DIY in a Day brings you step-by-step instructions for easy projects that will spruce up your space — within 24 hours (or less!).
There's no denying that a great vintage mirror, especially one featuring layers of patina upon a gilded frame and glass, speckled and fogged by years of oxidation, can add a certain level of grit and intrigue to your space that a new mirror simply can't. But, antique mirrors tend to carry a hefty price tag, and sometimes it's hard to find one that's just the right size for your space. Because we love a good IKEA hack, we figured out a way to make our own antique-inspired mirror using an inexpensive picture frame — and we have to say, it looks remarkably convincing. We chose the Himmelsby frame since we felt its beaded edge gave it more of a vintage vibe, but you can really use any frame size and style you like.
Things You'll Need
Picture frame (we used the Himmelsby)
Black spray paint (flat/matte finish)
Dark antiquing wax (optional)
Some IKEA picture frames come with a glass front, and some come with a plastic front. This technique will work on either one. (We used one with a plastic front.) A thrift store frame would also be a great way to upcycle!
Disassemble the picture frame, and remove the glass front. Peel off any protective stickers from the front or back.
Fill a small spray bottle with white vinegar, and then spritz the glass in several different areas. It doesn't need to be uniformly coated — in fact, it's better if it's not.
Dip your fingers in white vinegar and flick bigger droplets onto the glass. Concentrate mostly around the outer edges of the mirror, where oxidation would typically occur first, but again, you don't want to create any type of pattern. The spots should be random, just like a real vintage mirror would have.
Spray the glass with an even coat of mirror spray paint. Let the paint sit for a minute or two, but don't let it dry.
Using a paper towel, gently blot (don't wipe!) the droplets of vinegar. The paint should come off just in the spots that you blot. After all of the droplets have been blotted, allow the mirror paint to dry at least 15 minutes.
Spray the glass with black spray paint — right on top of the dried mirror paint. The black paint will fill in the vinegar spots that you blotted away and give your mirror that speckled look. Let it dry completely.
While you're waiting for the black spray paint to dry, paint the frame with gold gilding wax. You could also use gold spray paint.
To give your frame more of an aged look, you can paint over the gold wax with a light layer of dark wax, concentrating mainly around the edges and in the cracks and crevices.
Once the glass and frame are completely dry (about an hour), place the glass back inside the picture frame with the mirrored side facing out and reassemble the backing.
Your new (but quite old looking) antique mirror is ready to shine in your space.