Turn an Old Mirror Into a Stunning Piece of Art

5 Materials
3 Hours

Grab an old mirror, a beautiful piece of tissue paper and you will have a gorgeous new piece of art in no time.

You will need an old mirror for this project and one with a lot of detail will help to create the look of an old-world art piece.

The details on this mirror are absolutely lovely so it was a perfect choice.

The key to creating a gorgeous, old-world piece of art is layering. You want the details on the mirror to pop and look like an old gilded frame.

To start, paint the mirror frame in a chalky black paint like Annie Sloan’s Athenian Black.

Now that there is a good base, the layering begins.

Use a colour that compliments the picture you have chosen. I used Royal Designs stencil cream in Metallic Teal. To apply this layer, use a small detail brush and lightly brush the cream onto some of the high points and push it into some of the low points.

Next, use a larger brush to add silver or gold. Don’t worry about completely covering the frame. You want the other two layers (black and blue) to show through. For this layer, I used Royal Design Stencil Cream in Vintage Gold.

How stunning are those details now that you can see them all?!

With the mirror frame finished, it is time to add the picture to the middle. Start by brushing on a decoupage or image transfer medium all over the mirror. I used Annie Sloan Image Medium.

Lightly lay your paper on top of the image medium, positioning it where you want it.

Use a piece of scrunched-up plastic wrap to smooth out the paper. The plastic wrap will help to keep the paper from ripping. There will be wrinkles in the paper with this method but personally, I love those as they give the piece texture and depth.

Once you have your paper adhered to the mirror, you may need to trim the edges. This is the only part of the project I found a bit cumbersome. I trimmed my paper after adhering it but next time, I think I will trim it as much as possible before I start.

Lastly, brush on another layer of image medium, and allow it to completely dry.

To finish off my piece, I added a small layer of gold to the edge of the paper. This just helped to hide any little bits that didn’t quite make it to the edge of the mirror.

I am absolutely thrilled with how gorgeous the details are how much the mirror looks like an old gilded frame now.

You wouldn’t even know it was the same $3 garage sale mirror!

If love creating new things out of old finds, join me for the monthly Junk Into Gems Challenge, and don't forget to check out my virtual classes to learn all of my best tips and tricks for upcycling and furniture painting!

To see the original Recreated Designs post with additional pictures, use the link below...

Suggested materials:

  • Vintage mirror   (garage sale)
  • Mint by Michelle paper   (local stockist)
  • Decoupage Medium   (local stockist)
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Recreated Designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Heather Munsche Heather Munsche on Oct 15, 2021

    Is the paper removable? I live in an apartment and am pretty sick of all of the mirrored closet doors but can't change them permanently.

  • Susan Beery Susan Beery on Oct 16, 2021

    would it be possible to only use an angled section or the bottom 1/3-1/2 covered, leaving a portion of the mirror exposed? Then placing a candle 🕯 or battery operated lantern in front? Adding ambiance to each room. Just curious. In guest bedrooms I like to have a mirror available. Just wondering if it works to use only a portion instead of all the mirror surface as a covered picture.


Join the conversation

6 of 14 comments
  • Sue Harrison Sue Harrison on Oct 23, 2021

    I think it’s beautiful, Does it have to be a mirror? Can it be glass in an old frame?

    • See 2 previous
    • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Oct 23, 2021

      Hi Sue, You could definitely put it on glass or even in an old frame. That would work just as well. I had this old mirror and loved the ornate frame around it so wanted to use it but anything with a mirror or glass would work :)

  • Judy Judy on Oct 30, 2021

    It was beautifully done. Thank you for sharing.