We’re very nearly at an exciting stage of the renovations – re-plastering – but still have a few small things to finish first, and I am getting impatient! Whilst waiting for things to move forward on my home office, I am doing a few quick and easy projects that I’ve had lined up for a while, mostly things to go into my new office. Today’s ‘antique’ mirror DIY project can hardly be called DIY really, it was so simple, and quick and cheap too – the best kind of project basically, and one you can easily re-create at home without any expertise at all.
I’ve had this mirror for absolutely ages, without quite being sure what to do with it. I bought it on eBay for 99p, and intended to paint it grey for the spare room. However, I couldn’t quite see the right spot for it in there, and I was taking forever with the room (I repainted one wall three times to get it right, I am embarrassed to say), and I knew I’d want a mirror for my new office (because, you know, a girl needs to check her appearance before answering the door – it could be anyone!). The white plaster frame would be totally wrong though. I’m going for a traditional, slightly opulent look in my office, like an old library, and I thought that an ‘antique’ gold look would be perfect. And it was really easy to create that look with some paint and a bit of wax. I know that some people absolutely hate anything faux antiqued, and I do understand that – too much distressing and I get a bit distressed as well – but I think this turned out great and it doesn’t look tacky to me at all (though it did when I had just finished with the gold paint – the word bling comes to mind!).
So, as promised, here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make an ‘antique’ mirror. This would work equally well on an old frame from a charity shop too – the possibilities are endless. Well, quite numerous anyway.
Quick and Easy ‘Antique’ Mirror DIY Tutorial
1. Get your mirror/frame and carefully remove the mirror from the frame. This was easy to do on mine, if your glass is permanently fixed, then take a piece of paper cut to the shape of your mirror, and some masking tape, and carefully mask the surface of the mirror. It doesn’t matter too much if you get some stray paint on there – it should easily come off with a razor blade.
2. Lay your frame on a dust sheet and open your windows (ensuring pets are nowhere near). Give your can of gold spray paint (I used Valspar Fast Dry Project Enamel) a good shake, and using thin, even strokes, spray your frame. It is better to do a couple of thin coats from a distance and let them dry in between – if you start to see paint running on the surface you are spraying too closely.
3. Once your frame is totally covered in gold (you may need to lift it up and spray the sides separately, allowing to dry in between each one) and has been left to dry fully (as per can instructions, or I like to leave overnight to be safe), you’re ready to wax.
4. Use a short brush with stubby bristles like the Annie Sloan wax brush (expensive but a great investment). Load up a small amount of dark wax on the bristles, and then work it into the crevices of the frame. Leave it to dry for an hour or so, then take a clean cloth and buff the smooth, raised surfaces of your frame, i.e. the bits where dirt and dust would not naturally gather. I didn’t buff too hard because I didn’t want to go right back to super shiny gold, but I think I managed to get a good balance and now my mirror has an antique look to it. Obviously I was enjoying this step a bit too much because I didn’t take any photos.
Since I had all the materials (spray paint, wax) and the mirror, this project cost me absolutely nothing, but even needing to buy the paint and wax you could recreate it for less than £10 if you found a mirror in a charity shop or on eBay. I love how it looks, and I think it looks like it cost a lot more than 99p now. Not loving how it looks against the awful anaglypta wallpaper – I cannot wait until we have banished that from the entire house, but it’s a slow process, as removing it generally removes the old lime plaster, which means re-plastering, so not a quick fix!
What do you think? Tempted to have a go at my ‘antique’ mirror DIY?