A Yard Sale Find...beautified!

7 Materials
2 Days

Do you love yard sales? They are the best place to find great items at an incredible price. You need to look at the item and say “what if”. Like...what if I paint it a different color. I used a secret weapon on this thrift to treasure piece. Read on to see what it was.

This mirror had lots of potential.
Gather supplies

The mirror had a $5 sticker and I walked away with only spending $3!! Doesn’t hurt to ask. For this project I needed paint, painters tape, crackle medium, foam brushes, clear sealant, Mod Podge and NAPKINS!! Yeap, napkins are the extra something that will make this truly unique.

Pretty hooks.
Remove the hooks.

I love that this mirror came with four really nice hooks. I removed them to make the painting process easier. Two of them only had one screw. Since I couldn’t find the same color screws in my stash, I changed them all out.

Paint prep
Prepping the piece

It’s always good to wash the item first and fix any problem areas. I knew I needed the black as a base coat so I sanded any rough edges and then touched them up with black paint. I used painters tape on the actual mirror. Then I brushed on the crackle medium (according to directions) on the top left corner and the bottom right corner. I wanted some of the black to show through. I plan to use a fine grit sand paper to distress the other areas.

Paint and prep for the next step.
Start painting

I picked a beige color that matched the background color in the napkin. I painted everything except the shelf. When I painted over the crackle areas I was careful to paint it really well but only once. As it dries the top coat paint splits showing some of the black base coat. I love this look. Once it dried completely I used sand paper to lightly rough up some of the other edges. Then I added painters tape around the top and bottom of the self. I painted the shelf white as the base color under the napkins. This will help the napkin colors stay vibrant.

Sea creatures napkin print
Get the napkins ready

The napkin print has the sea creatures going every which way. The random print makes this part easier. I’d like to cover both the top and bottom of the mini shelf. I cut the napkin into two long rectangular strips. First I needed to peel off the bottom one or two plies of napkin. I Mod Podge the shelf and then carefully placed the napkin on. No need to worry about wrinkles. Just smooth the napkin in place. (I practiced this technique on another smaller project before hand. This way I was able to figure everything out before starting this piece)

Close up
Carefully use the brush to place and smooth the napkin.

I continued until the top and bottom of the shelf was covered. I used smaller pieces of napkin for the sides of the shelf. Once it completely dried I started adding top coats of Mod Podge letting it dry in between coats. Don’t worry if it tears! I just used a brush to stick it down in place with Mod Podge. It’s not smooth. It actually ends up a little bumpy which adds a real nice texture to the piece.

X-Acto knife helps
Remove the painters tape

I removed the painters tape that was around the shelf. I used an X-Acto knife to help because the Mod Podge really glued the painters tape into place. I left the painters tape on the mirror portion for right now. This way it will protect the mirror when I add the final clear top coat.

Lighten it up
Used a chip brush and lighter paint

The beige color I used looked a little too dark. To lighten it up I picked another beige that was a little bit brighter. The plan was to use a chip brush and lightly dry brush some streaks of the lighter color.

I love this technique
How to dry brush.

I put just a little bit of the lighter color paint on a paper plate. I then added a few drops of water to water it down. I loaded the chip brush with some of the watery paint and then offloaded most of it onto a paper towel. And then I carefully painted long strokes of the lighter paint. Once it was dry I went over the entire piece with “flat out” clear sealer.

Problem solver
Add rope for a nautical look

So I didn’t plan this ahead of time but the napkin was not perfectly lined up against the mirror. I could’ve added another piece of napkin but I decided to go for a different look. I think this rope looks so nautical and it really adds interest. Carefully using E6000 glue I placed the rope along the crease covering up any tiny napkin bare spots.

Close up
Replace the hooks.

To finish off the piece I painted the back with the original beige color. Then I used a semi gloss finish that I got on sale to seal the back side. I don’t like glossy finishes but it was on sale! So I tend to use it on the backsides of my projects. The final step was to add the hooks back on.

Close up

If you enlarge the picture hopefully you can see the crackle areas, the sanded areas and the dry brush highlights.

The final piece

The end product... not bad for a $3 yard sale find. It’s ready to go to the consignment shop to find a new owner. Let me know if you have any questions.

Resources for this project:

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