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Painting a Carved Mirror Frame White

30 September 2010

I admit, I am showing this project off for selfish reasons, I have a mirror just like this.  I have been considering painting it and now that I have seen that transformation that April on Home Hinges was able to make from hers, I know that someday... when I have time... (ha, ha- but seriously) I really am going to remake mine.  I love how painting this old carved frame mirror white completely highlights all the beautiful detail... Check out what I mean:

Sometimes when people put stuff by the side of the road it means it is for sale. Other times it means, “Don’t touch. I’m just bringing my car around to pick it up.” And every so often it means “free junk I don’t want any more.”
Finished mirror
My roadside mirror after a few coats of paint and fixing my mistakes.
Paula and I happened upon a pile of the latter last week. Neither one of us usually stops for a pile of what looks like junk on the side of the road, but due to inspiration from Miss Mustard Seed, that is just what we did. Initially we drove right past it. We were enjoying a random conversation in her car, Paula’s baby asleep in her carseat in the back, when all of a sudden Paula exclaims, “Did you see that stuff. There’s stuff on the side of the road.” Not usually into that kind of thing I hadn’t paid any attention. I was inclined to move on and forget about it when next Paula said, as she frantically started looking over her shoulder to see if she could pull a U-ey right there in the street, that Miss Mustard Seed says to keep your eyes out for opportunities like this because you never know what you might find.
At the mention of Miss Mustard Seed I was completely on board.
I’m a huge fan.
I’d like to one day be called Miss Fennel Seed.
I’d even settle for Miss Ginger Rhizome, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Anyway, we quickly turned around and approached the man in the front yard trying to back his truck up to a fence looking very busy and a little forbidding. This is the part where I came back to my senses and thought, “What are we doing?” Timidly I asked if the stuff by the curb was for sale. He looked at us like we were a little crazy and said, “If you want it, you can just take it.”
“Really? Are you sure?” was my brilliant reply.
He explained they are moving and just want to get rid of the stuff.  So with the spirit of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” we went to work taking a closer look at the pile. Some of it was pretty ugly with a capital U, but we did find a mirror and a little side table.
Mirror and Table
Miss Mustard Seed says to only go for real wood items. The mirror was a faux-wood plastic with faux-wood plastic molding attached around it. We almost left it behind due to its plasticness, but at the last second I grabbed it for the mirror’s sake.
At home I decided to try experimenting with it. I decided to try Kilz primer on it to see if it would really prime plastic.  Of course as soon as I pull out a paint brush I have several small people right there to “help”.
Priming the mirror
Kilz seemed to work, so then I gave it two coats of Behr Cozy Cottage paint I have laying around.   I’m supposed to be painting my bathroom with it, but haven’t felt the bug to do it yet.
Painted mirror
At this point I thought it actually looked worthy to hang in the house, but I wanted to try doing a glaze like Miss Mustard Seed does on some of her pieces.That’s when things took a bad turn. Rather than study how to go about glazing, I just jumped in and did my own thing. First I mixed a small amount of two different oops paints I’ve had in the garage for forever.
Home made glaze
One is a bluish-black-gray and the other is a dark chocolate brown. Then I added a little water and stirred. I think the problem was I didn’t add enough water. As soon as I started wiping on the “glaze” it stuck too well to the paint and didn’t wipe of like I thought it should. It ended up making the whole thing just look streaky and too dark. Super Ugly!
Bad glaze
Closeup of bad glaze
Luckily it wasn’t anything another two coats of paint couldn’t fix.  So I went ahead and painted more Cozy Cottage, and waited for both coats to dry…again.
At this point my quick and simple transformation was starting to feel endless, and I almost didn’t have the heart to try glazing again.   Still not going online to get other people’s instructions, I really watered down my paint concoction and let it dribble all over with one rag, working it into all the crevices, while wiping it off with another wet rag. Then I wiped with a dry towel to get any excess off. Working in small chunks seemed to help too.
Finished mirror on wall
I’m not sure if this was the right way to glaze a faux wood mirror frame, but I like how it turned out…the second time that is.

I am definitely trying this at home!

What about you?


decor4poor@blogspot.com September 30, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

Doesn't it just melt your heart when the little ones are able to do somthing like this with you. Great job.

The Obstinant Family September 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM  

I'm actually pricing out how much it will cost to paint and faux my entertainment center. I've never done it either, but I'm excited to try it.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Thanks for featuring my mirror. I'm so flattered. Love your site.
April @ HomeHinges.com

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