Mercury Glass Coasters DIY

mercury glass coasters

Coasters.  They are the sacred barriers between beverages and ring-free furniture.  The first nice coasters I ever bought were from Pier 1 in college and we still use them, but they were only a set of four.  Sometime last year, my mother-in-law had coasters she had never used.  They were the kind you can put little pictures in.  I am not a fan of putting a sweaty glass of water on anyone’s face (even if the picture is under glass) but I knew I would need more than the four coasters I already had and that I could figure out how to give them a makeover.

before photo of coasters
This is what they looked like before.

I’ve been on a mercury glass kick lately and naturally I checked Pinterest to see if it was something that could be created via DIY.  Turns out it can be and it was so, so easy.  It also turns out that the coasters are perfect companions to the two most important beverages: coffee and wine. ?

Supplies needed:

  • Glass coasters (or tiles would work but they must be clear)
  • X-acto knife
  • Ball point pen
  • Glass cleaner
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Krylov Looking Glass spray paint
  • Paper towels
  • Vinyl bumpers


I first used the X-acto knife to remove the vinyl bumpers.  Next, I tore off the little plastic picture holders.

Remove vinyl bumpers
Remove vinyl bumpers
Then remove photo pocket
Then remove photo pocket

After that, prepare to spend a lot of time scraping off the white paint on the back that makes the foggy frame for the photos.  I switched back and forth between the X-acto knife and the ball point pen for this.  I was afraid of scratching the glass too much with the knife but found if I held the pen at an angle the edge around the ball point worked just as well without the risk of scratches.  It took a long time to do all four coasters and it got rather dusty but it was in some ways soothing.  I kind of compare it to those mini sand boxes that sit on desks and the rake is smaller than a normal table fork.  My own little zen garden (we won’t talk about the knife in it ?).

Scraping off paint
Scraping off paint

After all the paint is off, the rest of the project goes really fast!  Use glass cleaner to clean the backs of the coasters and let dry completely.  I got a bit excited with the next part and forgot to take pictures of every step.  I splashed some vinegar onto the coasters (the same side the paint was on to hide imperfections).  For this, I took a water bottle with a squirt top and filled it with vinegar.  I drizzled it over the coasters and the vinegar made pools on the coasters.  Then I quickly used the spray paint and sprayed over the vinegar puddles.

Spray paint over vinegar puddles
Spray paint over vinegar puddles

After letting it dry for a minute or so, I used a paper towel to blot the paint and absorb the vinegar puddles.  I let it dry a for a few more minutes and repeated the process again.  After that dried, I spray painted it without the vinegar and then blotted that with one of the damp paper towels to pick up smaller specks of paint.

Once they are fully dry and look perfectly imperfect (as mercury glass should), add the vinyl bumpers to the same side that was painted.

Vinyl bumpers
I found these at our local hardware store
Back of finished coasters
The backs are finished!

I then flipped them over, cleaned the tops with glass cleaner, and then poured a glass of wine.  The next morning I tested them with coffee – my Tiffany mug looks cute on them, no?
wine and coasters

Coffee and coasters


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