DIY Mercury Glass Lamps

Hello! I’ve been dreaming of this post for a while now so I’m super excited to share this DIY. A couple months ago I found these lamps for $4 each at a local thrift store:

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Ignore the beer in the background :) I can honestly say it’s for a craft project, you’ll see!

The shape is wonderful but the gold-bronze color is not in the color scheme for any room that I’ve designed in my head. And of course, all my favorite bloggers have taught me that literally anything can be totally altered with a little spray paint and some love. I was inspired by these lamps I found at Marshall’s:

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The best part is that my lamps work, so all the changes would be cosmetic, which is great because I’m certainly not an electrician. Here’s where this project got a little tricky though: I wanted to try mercury-glassing (yes, that’s a verb) the lamps, a la this tutorial, but I could not find the specific paint they used! It’s Krylon “Looking Glass,” and I searched Michael’s, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and finally found it at a Super WalMart, which just goes to show how desperate I was for these lamps!

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Spray paint has never smiled the way I did when I found these beauties!

First, I covered the electrical (?) pieces of the lamp with a Zip-Loc bag and some tape because I’m pretty sure paint, water, and vinegar do not mix well with electricity. I also covered the lamp cord with tape where it met the base of the lamp because I wasn’t sure if I should paint the cord itself. Now that I see the “finished” product, I’m planning on painting the cord silver as well.

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In order to get the mercury effect, I used the spray paint along with a small spray bottle of a mixture of half water and half white vinegar. I started with misting one lamp in the water/vinegar mixture, then a light coat of spray paint:

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After one coat.

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You can see the vinegar eats away at the paint, which creates the mercury effect.

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After a few light coats, misting in between each coat.

I let the lamps dry for the day, and began my hunt for shades. It took a few tries but I ended up with two big, white shades for $15 each from my favorite place, Marshall’s!

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Finished product! I couldn’t resist the “&” I got at Marshall’s too!

I kept the plastic shade covers on because I’ll be moving in a couple months and I don’t trust myself not to destroy them. Plus, they don’t exactly have a spot in my current house so they are resigned to my desk for now.

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Close ups.

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**Important Note** My lamps are not made of glass, so they did have the exact mercury glass effect that I saw on other lamps. I knew that going into it though so I was not disappointed at all. Obviously if you are looking for something like what you’ve seen at a high-end store, try to find a glass lamp. I was perfectly happy with my two lamps for $36! I can’t wait to find a home for them when I move into our new place….which I am still working on obtaining. More on that to come.

And since it’s been a little while since I had a whole project to post about, so here are some of the other fun things that have been happening in my life:

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Birthday hike with Casey at Bishop’s Peak

My mom and Casey both came for a few days so you can blame them for my lack of posting in April. As for photographic evidence of my mom’s visit, that would entail confidential wedding information that cannot be leaked at this time.

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Feeding my new Chia seed obsession

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Renewed my passport and booked my trip to Europe this July!!

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Planted my succulents

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Most exciting of all, as you can probably see by my new banner above, we got our engagement pictures!!! Done by the wonderful Heather Armstrong. She’s a super genius and I want to print these pictures and make wallpaper out of them. Just kidding. But really.

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2 thoughts on “DIY Mercury Glass Lamps

  1. Hello. I just came across your blog via Pinterest. I was curious why regular silver Krylon isn’t used. It seems that the looking glass stuff is difficult to find. I’d like to try a bronze color. I’m just getting into the fun world of DIY. Any thoughts?
    -S

    • Hi there! You could probably use a regular bronze spray paint but it won’t do the mercury effect that the Looking Glass paint does. I haven’t seen the Looking Glass paint in bronze though so I’m not sure if that’s an option. Best of luck!!

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