How to make a new mirror look old, or how to antique a mirror
Looking to for an antique vintage mirror? Can’t find one or can’t afford one? Why not make one yourself. You can make any new mirrors look like it aged for centuries. Let me show you how I made a new mirror look old.
I altered a mirror. Yeah you read that right I altered a mirror not a mirror frame. I made a vintage mirror from a new one.
An old standing mirror that doesn’t even have a frame got a makeover. And I got to use some of my favorite materials: old vintage magazines. (if you are looking for old vintage papers to use in projects like this you can find them in my etsy shop SongbirdsNest)
If you are looking click to find more information about the chair with the Dutch postal bag upholstery
The mirror in my bedroom has spots. Vintagy spots.
I visited NYC with my sisters and I was totally mesmerized by a mirror I saw at ABC Home.
It was big, bold, vintagelike and beautiful. but also way too much of a presence and definitely too girly to be copied as is (as I am committed to make my bedroom beautiful for both me and my man). But it got the wheels spinning and me in search of tutorials on how to alter a mirror.
Tutorial: How to antique a mirror and make it look old
I did find some tutorials (and then forgot to bookmark them, so sorry), so when I started this project I was going by memory and winging it. But I did know that all of them said to use oven cleaner to get the silver of the back. So that’s what I did:
Nicely spraying a layer of oven cleaner on it. More and densely sprayed in the corners and on the edges and less and more drop like in the middle. I left it for 10 min because I thought I remembered that. And then I started to scrape it off.
But absolutely nothing had happened. Except for the back of my mirror getting really clean.
Hmm, back to the drawing board.
On closer inspection I realized that my mirror’s gray back was actually painted. And I might have to get that off first.
So I went in search of the can with leftover paint remover. And then applied that with a brush in roughly the same spots as I had sprayed the oven cleaner before.
Fiddled with my thumbs for another 10 minutes and then started scraping again. This time it worked the paint came off, leaving the silver backing exposed. I then reapplied the oven cleaner and contemplated life for yet another 10 minutes.
Then I started scraping again. Heck, that stuff still didn’t want to come off. I don’t know if our Euro oven cleaners are less potent (and possibly more eco friendly like a lot of stuff) then the US versions, or that my silver backed mirror was in too good of a condition. But in the end I had to use some serious scrubbing with steel wool, to remove the silver and end up with this:
I tore pages from an old fifties fashion magazine to paste to the backside (using regular ModPodge). I wanted to make it look as if someone had used a newspaper to back the mirror, so I used script pages and advertisements.
This is how the back looked when I was finished:
And this is how it all looks in its place and properly staged.
I love those quirky old ad texts peeping through.
The one above promises to reveal a women’s secret…..
And this one wants to help me Spring clean my house….
I love having this mirror in my bedroom. It brings in so much extra natural light into a room that is usually pretty dark. And of course it doesn’t hurt either to have a full length mirror to check my outfit in the morning.
Oh and by the way taking pictures of mirrors is really difficult. You always get in the frame yourself, and the camera doesn’t see the mirror and focuses on the object in the mirror. So having a piece of paper stuck to the back of your mirror actually helps, now I had something to focus on….
So what’dye think? Fun project? Would you have use for an altered mirror? Stuck any magazine pages in unexpected pages? Did you miss me? Let’s hear it…..