I’m creating a retro-inspired Christmas tablescape and need something that has a vintage vibe but is current for today’s design trends. So, I decided to try my hand at a colored mercury glass candle holder diy project.
Mercury glass is definitely a vintage look.
However, almost everything I could find was the standard silver or gold mercury glass diy. And it was for vases, or jar candle holders.
Not for a mercury glass taper candle holder.
So, that meant I needed to figure it out myself.
Okay, I was up for the challenge.
I knew I wanted my colored mercury glass to have a pink tone to it.
Based on my research I figured that I would need to use red as the base for my pink mercury glass look.
I found a red stained glass spray paint that goes on see-through, not opaque.
I think they turned out pretty dang cute. Whatta you think?
Here’s what you need to make a pink-colored mercury glass taper candle holder yourself…
Supplies for Colored Mercury DIY Candle Holder
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How to DIY Colored Mercury Candle Holders
Step 1: Prep the Glass Taper Candle Holder
This is key!
Clean your glass with soap and water. Be sure that all smudges, fingerprints, and streaks are removed.
Step 2: Spray Painting the Clear Glass Candle Holder
You will be doing a lot of spray painting, so make sure you are in a well-ventilated area or are outside. Also, completely cover your work surface with newspaper or a dropcloth. Spray paint has a far reach, so cover more area than you think is necessary.
Take the stained glass spray paint and paint your clear glass candle holder. Apply 2-3 light coats, letting it dry in between coats.
I actually love the way the taper candle holders look with this see-through red, and almost didn’t proceed to the next step to give them the look of mercury glass. But they wouldn’t have worked on my vintage pink Christmas tablescape if I didn’t.
Step 3: Creating the DIY Mercury Glass Effect
*Note you will be working fairly quickly, so read the following instructions first, and then go back and start spray painting.
First, create a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water (half a cup of each) and add it to a spray bottle.
Set the spray bottle to mist and test the spray pattern. You don’t want a super fine mist or large water droplets.
Now spray one side of the candle holder with the vinegar solution and immediately spray over the vinegar solution with the mirror glass spray.
Take your rag and dab the area you just sprayed.
When you are dabbing (blotting) the candle holder, it is pulling up the mirror paint that covers the vinegar bubbles.
This is what creates the mercury glass look.
Don’t wipe, as that will remove sections of paint, not small bubbles. (I figured that out the hard way, grr!)
Turn your candle holder ½ way around and do the same thing on the other side: spray with vinegar, spray with mirror glass, and dab with a clean rag.
Candle holder after a few coats Rag ready to dab vinegar mixture Mercury glass candle holder after 3 coats
You will continue this process 4-6 times. Don’t wait longer than 30 seconds between coats of paint.
You want to work quickly because you don’t want the paint to dry completely.
The vinegar solution is keeping the paint wet and creating bubbles, so repeated coats of paint will be removed as you repeat this process over and over.
It creates a neat layered look.
Note: I originally started with a paper towel for blotting the paint but felt that it gave a weird pattern to the paint, so I switched to a clean rag and was much happier with the end result.
After the 4th coat, take a look at your progress. If you are happy with the look, stop. Otherwise, add a 5th or 6th coat to complete the diy mercury glass effect on your candle holder.
Let your colored mercury glass candle holder dry completely before using.
Isn’t it perfect as part of this retro Christmas tablescape?