So I have this large blank space above my front door and for the life of me, I could not decide what to hang above it. I was thinking just one large mirror but then I had this obnoxious fear of that big mirror falling to the ground when the front door slams shut someday. I hate hanging super large objects, to avoid this, I decided to hang a bunch of small objects instead. Must less scary but a bit more work for me.
First I thought I’d buy plain 12×12 mirrors and go through the whole antiquing process. Let me tell you, I don’t recommend this. It was tedious and it was a workout. You have to use paint stripper to get the backing off the mirror, then remove some of the actual mirror film with chemicals. All the while, you are scraping away with a paint scraper, getting quite the arm workout. By the time I was done I needed a drink, and I’m not talking about water. Anyway, I finished scraping the mirrors, antiqued them and then started to hang them but quickly realized I didn’t like the look of a bunch of square mirrors all in a row. I wanted different shapes and sizes all with decorative frames on them but I discovered I was going to be paying at least $30 per mirror for this. Now, I do have some mirrors with great frames that I may antique in the future so that post may come at a later date. This post, however, will teach you how to turn plain glass into an antiqued mirror, and it’s SO easy!
Off I went to the thrift store where I found a huge assortment of picture frames of all shapes and sizes. I picked out 11 of them (sadly, I broke one in the process of turning it into a mirror). Then I went to Home Depot and picked up a few cans of Rust-Oleum Laquer Gloss Black Spray Paint for the frames and a few cans of Rust-Oleum Mirror Finish Spray Paint for the glass. I came back home and got to work.
The steps themselves are pretty simple…
1. Remove the glass and backing from the picture frames
2. Spray the picture frames with the chosen color of spray paint, allow to dry completely. This may take 2 coats depending on the color you choose and material of the frame.
3. Using the mirror finish spray paint, paint the back side of the glass and allow to dry completely. If necessary, apply a second coat once the first coat is dry.
4. To get the antique finish on the mirror: Using a spray bottle, make a 50/50 water and bleach mixture. Spray a bit of the mixture on an old cloth (that you don’t mind ruining) and rub the cloth lightly in a circular motion around the outer 2 inches of the glass and anywhere that you want the mirror to look distressed. Reference the photo above to see the distressing on my mirrors, the more or the harder you rub the cloth on the mirror, the more the paint will come off.
5. Whatever piece of cardboard or backing is going directly behind the mirror, spray paint that piece black to get the full distressed look.
6. Reassemble your frames (remember the non-painted side of the glass faces forward) and voilà, you have a custom distressed mirror.