This end table has been sitting in my living room for over a YEAR, desperate for a makeover. I bought it at our local secondhand shop (Deseret Industries, for my western USA friends) for $5! That’s right, FIVE DOLLARS. It’s just taken me forever to fix it up!

This post includes:
1. Spray painting old furniture
2. Making a mercury glass looking insert
3. And removing tarnish from old handles

If you like this post, don’t forget to pin this picture below! (:


If you’re new to refinishing furniture, or want to make something the same style as I’ve done here, I’ve put together a step-by-step of what you’ll need, and how to do it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your piece of furniture
  • Paper towels
  • A cup with 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar
  • A screwdriver
  • Any all-purpose cleaner
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend (I’ve mentioned this one before in this post)
  • Black Spray Paint (Krylon Satin or Rustoleum Satin. I really don’t have a preference.)
  • Mirror Spray Paint: Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint or Rust-oleum Mirror Effect (Either will work, depends on the look you want
  • Optional Gold Spray Paint (I had some left over from my lotus lamp project)
  • Cardboard, to put under the items you’re spraying
  • Q-tips, or an old toothbrush to clean the tarnish off the handle

I already had Bar Keeper’s Friend from previous projects, and needed to go to Hobby Lobby for other craft supplies, so that’s where I bought my spray paint. Two birds with one stone, right? But I have used lots of different types of spray paint, and really don’t have much of a preference. I probably could have gotten the spray paint cheaper at a Home Depot somewhere, but I saved myself a trip haha. Maybe sometime I’ll do a spray paint assessment post sometime on which ones are better…

Step 1: First things first, use the screwdriver to unscrew the handle and save it for later.
Step 2: Clean your piece of furniture with the all purpose cleaner and paper towels. You’ll want to make sure there’s no dust or dirt anywhere, because even if you don’t catch it, the spray paint sure will haha.
Step 3: Place your furniture on the cardboard and start spraying!

***SPRAY PAINTING TIP!*** If you’re new to spray painting, here’s what I’ve found to work best for me when spraying irregular shapes, like furniture:
1. Go slower than you think you need to. Rushing can make you end up with paint runs in places, and you can run out of paint quickly.
2. Don’t hold the nozzle down the whole time you spray. Whatever direction you are going (vertically or horizontally) use short spurts on the nozzle as you go back and forth. This conserves your paint, and gives you a more even coated finish.
3. Hold the paint the same distance away from the furniture the whole time you spray. The label on the can usually tells you how far away, but general rule is stay about 6-8 inches from your object. This may make it take a little longer, but it’s worth it for a good finish. Trust me.
4. Start with one section, and move around the whole piece. For example, I started with the top octagonal shaped part and moved around to spray the whole top. Then I moved to the columns and did one at a time. So on, and so forth.

It’s not rocket science, but these tips should help you get the look you are wanting!

Mercury Glass Top

Step 4: While the paint is drying, we’ll make the mercury glass! Get the glass ready for spraying by cleaning it, and setting it on the cardboard.

Step 5: Grab your cup with 1:1 water and vinegar. Dip your fingers into the cup and sprinkle the mixture onto the glass. It should leave little water droplets like the picture above.

Step 6: Spray the surface with Looking Glass or Mirror Effect Spray Paint, and wait just a few moments for it to dry. One minute, tops. This process is pretty quick.
Step 7: Take your paper towel and dab the water droplets until all have been soaked up and leave little spots. The streaks and spots combined is what gives you that antiqued look.
Step 8: Optional – I added a little bit of gold spray paint just to give it an extra flare of color, but you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.
Step 9: Seal the back with black paint. Meaning, spray the whole thing black, and make sure there isn’t any silver paint showing through. Because it’s glass, it will look like the mercury glass on the opposite side when you flip it over.

Tarnish Removal

After you’re done spraying your glass top, you can remove the tarnish on the handle while you wait for them all to dry. This step takes time and patience, so keep that in mind! It’s not so much about how hard you scrub, it’s more about giving the Bar Keeper’s Friend enough time to get through each layer of tarnish as you rub it.

Step 10: Use the Bar Keeper’s Friend and fill your Q-tips with the liquid. Be sure to shake it good before you use it! You can also put it directly on the handle, but it’s pretty runny and messy.
Step 11: Use the cotton swabs to rub the tarnish off the pieces one section at a time. Be patient! It really is working, it just takes some time of both the cleaner and the rubbing to get through the layers. Pretty soon, it’ll look bright and shiny as new!

You can also use a cloth or old toothbrush. Whatever works best for you. I probably used like 20 cotton swabs just on this one handle haha.

Put all the pieces together and you are finished! It looks SOOOOO much better than before.

If you like that watercolor of Jesus Christ, Carly has beautiful prints here! Check it out!

I’m so happy with how it turned out! Especially that mercury glass top. 😍 It gives my living room so much more personality and style now! For only $20 or less, I’d say this furniture flip was a success!! Let me know what you think in the comments! Until next time, à bientôt!

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