How To Refinish And Age Any Mirror To Look Like An Elegant Antique

15 Materials
$35
2 Hours
Medium

Ok, so I'm obsessed with mirrors. I have quite the collection that I'm slowly getting to and transforming.

Everyone has their own tastes, their own style.. some projects we love, and some, well not so much. But that's what makes life so interesting! I enjoy seeing and creating many different styles and I enjoy seeing someone's face light up when they find a piece that they love ♥️

Now this pretty thing is from the 60's and made by Syroco. It's actually entirely wood, not a resin/plastic like I originally thought when first looking at the photos before I purchased it ...and for only $3 since no one else wanted it and was just going to end up in the trash.

It was already painted by a previous owner as you can tell by the beige and yellows. That look was perfect for the person who owned it, but not so much for myself and my customers.

So I'm going to update her in a fun and unique way so that I can find her new home where she'll be treasured.

First, we'll start on the aging process.....


*Price listed is for the amount of product used..you will have a lot of leftovers for many other projects

*Time listed is for work time only, does not include dry time

Before

I'm obsessed with the vine like branches and flowers 😍 So much potential here!

Turn the mirror over. Typically, you'll find either screws or tabs depending on how your mirror was made. But sometimes, there may even be a wood backing that you'll need to remove.

Mine had screws, so I removed them all

Remove the backing and place to the side.

Ya never know what you're gonna find under that backing 🤢

Mine had a couple of very dead stink bugs 😱

Lay down a garbage bag and place your mirror on it, back facing up.

You really don't want to use a super strong stripper here because we're only trying to go through one full layer. I'm not usually a fan of citristrip, but it's perfect option for this project since it's not nearly as harsh as other strippers.

Using a chip brush, spread a thick even layer of citristrip over the entire back or the mirror

After about 35 minutes, I was able to scrape away the gray paint with a plastic scraper. If you decide to use a metal scrapper, just be careful not to scratch the reflective layer underneath

Wipe off any residue with water


*Under this copper layer is the reflective layer, the layer we want to carefully age in spots. You can see in the above photo how I still have a lot of gray left, so I went ahead and did a 2nd application of stripper in spots that I wanted to completely remove the reflective layer from. This is just small spots and needs to look natural. I allowed that 2nd application to sit for 30 minutes, scraped it off, and wiped down with water

In a spray bottle, mix 50/50 water/bleach and spray it all over the mirror, saturating the edges and any other spots that I really wanted to remove that reflective layer, while the rest was lightly spritzed

After letting the bleach sit for 5 minutes, I scrubbed in a few spots to quickly remove larger areas of the relfective layer. You can see the bleach eating away at the copper and reflective layer.

Flip the mirror over to monitor your progress

*Work slowly. You can always remove more of the reflective layer, but you can't get it back once it's gone.

*This really is an unpredictable process. Every mirror will be different. But that's the fun part!

*If you really want a lot of aging, leave the bleach on longer

You'll start to see these aged spots.


I did 2 more bleach applications, one 10 minute, and one last 5 minute application

This is the back of my mirror after the bleaching process

And the front

Now, it's time to paint the back.

I really wanted this to look natural, yet offer a lot of dimension and lots of layers.

For the main color, I used rust-oleum bronze metallic and Frenchic Furniture Paint's Loof. For the larger aged sections, I added in some rust and copper colors, then I did some random specs of teal

First layer is the bronze metallic. Using a chip brush, I applied a thin layer over the entire back if the mirror

Then I dabbed it with a paper towel so that you didn't see brush marks

Next, was some copper and rust dabbed in the larger aged spots

Remember to look at the front after each step and color added. Keep adding layers until you're happy with the look.

Here's what the front of one of the age spots looks like at this point. I definitely want to keep going

I started blending in some black and a bit more copper at this point. Then I added a couple pinpoint droplets of the Modern Masters Teal metallic paint

Once I was happy with the look and it was all dry, I applied one final coat of the bronze over the entire back, just in case if I missed a spot

While that's drying, I moved onto the frame.

I couldn't decided between the 2 gray's, so I used both 😆

Both colors are Frenchic Furniture Paint

The darker one is Gentleman's Club and the lighter is City Slicker

I painted the top dark, the bottom light

Then I blended the 2 colors on the sides


All of the Frenchic paints that I'm using are extremely durable. They have a built-in primer and topcoat, they're eco friendly, creamy, scrubbable, odorless, and offer amazing coverage! The Al Fresco range paints can even be used outdoors!

This is what the frame looked like at this point.

I really needed to do something to bring out the details in the flowers and branches, and dry brushing is the perfect technique to highlight those details!

I grabbed Frenchic's Wedding Cake, a great creamy off white, and a chip brush

Dip the tip of the brush intovthe paint, then dab off majority of the paint. You don't want much at all left on the brush. Then, lightly brush over the tops of the details with the brush. Reapply paint as needed and dry brush the entire frame

Then I went over the entire frame with Frenchic's white wax. Put a bit on a wax brush, then really get into those details, nooks and crannies with the wax. You can now dry brush over certain areas again if you want it to pop more


**Usually, I would apply clear wax before any colored wax or glaze, but I really wanted the paint to soak up the white wax, so I skipped the clear wax on this one

Put the backing back on and enjoy your new old mirror 😍

You can really see the depth and layers of color here

And the little teal spots ♥️

You can find even more photos of this project and many other furniture and home decor pieces on my Facebook page (linked at the bottom of this tutorial)

You can find most of the products used in this tutorial in my Etsy shop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DeerRunRevamps

I really hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and have been inspired to turn one of your mirrors into an aged beauty 😍

Thank you so much for reading!

Follow us on Facebook and don't hesitate to reach out, we love to chat about our passion ♥️

https://m.facebook.com/deerrunrevamps/?ref=bookmarks

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Dori
    Dori
    on Feb 15, 2021

    Do you ever have concerns about lead in any of the paints on the back of mirrors?


    If so, what steps do you take to protect yourself? Thanks!

  • GMS28
    GMS28
    on Feb 16, 2021

    I;m confused, why would you want the mirror part to look dirty and old, now it isn't a mirror for use anymore?

    • Lavana Akins
      Lavana Akins
      Yesterday

      You have to have a love of old worn out things to understand. This is one of my favorite techniques. Your mirror turned out beautiful.❤️❤️❤️

Join the conversation

4 of 13 comments
  • Bek
    Bek
    on Feb 16, 2021

    I found this just in time! I have an antique sideboard with a mirror across the back. The mirror has broken, and I hated to put a brand new, super shiny mirror on it! Now I can age it to match the piece!

    • Deer Run Revamps
      Deer Run Revamps
      on Feb 16, 2021

      This style looks amazing over older pieces! Would love to see it when you're finished!

  • Diana
    Diana
    on Feb 22, 2021

    I like what was done to the frame surrounding the mirror, but not the mirror itself.

    • Jgs
      Jgs
      Yesterday

      I agree, frame is gorgeous. Not liking mirror very much.

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