Charming Vintage Distressed Mirror

by Linda
9 Materials
2 Hours

Here you will learn how to distress a mirror and give it a vintage vibe with decorative paper napkins. This easy step by step tutorial will add loads of style to your decor.

I love decorative paper napkins but we all end up with extras after a party or event. Well, here is a way to use those napkins and an old or new mirror.

To begin this project lay out a drop cloth outside and grab these supplies.

  • drop cloth
  • mirror
  • oven cleaner
  • mineral spirits
  • razor scraper
  • kitchen cleaning gloves (do not use think rubber gloves)
  • steel wool
  • paper towels
  • mod podge (I used outdoor)
  • decorative paper napkins

Now put on the gloves and start by spraying three or four areas on the back side of the mirror. Think about where you want the finish to be removed and that is where you want to spray the cleaner.

Let it sit for 10 minutes and then apply mineral spirits right where you put the oven cleaner and wait at least another 10 minutes.

This is a great time to search for ideas online on where to place your mirror. A great place to search is on my home decor website , hometalk or pinterest.

Next start scraping with the straight edge razor blade. Depending on how long you let the cleaner sit will depend on how much elbow strength you will have to apply.

Start scraping all the places where you put the cleaner and remove the black backing and the silver finish.

Boy this scraper has been working hard lately because I scraped all the paint off the glass on our .

If there is silver left do not stress because the steel wool will help remove any excess.

Now take the steel wool and scrub off any extra silver coating. It should come off pretty easy.

Next wipe off any residue with a dry paper towel and then wipe off the cleaner and such with a damp paper towel. I cleaned with the damp paper towel three times to get all the residue from the cleaners off.

Now for the fun part! Take a paper napkin like this one. You can use any design you want. I went with a simple black and white design so that it would match with anything. Also any size paper napkin will work but make sure what you scrape off the back of the mirror will be covered by the napkin.

Next lay the napkin open right side down. This is how you are going to apply it to the back side of the mirror.

And peel off the backing from the paper napkin.

Next lay the napkin over the area you scraped off the mirror finish and cut the napkin to cover the hole. Make sure to cut some extra napkin so it goes over the edges. You can be generous on this part because no one will see it.

We are so close to being finished. Yay!!

First paint some of the mod podge straight onto the back side of the mirror over the clear hole. Go over the edges as much as you want. The main thing is to paint in a large enough area for the napkin to site on all the mod podge.

Next gently lay the center of the napkin over the center of the mod podge painted area and smooth it out carefully onto the mod podge. If there are wrinkles that is okay because you will not notice them.

Then last paint more mod podge over the back of the napkin. I started in the middle and worked my way out.

Here is a photo of what kind of mod podge I used and it also shows where I finished applying a few napkins over the holes.

This is what a covered hole looks like from behind the mirror. Remember when you apply the napkin to place it right side down. You want the front of the napkin to show when you turn the mirror around.

Let the mod podge dry and then you can display your mirror. Here is an example of the design from the front. Isn't it amazing how distressed and vintage it turned out.

I decided to display my new distressed vintage mirror next to my end table in the living room. Mirrors are a great way to add extra depth and lighting to a room.

If you added a distressed vintage mirror to your home where would you place it? What napkins designs would you choose.

For more ideas on DIY distress projects check out the botanical frame below.

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
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
Join the conversation
3 of 29 comments