Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sprucing up an old mirror

Hello all!  Happy Tuesday!  I hope you all had a nice Columbus Day weekend!  We had a really low-key weekend, but got to enjoy visiting with family and friends, which is nice because it becomes hard to find the time for these important visits when life is a bit more hectic.

Now that I have two mornings a week, with no children at home, I've been able to complete some projects around the house, and have even started a few new ones!

The latest project I completed was giving an antique framed mirror a face lift.  Last fall, I was on the hunt for a beautiful, over-sized scalloped mirror.  Of course, the first place I turned to was Craigslist.  I didn't hunt for very long before I stumbled upon an antique mirror with scalloped edges.  According to the listing, it was actually part of a two-piece dresser set.  The owners didn't have room for the mirror, but wanted to keep the dresser.  So, after multiple conversations with the owner, I decided I really wanted it.  So, we packed up the entire family on a rainy Sunday afternoon and headed to Portland, which is 1 hour south of me.  Upon arriving, I checked the entire mirror over, and it was in mint condition.  The dimensions were: 45 1/2" wide by 36 1/2" high, which was perfect, as I needed a substantial sized mirror.  I already had a spot in mind for it.  I planned on hanging  it above my bedroom dresser.  Currently, I have a tri-fold mirror, and it does look rather dated.  So, with a little face-lift, this "new" mirror would do the trick!

Here's what it looked like when I bought it, oh and did I mention I picked it up for $60!

 I loved the detailing and of course the scalloped edges.  

The dresser that I wanted to hang this mirror above is stained a cherry finish.  This maple finish on the mirror obviously would clash, and I really wanted the frame of the mirror to be white, as I have accents of white throughout my bedroom.  So, with that vision, I began the process.  First I covered the mirror with paper bags, as such.

I simply took paper bags and cut pieces, adhering them to the mirror with painter's tape.  Most of the time I was able to slide the paper bag between the mirror and the frame so I didn't have to worry about paint seeping through a crack or area where the bag didn't abut directly up against the frame. Once this was complete, I loaded up my Paint Sprayer with Behr, Semi-Gloss White Latex Paint.  This is a paint you can buy right off the shelf at Home Depot.  It's about $12/quart.  I actually had this paint left over from another project, which is always nice!

I sprayed several thin layers of this paint onto the frame of the mirror.  This is what it looked like once I was done the first "coat".

Silly me...I forgot to take a pic of the mirror once I had painted several coats of white paint, so try to envision what it would look like!

With it painted all white, all the details in the flowers at the top of the frame, and even the interior scalloped edges that were routered, were no longer visible.  So, I turned to the internet and started researching how to add a faux finish to the frame to bring out those details!  I decided to apply a glaze to the frame, by using a glazing medium and some stain.  I mixed translucent mixing glaze with Miniwax Express Stain in walnut and Mahogany colors (you can use any color of stain, or even paint).

The Glazing Medium I actually purchased at A.C. Moore.  If you have a larger project and need a larger quantity, you can buy a quart/gallon of this at Home Depot.  I purchased the Minwax Express Stain at Home Depot.  The ratio I used when mixing was 3:1, three parts mixing medium, and one part stain.  I wanted the color to have some red accents as the mirror will hang above a cherry stained dresser, but I also wanted some warm dark brown accents too, that's why I mixed the two stain colors.  My hubby mixed it up for me, and decided to add more mahogany (red) than walnut.  Which, in hindsight I  probably would have used more walnut and a touch of mahogany, but it turned out fine.  I mixed these three items up in a small cup and this is what it looked like.

You can always add more of a certain color stain to achieve the color that you want.  Before I started to apply the stain/medium mixture to the mirror, I made sure to have a bucket of water and several dry, clean rags to wipe the stain mixture off when it was time.. 

I then began to apply the stain/glaze mixture onto the frame with a foam brush.  I worked in small sections.  This is what it looked like once the mixture was applied.

I left this on the frame for several minutes, then took a damp clean cloth to wipe off all the excess stain.  
Here's what it looked like once the excess was wiped off
Now, if you are a perfectionist like me, you will initially have a tough time with this whole glazing concept.  Nothing is uniform.  What I mean is, the stain will seep into some areas and not others.  It's not supposed to look perfect.  In fact, it's supposed to look antiqued!  I did find that some areas didn't take the stain as well, and in those areas, I just reapplied the stain, let it sit for awhile then wiped it off with a wet cloth. You essentially repeat this process over and over until you have covered the entire piece you are working on.  Check out how the floral detail at the top of the mirror came back to life after the stain/glaze was applied
Now, because my stain mixture contained a mahogany-colored stain, there were times that the frame looked like it had a pink hue.  I simply took a Mr. Clean Eraser, dampened it, and wiped off any pink hues I saw.  It worked wonderfully!!  Make sure to wipe off all excess stain/glazing mixture, and allow the piece to dry completely.  Here's the finished product hanging above my dresser!  I just love it, and I love the stark contrast between the dark cherry stained dresser and the bright, white mirror.  The glazing really brings out the details in the mirror and also adds a little bit of that cherry stain into the mirror!  The best part, the project was not at all time consuming!

Here's what it looked like before I switched out the tri-fold mirror

And after

Little changes can make a big difference!

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