“Antique” Mirror Tutorial

My recent project for my guest room / nursery turned out even better than I had imagined:

Create your own "antique" mirror with a little spray paint and water

And no, that is not just a dirty mirror… 😉 After finding a fabulous empty frame at the thrift store (for $4!), I knew it needed something special, so I bought some Krylon Looking Glass spray paint and experimented with making mercury glass vases.  This project was just as simple.  The vinegar water solution on the spray paint gives the mirror a de-silvered look (is that grammatically correct?  I have no idea…).  Here’s how:

#1 Remove the glass from the frame.

Luckily, the frame opening was the same size as a cheap plastic frame I already had, so I disassembled that one to use the glass and black backer.

#2 Spray the back of the glass randomly with Krylon Looking Glass.

Does glass even have a front/back??  Anyway, you are not trying to achieve smooth, complete coverage – random spritzes are good.

#3 Randomly spritz the wet paint with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution.

Be sure to do this quickly, as the paint dries very fast.  The quicker you do it (and the more you spray), the more “antique” effect you will achieve.

Here is a close up of what the paint does when you spray on the vinegar solution:

#4 Let dry.  Repeat.  As many times as you like (I did 5, I think).

#5 Reassemble the frame with a BLACK backer board.

I lucked out; mine was already black.  Black paper would work, too, or you can always spray paint the backer black, if needed.  This step is essential because it is what sits behind the reflective paint to give the de-silvering effect.

That’s it!  Unless you’re me and you decide it’s too dark the first time (see how it looks kind of splotchy?):

You see, the more paint, the more solid your mirror will look.  The less paint (or the more vinegar solution you spray on each time), the more antiqued and cracked your mirror will look.  I didn’t like how dark it was the first time (after 4 coats, I think), so I took it apart and did another coat.  Much better:

And that’s it!  Here’s one more close up of the cool old effect of this technique:

And now I have just one question for you: should I paint the frame???

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