Mirror Magic, or How-To Spray Paint an Ornate Mirror

A few weeks ago, a fairy god mother (in the form of my mother-in-law) made both my and my pre-teen daughter’s dreams come true.  You see, mom-in-law Joey, who was recently given an ornate mirror from a friend, was kind enough to bestow said mirror onto us to use for my 11-year-old daughter Lily’s bedroom revival.

Here is a picture of the mirror as it looked when we first brought it home.

ISN’T SHE LOVELY?

The original mirror, while beautiful, lacked the type of personality and whimsy that we felt would best suit Lily’s bedroom’s new style.  Basically, it came down to this…the mirror needed colour.

In my previous posts, Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall and Mirror Image, I presented a number of colour options worth considering: blue, red, yellow, white, and dark gray.  Thanks everyone for your suggestions and opinions on this matter, but in the end I let Lily decide what colour she liked best.

So,

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

According to Lily, the fairest mirror colour is BLUE.

Kind of like this…

BOLD IN BLUE

So, off I went…I visited two different stores looking for spray paint in a shade of blue to compliment Lily’s bedroom decor.  Naturally, I forgot the paint chips at home (silly me).  This meant I had to pick a colour by memory (easier said than done).  I ended up coming home with one can of true blue and one can of cherry red spray paint.  The red spray paint was intended for a ceramic dog Lily picked up at a garage sale for $0.25!

TWIGGY, THE WONDER DOG

As it happens, once Lily and I saw the blue and the red spray paint cans in her actual room, we knew what we had to.  First of all, neither us were particularly taken with the shade of blue I chose, and, more importantly, Lily and I quickly realized that her ornate mirror was destined to stand out — translation: true blue would just not do!

In the end, Lily and I both agreed that her mirror was meant to be RAVISHING IN RED.

So, are you ready for the big reveal???

Here goes…

LADY IN RED

Sorry about the poor photo quality, it  doesn’t quite capture how gorgeous the mirror actually is in Lily’s room.

Here’s a quick look at how the mirror magically went from this…

LOVELY, BUT LACK LUSTRE

to this…Abracadabra

RAVISHING IN CHERRY RED

HOW WE SPRAY PAINTED AN ORNATE MIRROR

STEP ONE: Choosing a Good Spray Paint

For sake of ease, I chose Krylon’s Paint + Primer in one.  I was very happy with the results , and I will use this product again.

KRYLON PAINT + PRIMER IN ONE

STEP TWO: Prepping the Surface of the Mirror Frame

To get the frame ready for painting, we detached it from the actual mirror.  After the frame was detached, we made sure to clean off any dust and particles with a damp cloth.  Unfortunately, not all mirror frames are able to be taken off of the mirror.  If you have a frame that does not detach, I recommend covering the entire mirror surface in a heavy gauge paper and using painters tape around the edges.

Like so…

COVERED MIRROR

STEP THREE: Hanging Up the Mirror Frame

Luckily, Michael’s parents have a huge garage/ workshop that we can use for projects.  Using some of the items found just outside of the workshop (an old chair and a wagon), we hung the mirror frame up.  It is always best to spray paint in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

SEEING RED

Not soon after I began spray painting, I realized the frame wasn’t placed high enough to paint the bottom of the frame properly.  So, after a bit of reworking, Michael and I managed to hang the mirror frame at a better height.

SPRAY PAINTING TIP: FOR BEST COVERAGE, MAKE SURE ITEM TO BE SPRAY PAINTED IS AT A GOOD HEIGHT

STEP FOUR: Apply Thin Coats of Spray Paint

Spray paint goes on well if you apply it in thin, even coats.  This is especially important to do if you are painting an item with lots of details, like an ornate mirror frame.  Also, it is best to spray paint at a distance of about 6″-8″ away from surface in a sweeping motion.  After we applied two thin coats, the mirror frame looked awesome —  from a distance that is.  However, upon closer inspection, there were some areas that were not as well-covered as others.  With another light coat, focusing mainly on those problem areas, the frame was just right.

SPRAY PAINTING TIP: FOR BEST COVERAGE, MAKE SURE ITEM TO BE SPRAY PAINTED IS PAINTED IN GOOD LIGHTING

*** To ensure best practice and results, I highly recommend following the instructions on the spray paint can.***

STEP FIVE: Wait Patiently

Although the spray paint we used claimed you can handle the newly painted item in 2 hours, we waited a full 24 hours before putting the mirror back together.  I recommend waiting a little longer than 2 hours before handling, just to be extra cautious.

So, there you have it…five relatively easy steps to reviving an ornate mirror.

In case you are interested, here is a quick breakdown of the time and cost of this mini-revival.

TIME COMMITMENT:

About Half a Day’s Work (6-8 hours) + extra dry time, just to be safe.

COST:

Mirror — a gift

Spray Paint — $5.50 + tax

___________________

Total = $5.50 + tax

Now that’s a DEAL!

Blue Mirror image found here. Covered Mirror image found here.

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6 thoughts on “Mirror Magic, or How-To Spray Paint an Ornate Mirror

  1. Thank you, yours is the first article or blog post that made sense and gave me the instruction I need to complete my project!

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