In Home Reno & Decor

Antique Mirror Update

Who doesn’t love a mirror? In my opinion they are the best decorative addition to any room. They reflect light and can open up a small space, what more could you want?

When I was in College and had budgeted part of my student loan for apartment decor  no money for extras, I gravitated towards items that could do double duty.

A mirror was able to fill dead space on a wall and reflect light, the cheapest for of “art” around!

At one point I hung a long narrow mirror horizontally (meant for the back of a dorm room door) right smack on the wall of the apartment i shared with my close girl friend. I hung it width wise with a long narrow glass shelf underneath it.

It ended up being the first thing one saw when they came to visit and a perfect landing spot for keys and lipstick. That mirror saw many a lips puckered before leaving for a fun evening out  class.

I loved how it opened up such a small area by reflecting images and light; the glass shelf served double duty as it took up no room visually but held all of the essentials one needed to quickly run out the door. Glass and mirror they were a perfect match for my first home away from home and one that didn’t need to worry about being smeared by little kid grubby finger prints.

In the home I now share with my grubby pawed family, mirrors are still a safe bet.

When I spotted one at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore I slowly sauntered over to it.

One thing I have learned from shopping consignment and second hand is that if you pick up your pace at all the masses will follow!

I can be the epitome of calm when needed.

Totally not true, but somehow surprisingly to me and my children I contained myself from running over to it and throwing my body on top of it to divert all inquiring eyes.

She was round and gold and had all the makings for a beautiful “After”.

I turned her over to inspect how I would go about hanging her. (This is a must when buying any mirror or art piece. Too many times I have purchased an item that needs to be hung just to bring it home to discover there is no way to attach clips or string or rope or Velcro -yeah, once I found myself very desperate-)

Thankfully some smart person forty plus years ago reinforced the back of her with some type of wood and while doing so attached a pretty heavy duty looking cord system for hanging! Yeaaaahhhhh! No more visions of Velcro and gorilla glue and shattered glass shards for weeks!!

I lugged her beautiful self home and whipped out the makeup.

After throwing down an old sheet (For impromptu spray painting sessions) I gave her three quick coats of Tremclad silver making sure to leave ample drying time between each coat. Painful I know when you want to see the end result but you will be glad you did.

First I covered the inside area of the frame in painters tape to make sure that the paint didn’t creep under the frame. (It is the absolute worst to see paint in the reflection of the mirror but stuck under the frame with no way of getting it out!)

This floral decal antique mirror was two feet in diameter and was only $15! I had been sourcing similar ones around town ranging from $69.99 to $120.

It was the treasure of the day.

Next I laid newspaper over top of the reflection to make sure I wouldn’t be seeing any paint peek-a-booing out from places I didn’t want to see it.

 Nice and covered and ready for three coats of spray paint in shiny semi gloss silver!
A tip from a recovered paint rusher:
(Rushing drying time between coats will jeopardize your paint jobs durability and over time all three layers will chip showing the original colour. Totally fine and encouraged when wanting an aged-patina-shabby-chic look but not when you are covering gold with silver. We do not want war of the metals).
In the end this quick project was done and hung in an evening. If it wasn’t for drying time between coats it could have been done in seconds. But I am pleased that we have been living with this piece in our master bedroom and so far it has done a great job of filling the gap between the bed and our ceiling which will one day have to make room for an upholstered head board (apparently I have not yet recovered from being trigger happy with  the staple gun or that project could have been scratched off the to-do list)
Such a great little piece for little time and money.
She looks good hanging in all her silver, reflecting light glory.

Do you love mirrors as much as I do? Do you play “musical mirrors” as often as we do at our house?  Have you changed out the mirror above your bathroom sink yet? Do you use mirrors as “art” too??
Man, I love a good mirror “After”.

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