DIY Colored Mercury Glass Candle Holders - Nomadic Decorator (2023)

So it seems everyone has posted DIY mercury glass projects. What could be different about mine? Well,I wanted colored mercury glass. These votive candle holders I photographed in theLoretto Chapel in Santa Fewere the inspiration:

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This is the famous church with a spiral staircase built by a mysterious man who disappeared, after building a spiral staircase that has no known means of support. It’s a popular tourist spot in Santa Fe. This photo of the chapel’s votives reminds me how much I love the rich repetition of the red and copper colors – this picture has stuck in my mind all year since March!

So, I made similar mercury glass votive holders. And I’m so excited to share this DIY with you! Because it’s super easy to make colored mercury glass, easier than I thought it would be.

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Here’s how you can make it yourself …

Supplies to Make Colored Mercury Glass

  • Clear glass. I used nine chunky square glass votive holders. You can use any glass as long as it has a big enough opening so you can paint the inside.
  • Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like spray paint. People say it’s not easy to find, and indeed I did not find it at most of my local craft and Home Depot type stores. Ifound it at Hobby Lobby and Ace Hardware (yeah, I forgot I bought it, and bought it twice). You can always Google it and buy it online. It’s not a bargain, but there is no substitute to get the mirroredlook. Unless you do silver leafing which is also not a bargain.
  • A translucent paint made for glass painting. I usedMartha Stewart Glass Paint, available at craft stores like Michaels andJoann, and Plaid Online. There are several finishes – I think the translucent and transparent finishes might work better than frosted or opaque. You want to see the Looking Glass mirror paint through this colored paint. I chose the TransparentLiquid Fill in Thai Hibiscus color. Michaels had finished samples of the paints, and the transparent liquid fill had the even, sheer look I wanted. This is not the only translucent paint for glass. There is also Pebeo Vitrea 160 sold at Dick Blick. There are likely other paints too. Any translucent paint used for making stained glass might work.
  • Water in a spray bottle. Some people use vinegar and water. I used only water. I didn’t want the risk of vinegar eating away at the first layer of colored paint. Plus you don’t need the vinegar to get the mottled effect in the Looking Glass paint. When people are using vinegar, they’re usually spraying the water/vinegar after the Looking Glass paint has dried and then they remove paint. If you spray only water before spraying the Looking Glass paint, the two don’t mix, sort of like “oil and water,” and you get a similar effect. You can use either technique. Here I use the “water only” way.
  • Tape and paper to protect the outside of your glass.

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Tutorial for DIY Colored Mercury Glass

Because this is the first time I’ve donethis project and used glass paint, I did one glass candleholder first to make sure it worked. Like a test sample. Igotthe look I wanted, so thenI did all the rest at once in a little assembly line:

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(Video) DIY | Colored Mercury Glass

STEP 1: Paint a layer of the translucent Martha Stewart Glass Paint (or Pebeo Vitrea 160, whatever you use) all over the inside of the glass. The Martha Stewart paintcan besqueezed directly from the bottle so I did not use a brush.Let the glass paint dry completely before Step 2.

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My paint’s directions say it should dry in an hour. But it took about 18 hours! I think I put it on a bit heavy.My paintwas definitely thicker and darker than the sample at Michaels. See here a heavier and lighter application – I got better at this over time:

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I squeezed the paint along the rim of the glass and then tapped the glass on the counter every which way, to get the paint to run down evenly. It’s thick paint so it runs slowly and ittended to stopbefore getting to the bottom. I don’t want to bangthe glass too hard on a granite countertop! I tried brushingthe painton but that looked smeared. Obviously I’m not an expert at this step. If you’ve used this paint and got agood even thin result, please leave comments for readers here! AllI know is, this paint did work to make colored mercury glass, but I struggled with it a bit.

Doesn’t it look like Vampire Craft Night on True Blood?

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You betcha! It looked more like a Halloween DIY than Christmas!

STEP 2: It’s really important to wait until your paint is dry before this step. Some people have reported that their wet paint melted and slid down the sides of the glass. It can also smoke and stink if it’s wet.


To permanently set the glass paint, you need to bake it. Follow the instructions for your paint. The Martha Stewart paint calls forbaking the glass in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Let the glass cool before the next steps.

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STEP 3: Cover the outside of your glass with tape and paper. You can use blue or green painter’s tape. I used Scotch gift wrap tape because it was already nearby.

