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Monday, January 21, 2013

A Knockoff of the Ballard Mirrored Table Topper

A few weeks ago I was looking through the Ballard Designs catalog and something caught my eye.


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I spied the Antique Mirrored Table Topper. I have two such tables that have a clear glass topper. I wanted it. Bad! But a topper to fit my large 36” table was $179.00. Yikes!

So I thought and thought about how I could DIY it. One day I remembered that I had seen something about two years ago on Design Sponge. Sure enough, I found a tutorial on creating an antique glass votive. Yes! An antique mercury glass table topper would be perfect!

Then I had to think some more because a votive is one thing, a large glass table topper was another.

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I actually had an extra 24” glass table topper that someone had given me so I decided to practice on this piece first. You can find such toppers at most home décor stores, as well as Target and Wal Mart.

Mr. Décor set up two saw horses so that I would have a stable flat surface in the backyard for painting. I made sure that the glass was squeaky clean before I began the process.

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Here is what you will need:

One clean and empty spray bottle filled with 1 cup of distilled water.

If you want more of a crackled finish add 1 cup of vinegar to the water in the spray bottle.

Paper Towels

One can of Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Like Paint. After a 5 store search I finally found it at Wal ~ Mart. It’s a tiny can and cost around $8.00. The price and size actually made me pause for a moment in the aisle. But then I weighed the $8 verses the $179.00 and bought it. It ABSOLUTELY has to be this product.  I also followed the instructions on the can and shook it up like nobody’s business! :)

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Spray a fine mist of the water and vinegar solution onto the clean glass. You want tiny droplets of water to cover the entire surface.

Immediately after, spray on a light layer of the mirror like paint. You want a thin, even coat.

You will see within 30 seconds that the mix will begin to bubble.

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Wait another 30 seconds to one minute when the finish looks like it’s beginning to dry and take a paper towel and gently blot the entire surface. Some of the bubbles will pop. Do not rub or scrub as this will remove the paint.

Then walk away for 10 minutes.

Come back and repeat the process.

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This is what the surface looked like after the second application. The glass begins to appear more opaque.

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After three separate coats I took a bottle of black acrylic paint and dabbed areas here and there. I let it dry for about 5 minutes and then did one final coat (for a total of 4) of the water/vinegar/mirror spray combination.

It was left to dry completely for 3 hours.

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Now the magic is that once you turn the glass over it indeed has a mirror like finish. You can also see the areas that I added a wee bit of black acrylic paint. (Click on the photo to enlarge it if you like.)

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I am REALLY happy with how this project turned out! This particular table will now go in the man cave. (We are debating between the Chevron fabric I shared HERE or this Ralph Lauren Damask/Ikat fabric.)

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Now the question is whether or not to paint the massive glass topper in the living room. I set up a vignette with a white cloth as that is how the table is normally dressed.

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Not bad for an under $10 knockoff!

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So what has inspired you lately?


Linking to:

Funky Junk SNS, Common Ground, StoneGable, Tatertots and Jello, Positively Splendid, The 36th Avenue, Jennifer Rizzo, BNOTPASTL, Someday Crafts

Savvy Southern Style


sissie said...

Hi Laura,
Your table top turned out beautifully. I love the technique and I might have to give it a try.


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

That turned out WONDERFUL!!!! I loveeeeeeeeee it!!!!

Sandy said...

Brilliant! I am book marking this one, would love to try the effect to plain framed glass to back some iron candle holders. Thanks for sharing!

Jenny@daysofchalkandchocolate said...

It looks beautiful! That paint is so fun to use.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

It turned out great Laura.. of course from You, that's what I've come to expect:)== no pressure of course lol. I have no doubt you can do anything and you proved that again with this project.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You are so clever. I love this. It looks fabulous. Great tutorial too. Hugs, Marty

The Cranky Queen said...

Thanx for the awesome tutorial... glad to know location of where to buy the looking glass paint...thanx, tiffany

my castle door is always open @ the "royal blog"...

The Comfort of a Safe Place said...

I'm loving this look! Very well one Laura! Have a great week!

Jan ♥

April Dunlap said...

Amazing! I haven't seen that particular paint...but may be motivated to look for some. Wondering what I can spray with it! :)
Great thrifty idea!

Babiole de Windsor said...

Your table topper looks awesome! I think I may have to try this on something...not sure just looks so cool I have to give it a try :)
Kelly @ Babiole de Windsor

ImagiMeri said...

As always, you are a marvel of DIY magic.....I bow to the master.

I hope you know that once you learn your photography lessons, you're going to have to teach me......

Love ya,

Marydon said...

Laura, you never cease to amaze me the beauty you bring out in simplicity. Stunning redo finish ... you inspire us all.

Have a beautiful day ~

The Tablescaper said...

Love this! So effective.

- The Tablescaper

Sue said...

I found a small mirror top table at GW but it is in sad shape as far as the top goes. I wonder if this would work on restoring it to somewhat new condition...hmmm Hey have nothing to lose, the table was only $5 and I was just going to cover it up with a place mat so...looks like I am going to have to go to Walmart and find this spray. Thanks for posting and I sure am going to pin it to my Pinterest. Love Love Love your DIY projects. :) Keep them coming.

Auntie Em said...

