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Monday, October 22, 2012

Saw It &Tried It : The Faux Mercury That Wasn't

This project was my first attempt at Faux Mercury, but didn't turn out exactly, so I'm just calling it a Faux Metal Treatment.  I'm still happy with how they look, even though it wasn't what I was going for. I'm still determined to conquer Faux Mercury another way!

I started out with these ceramic pumpkins from Dollar Tree, 
Gloss Black Spray Paint, and Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint.

I had seen some faux mercury attempts with foam pumpkins and thought I might be able to make them come out better by using glass ones instead...but I think the trick with faux mercury is that it's meant to be seen inside-out?  That's why it looks better on clear glass that is sprayed on the INside.  
Well, here is what I did...

First, I gave my pumpkins a few light coats of glossy black spray paint.
I did this, because faux mercury is supposed to be splotchy and show through to underneath.
I told you this was my first attempt, right?  
I thought they looked pretty awesome just after this first step.  The shine!

While these dried, I got a spray bottle ready with a mix of half water / half vinegar, 
as well as the Krylon Looking Glass Spray and some paper towels for blotting. 

Now for the experimenting...
I alternated light coats of Looking Glass Spray with spritzes of the water/vinegar.
If they had stayed as shiny as this first pic, the results of this project would have been golden.
I'm not sure if I did too many coats of looking glass, or if this is just how it dries on the reverse.
I'm going to try this again on a clear vase and see.

You can see the spritz of water/vinegar here ~  this creates water spots 
and uneven coloring on the surface.  You WANT this effect for faux mercury.
The tutorials I read (and there are a bazillion) suggested leaving the vinegar on for a few minutes and then blotting or rubbing dry to remove some of the looking glass paint to reveal the under layer.

My pumpkins turned out kind of dark and unshiny.  More like pewter than glass.

Keepin' it real:  the backside of one (or two) has a few faux finish faux pas (get it?) - spray paint drips, and marks where I had rotated them on my cardboard before they were completely dry.  Then when I turned them again, the wet part had stuck to the cardboard and peeled off.  oops.  Note to self:  Don't rush crafting.  Other note to self:  Sometimes a project doesn't turn out how you thought it would.

My faux metal pumpkins still look pretty rad as Halloween decor though!
I'll show you how I used them on my Mantel and Entry Table this week : )


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