STEP 4: Do whatever you like to do to protect your surroundings from paint spray. I usually put small objects in a cardboard box, and I spray paint in our sunroom which can be closed off from the rest of our house and has a bazillion windows for ventilation. You will need ventilation because the Looking Glass spray paint is stinky!

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STEP 5: Shake the Krylon Looking Glass paint can. Shake it real good! Then spritz a light sprinkling of water on the inside of your glass. Then spray a light layer of Looking Glass paint inside your glass. It’s okay to spray light – the rich layered look comes from multiple light layers of paint. Let the paint dry. It dries quickly, in a few minutes. (Okay that’s four steps but if they were all listed separate you’d see so many steps you’d never do this project!)

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STEP 6: Same as Step 5 – shake your spray paint can, spritz a light spray of water, then spray a light layer of Looking Glass paint. Let it dry.

(Video) DIY Colored Glass Candles | Aesthetic Fall Decor | DIY Fall Decor

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This is what my glass looks like lit after two coats of Looking Glass:

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OPTIONAL STEP 7:Take a peek atthe outside of your glass. If youlikehow it looks, you are done! Or you can spray a third layer of the Looking Glass paint. You know the drill now – shake your spray paint can. Shake it real good. Spritz a light spray of water. Spray a light layer of Looking Glass paint. Let it dry.

And now, you are done! Enjoy your color mercury glass!

Here’s a few shots of my first finished “test sample” glass – I love how it turned out:

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It’s really hard to capture in a photo, but the glass has a luminescent sheen, almost like a bottle of nail polish:

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(Video) DIY SEA GLASS BOTTLES || Easy Sea Glass Tutorial

A Few Tips

  • The Looking Glass paint is thin and runny. Some will likely puddle on the inside bottom of your glass. This is fine, doesn’t hurt anything.
  • Some DIYers dab paper towel or sponge to “pop bubbles” where the Looking Glass paint met the water drops. I didn’t do this. I guess you could. As far as I could tell, I didn’t get bubbles or anything to pop. And, from peeking at the outside, I could see the look I wanted happening so I figured, why mess with it. The water droplets dried when the paint dried.
  • Votive candles turn into a puddle of liquid when they burn, and this could ruin candleholders that are painted on the inside. So even though I painted votive holders, I use only tealight candles or the fake battery-powered candlesin these. If you’re painting a big candleholder like a hurricane and you’re using bigpillar candles, pillar candles do not liquify so they’re okay. But they can drip and you can protect the inside of your hurricane by setting a small candle dish in the bottom of your hurricane. If your pillar candle drips, the dish should capture the dripping wax.

Extra Credit

For something a little extra, I added a “bauble” on the votive holders, to add the dark metallic look from the Loretto Chapel inspiration photo:

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What I really like about these Loretto Chapel votives is the combo of the red with the dark metal. So I added filigree pendants foundin Michaels jewelry supply area, by gluingthem on one side ofthe votive holders:

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Here’s a row of red mercury glass votive holders on our fireplace mantle:

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Love them!! Perfect for Christmas decorating!

Shared at:

(Video) Easy Way To Color Glass!

Domestically Speaking Power of Paint | Home Stories A to Z | PinkWhen | Sugar Bee Crafts |The DIY Dreamer| The PINcentive Blog Hop| Thrifty Decor Chick


How do you color glass candle holders? ›

I am so excited to share an easy way to color glass candle holders, recycled, jars, picture frames, etc.
  1. Put your glue in a container and add a few drops of food coloring to get the color you like.
  2. Mix the food color and glue together.
  3. Paint the mixture onto your candle holder or jar.
  4. Let it dry completely.
28 May 2018

Can mercury be dyed? ›

Hg is an elemental metal, you can not dye it, sorry but impossible, but with some L.E.D.'s you can scam the hell out of suckers!

What kind of paint do you use on glass candle holders? ›

I usually use spray paint to paint glass, which works well enough—but DecoArt Glass Paint is really where it's at. While spray paint can scratch (and has some strong fumes, limiting where you can use it to craft), DecoArt's glass paint gives you a strong, durable finish and fill not gas you out of your craft room.

How do you make fake mercury glass ornaments? ›

The Step By Step Process I Did To Make These Ornaments:

Remove the top of the ornament and cut the ribbon or string off. Shake the Looking Glass spray paint and spray once into the ornament. Roll the spray paint all around inside the ornament. Use the hairdryer as you move the paint around until it dries.

