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My colleague, Julie Whyte, tried her hand at this faux mercury glass project from a blog called Take the Side Street, and I thought I would share it because I think it turned out great! She used these gorgeous reflective vases at her wedding. Imagine them filled with fresh white blooms, plus they have such a romantic glow when filled with battery-operated candles (the paint is flammable).

Here's what you'll end up with:

And here are photos from Julie's process:

Krylon's Looking Glass spray paint will achieve the mercury glass look on vases or windows. Julie couldn't find the paint in Canada, but ordered hers online from It was about $11/can but with shipping it ended up being around $50 — keep that in mind. The tutorial suggests vinegar to distress the paint, and Julie said it worked really well to get the vintage look she was going for.

Select various shapes of old vases for an eclectic look, or keep them all the same for a more contemporary look.

Here they are drying in the sun. Julie said the paint was very, very runny, so you really have to be patient and do one layer at a time (spray a layer, let it dry, spray again, etc.). Julie noted that the finished candle holders are less mirror-like and more polished metal (not as sparkly-reflective on the inside as she was hoping for), but they'll be perfect for her centerpieces.

And here is a vase with a faux candle inside — pretty! For complete instructions, visit Take the Side Street.

For more easy DIY projects, see our DIY & Home Improvement section, plus see how Michael Penney transformed reclaimed windows with the same paint.

Photo credits:
Julie Whyte


Gwen McAuley

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