Today’s post is a lesson in not passing up home décor with good bones, just because it doesn’t fit your style. I gave a basic wood framed mirror a drastic makeover with a few coats of chalky finish paint! Check out how I turned the piece from heavy to light and airy in just one morning.
You can usually find mirrors at thrift stores and yard sales, or you can pick up inexpensive mirrors at a big box store for $10-15.
First, you will need to run a line of painter’s tape where the glass of the mirror meets the frame. This is to protect the glass from paint mess. If you do accidentally get paint on the glass, do not panic! We will deal with that later.
I used three light colors of chalky finish paint to makeover this mirror frame. I happened to have the larger size paint jars on hand, but you will need very little paint for this project. You could easily get away with buying the 2 ounce bottles of paint and save yourself some money.
Apply the chalky finish paint with a standard paint brush. I chose a pure white paint as my base color. After the first coat has dried, add a second coat in a second chalky finish paint color. My second color was a light grey. You do not have to be too precious with the application since the paint finish will be distressed anyway.
The easiest way to distress chalky finish paint is by using the wet distressing technique. For this technique, you will have a 60 minute window of time in which it will work properly. Apply one coat of paint, and let it dry for half an hour. Clean out your paintbrush and check out your instagram feed or something. After the half hour has past, take a clean, damp cloth and rub it over the surface of the paint. The cloth will remove some of the paint wherever you rub it. Once the paint dries and cures, it becomes almost impossible to remove paint with just a wet cloth. That’s why that window, between 30-90 minutes after painting, is crucial.
You can see how well this technique works with just a damp cloth and a little elbow grease! After you have distressed the second layer of paint you will want to rinse out your cloth so it is ready to use again.
I applied and distressed a third layer of paint, this time in a vintage grey/aqua color. After the final coat of paint has dried, you can peel of the painter’s tape. If any paint got onto the glass of the mirror, use a razor blade to carefully scrape the paint off the glass surface. Finally, use glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the surface of the glass.
After the paint has dried, you may want to protect the finish with a coat or two of clear wax. Be careful not to get the wax onto the surface of the mirror as you work.
The mirror has such a pretty, weathered grey finish now. By keeping the three paints so close to each other in color, the mirror frame looks like paint that has naturally aged over time. Not only does the frame have an airy beach appearance, having a mirror in a room makes the whole space look brighter and bigger.
Can you imagine how out of place that heavy wooden frame would have looked in this vignette? And for just a morning’s work, I had it completely transformed.
Speaking of which, take one final look at the before and after! Don’t live with furniture that doesn’t fit your style when it is this easy to give it a whole new look.
I have put together a list of affiliate links for all the products I used in this tutorial. If you choose to purchase after clicking through, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!
Perfect timing! I have an old mirror I’ve been wanting to change and this is exactly the look I’m aiming for. Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful choice of color, and I love it so much so that I plan to use it to paint my dinning room table. Thanks for sharing.
Instead of taping off the mirror, simply insert playing cards in under the edge of the frame. Playing cards are large enough to extend over the glass and protect it from the paint. So much faster with a perfect edge every time.
This is a fabulous tip! Thank you!