Can you use acrylic paint on glass candle holders? ›

Can you paint glass with acrylic paint? Yes! I'm using DecoArt's brand new glass paint to illustrate everything you need to know about painting glass jars.

What decorating style is mercury glass? ›

Whether you prefer a more traditional, contemporary or bohemian aesthetic, you can find a design that fits your decor. “The beauty of mercury glass is that it works in all decor styles,” Angela says. The sleek organic shapes of mercury glass objects are another quality that lends the look so much appeal.

Can you use metallic paint for mercury glass? ›

I have to preface this tutorial by saying that I used a shiny silver metallic paint that I had on-hand for my faux mercury glass, and I really like the look of the more brushed finish; however, if you want a super shiny mirrored finish you can use Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray Paint to achieve that look using ...

What Colour is mercury paint? ›

As Mercury is a subtle blue grey, it pairs wonderfully with Mirror Mirror, or Axel which have darker pigments within to contrast against.

How do you change white mercury to red mercury? ›

You can't. It doesn't exist, and it never has existed. It was a hoax from the very beginning. Red Mercury is completely fake, it has never been real.

What color is mercury naturally? ›

Elemental or metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white metal, historically referred to as quicksilver, and is liquid at room temperature.

How do I make red mercury? ›

There is no way to turn mercury into a metallic red liquid. Cinnabar is a red compound of mercury, chemically it is mercury (II) sulphide. It is toxic, so mainly of historical interest as a decorative pigment.

Is mercury GREY or colorful? ›

Mercury has a dark gray, rocky surface which is covered with a thick layer of dust. The surface is thought to be made up of igneous silicate rocks and dust.

Is mercury gray or colorful? ›

Mercury's abnormally dark coloring has puzzled scientists for years — but a new study using NASA data has revealed the origins of the planet's unique look. Patches of a carbon-rich material called graphite — the same stuff that's in a pencil — cover Mercury's surface, tinting it dark gray.

Is mercury rainbow colored? ›

Spectral analysis reveals Mercury's mineral makeup.

Different minerals appear in a rainbow of colors in this image of Mercury from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.

How do you permanently paint glass? ›

Typically you'll start with a basecoat of Enamel or chalk paint on your glass.
  1. Dip the end of the brush into your paint. ...
  2. Start brushing on the glass. ...
  3. Don't keep brushing over the same areas when wet. ...
  4. Paint in layers, letting dry between layers. ...
  5. Add details with smaller brushes, a stylus, or daubers.
5 Aug 2022

What is the best paint to stick to glass? ›

Acrylic enamel paint is one of the best choices you can make because it's actually been specifically designed for long-term use on glass. Acrylic enamel has all of the benefits of acrylic paint and enamel paint respectively without any of the drawbacks such as having an oil base or being highly susceptible to damage.

Can u paint glass with acrylic paint? ›

Acrylic paint can be used to paint on glass, but it doesn't always mean that it will stick easily. Consider all the glass objects you can paint on, from mirrors and vases to wine glasses and mason jars, using acrylic paint on glass is a great way to personalize these pieces and more.

How do you use vinegar to make glass look like mercury glass? ›


Spray the back of your glass item with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint, then immediately mist with the water/vinegar solution. Let dry for 15-20 minutes, then coat with spray paint again, immediately following with the water/vinegar solution.

Is mercury glass gold or silver? ›

What is Mercury Glass? Believe it or not, mercury glass, which is also known as silvered glass, contains neither mercury, nor silver. In fact, it's a double-walled glass with a silvering formula inside.

When did they stop making mercury glass? ›

"Mercury" silvered glass was produced originally around 1840 until at least 1930 in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), Germany and was also manufactured in England from 1849 to 1855.

Are vintage mercury glass ornaments safe? ›

Mercury can damage the nervous system, brain, kidneys, and developing fetuses. Over time, mercury in antique items can leak out as seals age or when the items are damaged, dropped or moved improperly.

What are mercury glass ornaments made of? ›

What are mercury glass ornaments? Mercury glass (or silvered glass) is glass that was blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution, and sealed. … Sealing methods include metal discs covered with a glass round or a cork inserted into the unpolished pontil scar.

What paint will stick to candles? ›

Your candles will be safe to burn after a few hours of the paint drying, as long as you use water-based, non-toxic acrylic paint. “The amount of paint used can also affect the burn time so I'd avoid covering the whole candle in paint and stick to smaller designs,” she says.

