When I spotted a $5 glass pumpkin at Walmart I decided this was the perfect canvas for a DIY mercury glass project. The key to mercury glass it painting on the back (or inside) of the glass. Spraying the front or outside will result in a flat, non-mirrored finish. Since this pumpkin had a lid and a wide opening it was the perfect choice.
I taped the outer edge of the top and bottom of the pumpkin and began to spray. To create mercury glass you’ll need Looking Glass spray paint and a spray bottle with a mixture of half water, half apple cider vinegar. After searching Michaels for Looking Glass paint I ordered mine from Amazon. Later on I did find it in A.C. Moore. (Search your local craft store first and combine with a coupon for the best deal.)
Spray a light layer of Looking Glass paint on the inside of the pumpkin. You’ll then want to give a light mist of the water and vinegar mixture. The shape of the pumpkin will create lots of spots and drips. That’s ok! Just let everything dry and keep adding additional layers until you’re pleased with the results. The odd shape of the pumpkin bottom required placing it in lots of different positions as it dried between coats. I actually practiced a few different techniques for making mercury glass before I went with this one. You can experiment with spraying the water and vinegar mix first, letting the paint dry before spraying the mix, etc. I found that I got the best results with spraying the paint, waiting about a minute for the paint to dry, then spraying the water and vinegar mix.
I liked a pretty well covered finish so I used a lot of coats. A lot of coats. As in I lost count how many coats… It turned out great, though! And at $5 for the pumpkin and less than $10 for the paint it’s a steal compared to the prices at Pottery Barn. (Plus I still have plenty of paint left over for other projects!)