DIY...MAKE A NEW MIRROR LOOK OLD...Popular Post Revisited Series

old mirror

Why would you want to make a mirror that is new look old? I prefer vintage pieces but it's not always possible to find and when it's not...then DIY to the rescue.
Below is just a frameless mirror that I purchased at Lowes several years back for around $15. It's been given patina and desilvered, ghosted and made to look ancient. 

wall mirror made to look old

I have owned this vintage Italian tole shelf for many years and it has mirrored shelves, but they were likely not original to the piece and a bit too shiny for my taste. You can see the result in my first photo above...the shelves now look as though they would be from the era of this piece, circa 1940's~'50's. 

make a mirror look old

I am chemically sensitive and try and think about the environment when working on a project and found this product years ago. It's called Ready Strip and comes in a different container now, sold by the gallon in most hardware stores for under $30. That may sound pricy, but a gallon goes a long way and you'll have plenty left over for other projects.

paint stripper for a mirror

Apply with a toss away brush in a very thick coat and be sure to wear gloves. It's not toxic, but still. Allow to dry at least overnight. A full 48 hours is better with this formula, if possible...especially in a humid climate like I live in.
Once it's dry the color changes a bit, and you can remove with a plastic paint spatula. Be sure to work outside with a dropcloth, as it's messy! Tip: Do not use a metal paint scraper, as it will scratch the glass (unless you want that look).

stripper for mirrors

Be sure to look at the mirror from the front and see if the black coating is coming off as well as the silvering that is under the black paint. You will want all of the black paint off, or most of it...but not all of the silvering....or it will just look like a piece of glass. Scrape carefully and then use your fingers to smear the silvering before it's all dry. You may wish to practice on a piece that you don't care about first until you are comfortable with the technique.

Wash any remaining stripper off with some water and paper toweling. I don't use the stripper rinse spray that you can purchase...just water will do. If your mirror will be in a bathroom or high humidity area then spray the back with a clear fixative.

mirror with paint stripping
mirror diy

It's really an easy project for any level and doesn't require perfection in the details...enjoy!


Jennelise said...

I love old mirrors! Their patina is so interesting and unique! Great post to revisit! :) Hope you are having a great week!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Thanks so much for sharing your DIY mirror project. I have a couple of
stands with 3 shelves each. I am going to work on them. Many thanks for the idea.
Have a great weekend.

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