Mirror, Mirror
Makeover Project

I love a good bargain and an equally good makeover project.

I recently got the best of both after finding this wonderful mirror at a local antique/thrift shop.


Blog mirror project tight

The first thing my eye was drawn too was the carved arrangement in the upper, center part of the mirror.

Even though these flowers were a bit muddied with green paint, the beauty of these delicate carvings shone through.

Blog mirror project frame

I also really loved the thick, decorative molding across the top of the piece which added a lot of weight to the mirror.

This is definitely a solid piece of craftsmanship.

I think the boxed frames around the floral elements and the glass helps to give the mirror added architectural interest and dimension.

Blog mirror project tight2

As much as I love the mirror, I was a bit disappointed with the color after I got it home.

The mirror had too much vibrant rust and heavy paint swirls.  Also, depending on the light in the room or time of day, the color looked closer to orange.

Definitely not a good color match for this space.

Blog mirror project wall

Now, I liked the two-toned effect of the current paint job and I love how the sage green color is used as an accent color throughout the piece.  However, to suit my purposes I decided to reverse the color combination.

I admit, I was nervous about tinkering with the existing colors because I didn’t want to ruin the mirror with a botched stripping attempt or an amateurish looking paint job.

Blog mirror project wide

For fear of really screwing things up, I opted to paint over the mirror instead of removing the original color.

Because the intended wall is already green (Hancock Gray by Benjamin Moore), I decided to stick with a similar green for my overall color.

I painted the entire mirror a slightly lighter shade of green called Ivy League, also by Benjamin Moore.

Blog mirror project green
Before the paint completely dried, I used a micro fiber cloth to rub the paint off the decorative, carved elements.

This process ended up also removing the original, “muddy” green color that was painted on the florals which revealed a pretty chestnut color.

Who knew?  I guess this proves you never know what colors you’ll find under an old layer of paint.

Blog mirror project rub

After extensive rubbing, a whole new look was created.

Blog mirror project rub2

I repeated the same rubbing effect throughout the entire mirror including along the sides of the mirror to create a distressed look around the edges.

While some of the original rust color remained, it wasn’t enough to throw off the overall color balance I was trying to achieve.

Blog mirror project frame2

Basically, I just reversed the colors of the mirror.  Instead of a brownish, rust-colored mirror with green highlights, I now have a green mirror with brown highlights.

Also, while the mirror color is very close to the wall color, I think the subtle difference works fine.  I like it.

 Blog mirrir mirror side

OK, here’s one more look at what the mirror looked like before the new paint job.

You may recognize this room from an earlier post as this space has been a work in progress for some time.

It’s nice to finish one more decorative element for the room.

 Blog mirror project wall

I like the transformation and because this room already had a muted color theme, the mirror now goes along with the more understated look of the space.

By the way, if you like the paisley pillowcases featured in the photo below, check out my easy tutorial on how to make them by clicking here.

Blog mirror mirror close

It didn’t take long at all to clean the mirror’s original surface, apply the new paint and rub off small areas of the old paint for this brand new look.  This is what I call a quick and easy weekend project.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… simple transformations are the most fun of all. 

  • Kathi Moore

    Love this! I’ve been on a thrift shop furniture kick for awhile now (and Craigslist, where I just found a $30. Hendredon coffee table!). Anyway, look into chalk painting http://kathi.wordpress.com…so easy and so great looking!

  • Berta

    That mirror is beautiful! Lucky find! I love the new look, so much softer and prettier!

  • Thimbleanna

    It’s beautiful Lisa! You’re SO clever — I would have never thought to do something like that. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Stefanie

    Wow, it’s beautiful!!

  • Monica

    Your mirror is beautiful! You were so brave to tackle such a project. Very impressive.

  • Monica

    You are so creative! Your “new” mirror looks lovely, and you were so brave to tackle such a job. I would be afraid I would just simply ruin it. Very nice!!

  • Lynda

    I generally get nervous when someone suggests painting a fine piece, and because of that, I might have chosen to strip off the ugly orange paint. I would have ruined it! Your color may be a bit monochromatic to the wall, but the distressing set it off and it is simply stunning!
    LOVE IT ~ Lynda

  • adrienne

    Beautiful as always!!!

  • Teddi Petrone

    This is a beautiful addition to an elegant and serene room.

  • Bethany

    WOW!! It adds something to that space without making it dark and overbearing – your way is much nicer for this room 🙂

  • Heather

    It looks great…such a good find!

  • Kaja

    Absolutely stunning!
    Only thing is… where I go thriftshopping I only get ugly
    pine tree mirrors from the 80’s….

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