Antique Mirror Effect on Tray

6 Materials
2 Hours

I found this pub mirror at Goodwill for under $2. I could tell it hadn't reached its full potential so I decided to do something about it.

I borrowed this pic from the internet.

I’ve been on a turn-anything-you-can-find-into-a- tray kick lately. With that being said, I decided to turn this mirror I found at Goodwill for $1.99 into, what else, a tray. My first order of business was to remove the mirror and take off the hooks. That left a couple of holes so I filled it with Minwax wood filler and sanded it.

Next step was to paint it. I perused through my vast supply of left-over homemade chalk paint and opted for a light turquoise color. I painted it, then sanded it, focusing on the edges to give it a slightly distressed finished. Hobby Lobby was having a sale on their handles and knobs. I chose a couple, not caring about the color because I knew I was going to end up painting them. (What color? I wouldn’t know until I was finished.) They ended up costing me a couple of dollars for each of them.

Next, I moved on to the mirror. I had found a blog that had explained how to give mirrors an antiqued look but I wanted to go a step further with it. My first step was to turn the mirror over, reflective side down, and spray it with a paint stripper. After going through my many options, I decided on Citristrip. If I’m not mistaken, it’s one of the safest out there plus there aren’t any harsh odors. I sprayed the back of the mirror and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then I got out my plastic scraper and scraped the gray paint off. (That was sort of a messy step. In other words, you might want to slip out of your ball gown before doing it.) Afterwards, I washed the remaining stripper off with soap and water.

I used caution on the next step. It involves muriatic acid. (Please read and follow the directions on the back.) I donned rubber gloves and safety glasses then carefully poured a little bit into a spray bottle. (Keep in mind that this spray bottle needs to be discarded in the safest way possible after use. Muriatic acid is bad stuff I tell you.) I sprayed the acid on the back of the mirror, focusing mainly on the edges, waited about a minute and dabbed it lightly with a paper towel. I had to do this a few times until I achieved the desired effect.

I waited until Michael’s was having a sale on their scrapbook paper then chose a few sheets of different floral designs. (Geez, I’m sure glad I waited for the sale. I think I saved myself $0.30 in all. Why am I so cheap?) I cut it out the exact size of the mirror, painted on a thin layer of Mod Podge and stuck it to the back of the mirror. Once I replaced the mirror into the frame, I decided on a color to paint the tray handles.

After everything’s said and done, this is the finished project. I was so excited to see how the mirror turned out. In fact, now I’m going around my home wanting to do this same effect on ALL of them.

You can see my camera's reflection here.
Suggested materials:
  • Pub mirror   (Goodwill)
  • Minwax wood filler   (Lowe's)
  • Handles (2)   (Hobby Lobby)
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Heather McKinney
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  1 question
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jul 18, 2016
    Just an observation after many years of furniture restoration and, please, don't take this as criticism. Instead of having to deal with the caustic nature of muriatic acid to remove the silvering on the old mirror, why not simply have a piece of glass cut to the size of the mirror? You'd achieve the same end and not have to buy the acid or work with it. But it's yours and you are pleased with it and that's what counts. The end product is lovely.

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