lie down with a very stiff drink because I thought the shower curtain was talking to me. It’s at least a gazillion times more potent than any other spray paint ever. I also learned the hard way that the nozzle on this thing is kind of weird looking and inverted by spraying myself in the face. You’re welcome.

Before you do anything, clean the glass vessels really well and let them dry. The bottle will tell you that you can just spray that ish on some glass and you’re set, but this is false. I tried that, and it was unsuccessful. Start by doing that, though. The rest of my method has evolved from trial and error, but I promise it works.

That's what it looks like after one coat.
That’s what it looks like after one coat.

Immediately thereafter, spray it down with the watery vinegar until there are beads sticking to the paint, but it isn’t dripping.  Here’s where you make some choices: you can either crumble a paper towel and dabdabdab at the beads. This will give you a cloudier look and some people like that. Overall, I was happier when I did not do that, because I wanted it to look like an eroded mirror. It’s a personal call, and I support you in whatever decisions you make. Also you look really nice today.

This stuff dries pretty quickly, so just run inside and do some dishes or fold laundry or watch cat videos for a minute. From there, we have another fork in the road: you must decide how opaque you want this vase to be.

We're looking at three/six coats depending on how you're counting.
We’re looking at three/six coats depending on how you’re counting.

Whatever you decide, take a good look in the light and make sure you applied even coats between each application. It doesn’t look very fancy at all if there are patches that just look like normal glass. Then everyone will know how unfancy you are and also you will have ruined a piece of cheap glass you didn’t really care about. THEN WHAT.

I found that I liked the look of about six coats of both the paint and the spray bottle mixture. The ones you saw before the jump was about that. I stopped there because I liked it and it was pretty opaque. Reasonably, I could have stopped at four and four, probably, but I wanted to use up all the paint because there wasn’t enough to start something anew. I let it dry for an hour or two before bringing it inside. This should go without saying, but you’ve gotta hand wash these later.

Since I have this down by now, I think my next step is going to be mercury glassing a dated-looking 80’s contemporary end table. Any other ideas of stuff I could cover in metallic paints?

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