Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge: Faux Mercury Glass Lamps

I’m so excited to bring you this Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge! I’ve teamed up with 20 other bloggers for this thrift store blog hop. The rules were simple–take an item(s) from a thrift store, yard sale, resale shop etc. and transform it into a new piece of home decor. There was no budget or theme to stick to, so we were free to let our creativity run wild!

Thrift Store Upcycle Challenge

Meet the Hosts

Amanda | The Kolb Corner      Chelc| Inside the Fox Den
Erlene | My Pinterventures     Kim | Made in a Day     Sara | Twelve on Main
Emily | Two Purple Couches     Shirley | Intelligent Domestications
Marie | DIY Adulation     Lindsay | Crazy Organized   Michelle | Our Crafty Mom
Julie | Live From Julie’s House     Debra | Shoppe No. 5     Dru | Polka Dot Poplars
Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles     Pili | Sweet Things     Channell | Hobnail House
Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek     Ann | Duct Tape and Denim
Paula | Virginia Sweet Pea     Sherry | Savvy Apron     Stacy | Anastasia Vintage

For The Thrift Store Upcycle Challenge I decided to take another run at making faux mercury glass lamps for my bedroom. In case you missed it, I tried this project a couple of months ago, you can get the details HERE.

I wanted to paint a pair of lamps using the pretty “faux mercury glass” technique with Kryon Looking Glass spray paint. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the original color will show through a little bit. I found 2 lamps that were the same style but different colors. The ivory lamp came out really pretty, but the blue one looked pretty awful – so I escorted it directly into the trash.

thrift store lamps
Please ignore the terrible orange furniture in my dining room – I recently found a 70’s cabinet at the ReStore that I’m going to refurbish

Last week I lucked out and found 2 matching lamps at my favorite Rescue Mission thrift store for $5.99 each. They were a blushy-beige, and I thought that would work out fine if it showed a little….and at least they match each other this time around.

$5.99 thrift store lamp

Materials List

(contains affiliate links)

white vinegar

spray bottle

Krylon Looking glass spray paint

painters tape

soft rag


faux mercury glass supplies

Faux Mercury Glass Lamp Tutorial – Take 2!

  1. Tape off the parts of the lamp that you don’t want painted – the cord and the light socket

faux mercury glass lamp turtorial

2. LIGHTLY spray the lamps with a solution of half vinegar and half water. You’re going for a light mist – you don’t want the water dripping. This is the only slightly tricky part of the whole project. You’ll want to hold the spray bottle some distance away from the lamp.

3. Spray the wet lamps with the Looking Glass paint. The solution will keep the paint from sticking to the lamp.

faux mercury glass lamp tutorial

Wait a minute or so and dab the lamp with a soft cloth. It should look cloudy and have black spots just like real mercury glass.

faux mercury glass lamp tutorial 2

That’s really it…it’s a pretty fast and easy project, and who doesn’t like (almost) instant gratification? You can repeat the process if you want to, but I’ve found it isn’t usually necessary.

faux mercury glass lamp tutorial 3

I topped them off with burlap drum shades for $12.99 each, so each lamp came in at about $20.

faux mercury glass lamp tutorial  - I turned dated $5.99 thrift store lamps into stylish additions to my bedroom with a fast and easy faux mercury glass paint technique.
Yes, I know that my pillowcase is crazy-wrinkled. No, I’m not going to iron it – not even for blog pictures. 😉

We now have 2 matching faux mercury glass lamps in our bedroom….PROGRESS!!!

faux mercury glass lamp tutorial  - I turned dated $5.99 thrift store lamps into stylish additions to my bedroom with a fast and easy faux mercury glass paint technique.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my contribution to the Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge!

Faux Mercury Glass Lamp Tutorial - I turned dated $5.99 thrift store lamps into stylish additions to my bedroom with a fast and easy faux mercury glass paint technique.


I can’t wait to see what all the other bloggers have come up with! Be sure to stop and visit our other hostesses.

About Julie

Julie is a serial entrepreneur, marketer, former newspaper columnist, black belt bargain hunter, voracious reader, gardener, music lover, foodie, wino, avid party thrower, hopeless romantic, closet Parrot Head and DIY machine.

  • Neat! I’ve always wanted to do a faux mercury glass project. I love your lamps and I’m totally going to find something to do this technique on.

  • Sherry@savvyapron

    You are so lucky to have found two matching lamps at a thrift store. I love how you updated it with mercury glass! I need to try this soon.

  • Wow these came out amazing. I have an old mercury glass post where I did the inside of a vase. I hadn’t thought about painting the outside of the lamps. Duh! I will now be on the hunt for some lamps!

  • These are incredible! I’ve tried the faux mercury glass method before, but not with colored glass. Glad to know it still has an amazing effect!


    These came out beautiful! I love the shades as well. Great job!

  • Paula@SweetPea

    I love using this paint but haven’t tried it on lamps. Now I know what I’ll hunt for on my next trip to Goodwill!

  • Debra Pashkowsky

    If I didn’t know better I would say these were bought at a favorite home goods store. I wouldn’t iron my sheets either. 🙂

  • I have been wanting to try the mercury glass look, just haven’t bit the bullet yet. These turned out GREAT! You would never know these came from a thrift store.

  • Your new lamps look terrific now!! I love the look of faux mercury glass, I need to get myself a can of spray paint…

  • Emily @ TwoPurpleCouches

    These are awesome! I love the look of mercury glass, and I am always admiring mercury glass lamps. I need to be on the lookout for some lamps I can refinish!

  • David Walters

    These lamps from a store can be super pricey. I love what we can do now a days with spray paint.