Can you use Mod Podge on candle holders? ›

You can decorate candle holders with little crafting experience. It does help to have experience with Mod Podge so you know how to apply it and smooth down the paper without wrinkles.

What kind of paint do you use on glass jars? ›

Acrylic paint is the best option to paint glass like solvent-based paints. Chalk paint can also be used on glass jars. Just make sure the paint works best on the glass jar.

How do you make different colored glass? ›

The Color Wheel

Sulfide and powdered oxide are the most common. To create yellow, you add cadmium sulfide; red still requires gold (chloride); a blue/violet hue needs cobalt oxide; purple needs manganese dioxide; pure violet requires nickel oxide; and emerald green calls for chromic oxide.

What is the best sealer for acrylic paint on glass? ›

The best sealant for acrylic paint is a 100% Acrylic Solvent-Free Sealer. This type of sealer will not yellow or crack over time as latex-based sealers do. It's also more resistant to UV rays than water-based sealers, which means it will last longer and won't be as prone to fading.

How do you keep acrylic paint from peeling off glass? ›

Things You'll Need

Acrylic varnish is most often used to seal paintings and protect the surface from damage and fading, but it also works very well when used to prevent acrylic paint from flaking off a glass surface. The varnish is available in art stores and online is simple and effective to use.

Is mercury glass out of style? ›

Regardless, mercury glass made a comeback around 1900 as a festive form of glassware to use around the holidays. It fell out of style over the decades, but now, mercury glass has made yet another comeback, especially among antique enthusiasts. Today's version isn't made with mercury or silver.

Is mercury glass still popular? ›

Mercury Glass Revival

After briefly falling out of favor, mercury glass reappeared around 1900 in the form of pretty Christmas ornaments and gazing balls, as well as blown fruits and flowers. Today, most serious collectors concentrate on antique forms, like curtain pins, salt cellars, or pedestal-footed silvered vases.

What style does Joanna Gaines decorate in? ›

Joanna, who is known for her contemporary industrial style, revealed her interior design tips, where she shared the story behind all her home remodels.

What can I add to acrylic paint to make it metallic? ›

To make one gallon of metallic paint, add four ounces of the metallic mineral powder that you've chosen to one gallon of paint. Mix in thoroughly with a stick or mixing tool.

Does metallic acrylic paint work? ›

Yes, acrylic painting on metal is possible, but it does require some preparation first. You can easily do a variety of exciting projects when it comes to using acrylic paint on metal. Here are a few examples of projects you can do with acrylic painting on metal: Desks.

What colors make up Mercury? ›

Mercury is slate gray while Venus is pearly white, Earth a vibrant blue, and Mars a dusky red.

When was Mercury paint banned? ›

″EPA and the registrants of mercury paint preservatives have agreed to ban the use of mercury in indoor paint effective Aug. 20, 1990,″ said Linda Fisher, assistant administrator for pesticides and toxic substances.

What color are sunsets on Mercury? ›

And to top it all off ... it appears to be pink. The planet is Mercury. Of course, astronomers have known about Mercury for thousands of years, but since NASA's MESSENGER probe went into orbit around Mercury in 2011, researchers feel like they've been discovering the innermost planet all over again.

What is the coloring of mercury? ›

The planets of the solar system are varied in their appearance. Mercury is slate gray while Venus is pearly white, Earth a vibrant blue, and Mars a dusky red.

What color is mercury glass? ›

What is Mercury Glass? Mercury glass, also known as silvered glass, contains neither mercury nor silver. It's actually clear glass, mold-blown into double-walled shapes and coated on the inside with a silvering formula, which is inserted though a small hole that is then sealed with a plug.

What is the Favourite Colour of Mercury? ›

Mercury is of green color and reflects green rays.

Is Mercury grey or colorful? ›

Mercury has a dark gray, rocky surface which is covered with a thick layer of dust. The surface is thought to be made up of igneous silicate rocks and dust.

Is Mercury gray or colorful? ›

Mercury's abnormally dark coloring has puzzled scientists for years — but a new study using NASA data has revealed the origins of the planet's unique look. Patches of a carbon-rich material called graphite — the same stuff that's in a pencil — cover Mercury's surface, tinting it dark gray.

How can you tell real mercury glass? ›

There are many reproductions currently marketed as "mercury glass", in table form, ornaments and other objects. New "mercury glass" can be distinguished from antique silvered glass in several ways, including lack of a double wall, and solid bottoms that are different from true antique silvered glass.


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