DIY Anthropologie Vintage Inspired Mirror From Old Dresser Mirror

14 Materials
1 Day

Have you ever seen a beautiful piece of decor you just had to have, then saw the price tag?! The price can leave you walking away defeated. Haha. That was how I felt when I saw the Primrose Gleaming Mirror, from Anthropologie (which can cost over $1,000.)

I decided there had to be a way to achieve something similar, through a DIY. I had this old mirror in my garage, and found a tutorial on Pinterest, to give me an idea on how to achieve this look!

Below I am going to show you how I created my own version of an "antiqued" mirror.

Original mirror

I just so happen to have this mirror sitting in my garage. I knew it would be perfect for this project!

wood appliques

I found these wood appliques at Home Depot. I decided to get two for the bottom corners and one for the top.

Metallic Paint

I found this Americana decor mettalic paint at my local Michael's Craft store. It had decent reviews, so I decided to give it a try. They have various shades; I used Vintage Brass.

Painting the appliques

I used a smaller brush to paint my appliques, as shown. I just applied the mettalic paint to both sides of each applique. It's important to paint the back, as it may show through your mirror once placed on your frame

antiquing the frame and appliques

I had this gel stain leftover from another project; so I decided to use this to antique the appliques and frame.

antiquing technique

I placed a very small amount of gel stain on a paper towel, and rubbed it on top of the paint. I quickly wiped the excess off; as I didn't want a dark stained look. I also made sure to really work the stain into the carvings on the wood, for that aged look.

This is what the appliques looked like after I was done adding the gel stain.

Sanding the frame

In order to ensure the mettalic paint adhered to the frame, I lightly sanded the wood. I believe I used a 220 grit. Depending on the paint you use, you may need to sand your wood down completely.

painting the frame

After doing a light sanding, the paint adhered better to the wood. I did three coats of the mettalic paint, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

antiquing the frame

I used the same technique, on the frame, as I did on the appliques. I placed a light amount of gel stain on a paper towel, and wiped it on the frame. As with the appliques, I made sure to quickly wipe the excess stain from the frame.

Gluing appliques to the frame

I used this Tacky Glue to apply the wood appliques to the frame. There are other types of glues you could use as well. I chose this because I already had it on hand.

tip for a straight application of appliques.

There is no particular spot you must apply your appliques; that is completely up to you. I wanted to add two at the bottom corner area of my frame, as shown, as well as one up top. I found using a yard stick helped make sure they were evenly placed.

Remove painters tape

If you decide to keep your mirror in the frame, and you applied painters tape, carefully remove the tape after painting is complete. If there is any dried paint on the mirror, just remove carefully.

Remove the mirror

when you remove your mirror, you will see the back of it is covered in grey paint. (As shown.) You will be removing that before antiquing the glass.


I chose to use citristrip to remove the paint off the back of the mirror. I found this at Lowes. I would suggest having a bucket or garbage can on hand as well. This will come in handy when you scrape the paint off.

Applying citristrip

you want to make sure to apply the citristrip on all areas you want removed. In this case, I wanted to remove the grey paint on the back of the mirror. I very carefully poured citristrip, as shown, on the back of the mirror. I then used an old chip brush (paint brush) to spread the citristrip.

It's very important to wear gloves and protect your eyes! You don't want to get the citristrip on your skin or in the eye.

Parchment paper on citristrip

When I was watching tutorials on how to use citristrip, one mentioned placing saran wrap over the citristrip. In order for the citristrip to work, it needs to remain wet. By applying the wrap over it, it helps keep it from drying out too soon.

I did not have saran wrap on hand, so I used parchment paper. It seemed to work well too.

Scraping the paint off the back of the mirror

after letting the citristrip set for a couple hours, I scrapped the paint layer off the back of the mirror. Make sure to use a plastic paint scraper, to avoid scratching your mirror.


Once you get the paint scraped off, you will notice a very thin coating (you can see the copper appearance in my picture.) This reflective coating needs to be removed in order to transform your mirror to a piece of glass (think window.)

I did not do this. Mainly because I did not have the product needed to accomplish this. There are tutorials on Pinterest that will tell you how to remove it.

You will be working on the back of the glass, which is why the reflective coating needs to be removed. It is very important to remember to work on the back of your mirror (once the reflective coating is removed.) This is the way your looking glass spray paint is supposed to work properly (from the back of the glass.)

Since I did not remove the reflective coating, I decided to make the back of my mirror the front. I wasn't sure if the technique would work; but it did. It probably would have looked a bit more antiqued if done without the reflective coating. Though that's the case, the following technique I used is the proper way to antique your mirror (with or without the reflective coating.)

Supplies for antiquing your mirror glass

As mentioned before, you need to remove the reflective coating from the back of your mirror. I read on Pinterest you can use muriatic acid to accomplish this. You can find tutorials on Pinterest to help guide you in accomplishing this.

You will need a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water/vinegar, looking glass spray paint (I purchased mine at Lowes,) and a flat black spray paint (this is optional.)

Looking glass mirror spray

after applying my water/vinegar mix, I lightly sprayed a coat of Krylon Mirror glass spray, over the entire back of the mirror, to include the mixture spray.

I honestly think it was harder for me to achieve the look I wanted because I did not remove the reflective coating first. I ended up using the entire can of spray throughout the project; but you can decide how much you want to spray based on your preferred outcome.

***Keep in mind, if you have removed your reflective coating, make sure to lift your mirror glass up, and look at the front as you work from the back. If done correctly, you should be able to see the effects of the looking glass spray from the front of the mirror. ***

Black spray paint (optional)

I say optional on this because black spray isn't needed to achieve that spotty, foggy vintage look. It does, however, add darker worn spots. I suggest spraying the black paint lightly, in areas you want that dark worn look. I used this very sparingly, after spraying my first coat of looking glass spray. I then sprayed a light mist of water/vinegar mixture on the black paint, added another layer of looking glass spray, and dabbed to achieve that vintage spotting. It's a nice layered technique.

Water/vinegar spray

In order to get the spotty vintage look, I lightly sprayed a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar. I sprayed in spots I wanted more vintage wear.

Creating vintage spotting

After spraying the mirror spray over the back of the mirror, I took a paper towel, and gently dabbed over the water/vinegar spray spots. The vinegar mixture will not allow the paint to adhere to the glass, which creates a spotted look when removed.

Placing mirror back in frame

Once I was done with antiquing the mirror, I placed it back into the frame; and screwed the backing on.

You can see the way the glass now looks older and antiqued. Like I mentioned, if done from back to front (after removing the reflective coating,) it will probably look even more antiqued.

completed Project

Overall I'm happy with the way the mirror turned out. I think it throws off antique vibes!

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  3 questions
  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on Jul 26, 2020

    couldn't you just do this to regular glass and skip all the cleaning of the back off a real mirror?

  • Cathe Cathe on Jul 27, 2020

    Is it still a mirror? Can you see your reflection in it?

  • Yucca wren Yucca wren on Aug 30, 2020

    How did you hang the mirror? ?

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  • Lisa West Lisa West on Aug 02, 2020


  • Pmeier Pmeier on Jul 26, 2021

    Your mirror looks beautiful!