That is amazing! I love the soft reflection in the antiqued finish.
Your tutorial is so clear and easy to follow. I think I would start with a little piece of glass like you did before tackling a huge one. Thank you for sharing another one of your many ideas and talents! :)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

The transformation is amazing! I wish there was a product to restore an old mirror back to near its original self. I have a huge dresser in our bedroom with double mirrors that have deteriorated to where you can't really see in them. May have to bite the bullet and have new ones custom made.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

I love it....but, to me it looks scarey to do. I think I will stick to my modge podge!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

That is awesome Laura! I just saw the same technique used on another blog for the glass doors of a china hutch. Beautiful stuff!

E. Charlotte said...

That came out great! Looks wonderful! I think I need to try that technique! Thanks!

Laura Turner said...

Lovely in every way! Thank you for the tutorial. (And I thoroughly enjoyed your post yesterday, smiled at how "adversity" can bridge age differences.)

Laura from

Stacey said...

That looks amazing! You really made it look expensive. :)

lynn cockrell said...

This is a great idea and such a big change to an otherwise bland clear glass table topper. Love it!

lynn cockrell said...

For some reason, I am having trouble leaving comments today, so if you get more than one for me, please forgive. I just wanted to say that this is very pretty and such a great change from a clear and plain glass top. Good job!

Lillibeth said...

Good job! That is such a neat idea.

Kelley Dibble said...

Stunning results! A winner!


Lisa said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the how-to.:)
PS Just have to let you know how much I enjoy your Sunday posts. They are always so encouraging. Thanks for being so real and for sharing your heart. I look forward to them every week.

Hi, I'm MarySue said...

This is a great tutorial and finished project. I'll have to Pin it so I can remember how to do it. I've been noticing some of your cuteness on Pinterest lately. Happy day, msk

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

This is a great idea. It looks expensive but is cheap to do. I'm going to see if I can find this mirror like paint in Australia. Bisous

French said...

The glass looks GREAT! I am impressed with how the little black spots turned out looking very authentic....I haven't heard of this paint before, but sure I could find a few cool uses for it....thanks for the tips!

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, the glass looks wonderful and I wouldn't say it was a knockoff at all. This technique could be used for many projects. Thanks for the step-by-step! Ann

Organized Island said...

That looks so pretty! Very nice project. Thanks for the step by step instructions too!

Maureen said...

This is a great way to get a mirror top table! Pinning.

Debbie said...

I love this idea. I have some glass toppers in the attic because I recently changed out a few tables. Now, you make me want to drag them back down but do this to them. I love it.

Also, I had to tell you how fantatic your post was on Sunday. My mother told me about it because I've been too distracted for blog land lately. She actually brought her laptop to the table after Sunday dinner and read it aloud. Everyone was applauding you! I loved that.

openid said...

Your table topper turned out lovely. Please keep us posted on how it holds up. A clever and affordable solution!
Your Friend,

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What has inspired me lately? YOU just did! I have a 24" glass topper on which (years ago) I decoupaged a decorative paper to the back. I've been getting really tired of it lately, and this is just the look I want! Now if I can just finish up some other projects so I can start on that one!

BTW,great post Sunday! As one who was also an "older student" (and wife of a longtime college administrator who knows the ways of faculty), I understand EXACTLY what you were going through. Great response! Good luck to both you and your "film nerd" friend!

Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

Love this idea!!! The table topper turned out great, so pretty! And the good thing is, I have two of these table toppers and can't wait to try this technique on them!

Rebecca said...

I love this idea! It looks so chic. :) I saw a tutorial for doing this to mason jars on Pinterest but I never would have thought of a glass table topper.

Betty Mayfield said...

That turned out great! You are so creative!

Linda said...

In answer to your question... Laura, YOU have inspired me lately. We redid our master bathroom over the weekend and it looks lovely.

Next up, we need to update the light and mirror fixtures in Sarah's bath to complete her redo and I want to repaint the bottom portion of our master bedroom walls (leaving the rose stenciled border at the top which I adore).

Your table topper is lovely!

Suzy Handgraaf said...

It turned out perfectly, Laura! Your tutorial was great. Thank you for sharing!

Vel Criste said...

wow, this is really cool Laura! THanks for sharing this!

French Kissed said...

What a great leap of faith and it turned out so well...looks great. Don't know on what yet but I want to try this on something.


Carol said...

This is such a wonderful gift, and I'm sure will be treasured by your daughter!

Nancy said...

This is so lovely.How clever of you to take an idea you saw somewhere else and use it in a new and creative way. I have been wanting to make a tablecloth covered table for awhile however finding an unfinished round table is proving difficult. I won't pay the $80.00 that Ballard is asking. I have to ask where did you find that gorgeous blue and white print fabric?

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Hi Nancy,

This was the only way I could respond to you so I hope you see this message.

You can find round tables at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Wal Mart and Target. I even found one at Goodwill. :)

The tablecloth was a recent score at HomeGoods.

Nancy said...

Thanks for your quick response to my questions.I very much enjoy your blog,especially all things British!

Sarah said...

Love this idea!

I just wanted to say I also really enjoyed your Light Meter post! Some of my favorite peers in undergrad as a Studio Art major were my adult class mates! I really enjoyed their different perspectives from their stages of life and appreciated having them in my classes to mix up the dynamic. So glad you stood up to your professor and have a friend in someone younger. I hope he can learn a thing or two from you the way I did from my friends in school!

Hope you have a great rest of the semester!

Angela said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I'm going to do this today with three glass top nesting tables. The tops are 12 x 12", 14 x 14" and 16 x 16". The quote I got from a local glass shop was $629.50!!!!!