Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Upcycling Project: Refinishing Vintage Glassware

This project was a hard project to complete.  I had to obliterate the beautiful red tint that existed on the 1950's Ruby Red  Teardrop Compote in order to upcycle the glass and fix it's unfortunate flaws created by time's passage.  I'm all for keeping vintage and antiques as is flaws and all, but not when I'm attempting to sell them.  Let's face it, the scratches and blemishes that give a piece character also make them unsellable and less valuable to the consumer.  So though I loved this Ruby Red Teardrop Compote, I began a project to make it a perfect upcycled piece sellable and desirable by all.

I began my project by removing the red tint that had become scratched over the years. My first attempt utilized finger nail polish remover and a cotton ball.   That would have taken a while . . .

I then decided to try out the copper scrubber that my husband told me is great for scrubbing glass without scratching the glass itself.  Here's the product in case you were interested:  Chore Boy Copper Scrubber.  This really took me a lot of time and muscle power to scrub each teardrop on the compote and remove every single grain of red paint.  However, it was thankfully quicker than the nail polish remover.

Finally after much scrubbing, scraping, and rubbing, I had a clear surface.  A starting place for a new compote . . . a brightly colored refinished compote.

Now I needed my color to make this piece pop.  I searched all over the craft store for the right product.  I checked the paint section, the glass painting section, the beading section, the glassware section, then finally I found my product of choice in the spray paint section.  Basically, it is a translucent paint for glassware, metal, tile, and other like surfaces.  And it was the PERFECT color.

So I set up a plastic sheet on my sidewalk outside my house, shook the can for two minutes, popped off the top, and slowly began working over the surface with the paint.  I didn't want the color too deep, so I really took my time.  It looked stunning!  I even was able to lightly coat the stem just like the Ruby Red color had been previously on the stem.  I'm in love.

Here is a close up on the teardrop sides:

I am so pleased with the color and the look of this piece.  Unfortunately, today's forecast is rain, rain, rain, so I really couldn't get enough light to make these pictures perfect.  I'll take what I can get!

Here is my Before and After shot!

 I'll be sure to post when I put this up on Etsy!  Right now I'm still trying to figure out how much to charge with all the time I spent on the project and the price of the paint.  Now I know how to upcycle and refinish glass items, so fun!

Comment suggestion:

Let me know if you've ever refinished glassware.  What's your favorite paint?  Do you use stencils?  Maybe the etching product?

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  1. I have never refinished glass, this piece looks awesome in blue!

    1. Thanks! Seriously, isn't the blue awesome?

  2. Hello, from Busy Moms Team on Etsy. Wow I love the blue! Nice before and after photos!


  3. I didn't know you could do that with colored glass. It turned out great!!

  4. Oh WOW! What a transformation! I love all shades of blue, so I think the "after" picture is just beautiful! I can just imagine how long it took to scrub all of that red off...You did a great job. =)


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