Easy tutorial for how to turn basic thrift store pendant glass into a DIY antique mercury glass pendant for an industrial farmhouse look.
Wow, I hope you like this thrift store transformation as much as I do! This is one of those small changes that make a lot of difference – at least to me, ’cause I love our new antique mercury glass pendant.
One of the aspects of this antiqued silver finish that is so cool is all the texture you can see when it’s lit up. We already had the rusty pendant fixture and the combo of the two produces that vintagey vibe I like so much.
I was totally stoked to find this pendant at Goodwill for .99 – it was exactly what I was looking for. I was completely willing to pay a bunch more (well, only up to $2.99…*cough*) and was doing a little victory dance – inside my head – when I saw the price. Don’t you love it when that happens?
How to Make a DIY Antique Mercury Glass Shade
The how-to is pretty simple (and similar to the antique mercury glass ribbed vases here).
- Krylon’s Looking Glass spray paint
- a spray bottle of water and vinegar (50-50 mix), which I used this time instead of the water only I used on the vases
- a clean rag for blotting
- masking tape
- Apply masking tape to the underside of edges of pendant and set on a piece of cardboard in a well-ventilated area (preferably outside) with the wide opening facing up.
- Spray one coat of Looking Glass to the inside of the pendant.
- Immediately spray lightly with the water-vinegar mix (just water works, too – adding vinegar gives a bit more antiquey finish, I think).
- Gently blot here and there with the rag. The rag will pull up the silver finish with the water mixture. Stop blotting when you have the desired look. More blotting takes away more of the silver.
- Let dry and spray 2 more light coats of Looking Glass paint before letting dry completely.
This is what my pendant looked like after misting and blotting the first coat. It’s not perfect, but a true antique finish wouldn’t be, either, so some sides have more silver than others. But since I didn’t want the bulb to show, I sprayed two more coats, which is perfect, I think.
After the pendant is dry, all that’s left is to attach it to a hanging pendant fixture which you can also find at a thrift store if you don’t already have one (remember, Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint is your friend if all you can find are bright brass bases).
We had converted a recessed light fixture into a pendant using a converter kit from our local home store and a vintage ebay-purchased pendant light back when we painted and remodeled the whole house. The hand-painted shade is really sweet, but was never exactly what I wanted and it didn’t go with our main kitchen light (also vintage) that has a beige glass shade.
The ribbed pendant fit perfectly – both in the pendant fixture and with the kitchen as a whole. I’m so happy with our new little antique mercury glass ribbed pendant – and especially with the fact that including the cost of the paint (about 1/2 the can), this little guy only cost around $5. Swoon.
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