Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Old Soul Deserves an Old Mirror

Ok, so its pretty much been established that I am an old soul, or at least a vintagey-type of person (no old age cracks please!). My entire life, I have always had a passion for thick moldings rimming a room, peeling cornices revealing generations of paint choices, old wavy windows that slightly blur the view outside, doors with intricate details, and of course, colorful and painstakingly-made stained glass windows. Something about flinging open a pair of heavy, old wooden pocket doors that take you from the long, symmetrical hallway into a room with high coffered ceilings, creaky wood floors, a fire roaring in the fireplace, just makes me feel perfectly at peace in the world.

So, one of my goals with my new-old home was to try my hardest to bring only vintage, authentic pieces into it. Items that have a history and simply make me happy (while I profess to be authentic, its not fully true for me when it comes to toilets and plumbing, appliances, or A/C, though!!). As you know, I have been scouring flea markets, antique and salvage shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc… (side note: I am currently waiting to hear back from a fellow Craigslister to see if he accepts my offer on a vintage Victorian fireplace screen, it's really pretty!) but I can't afford all vintage so in some cases, I have to either accept it or alter it. In this case, beautiful antique mirrors are a small fortune so I found the following gem in a little thrift shop in Ocala (via Facebook). It's old but more like 50s' old, not early 1900's old but that's no problem for me!

I love the lines of this mirror but would love
for it to have an "old mirror" look and not be gold
and thanks to Pinterest, I can do that!

First I removed the mirror from the frame.
Look at the "wonkiness" of this glass cutting!
Do you also like the sneak-peek of my dining room ceiling?
In my opinion, its swoon-worthy!
I decided to paint the frame a matte black first.
Ahhhhh . . . much better but not there yet.
I wanted the frame of the mirror to have a silver-leaf look
and this little bottle was able to do the trick
(and two more frames!).
Thankfully, I wanted the mirror to have that streaky silver-look or
at least that's what I told myself.
I also wanted parts of the black and gold to "peek" through.

I also very lightly sanded off some of the silver
and in a few spots, some of the black to let the
layers of color shine through.
I decided I wanted the silver toned down just a bit.
I very daintily (because those who know me know how dainty I can be)
dry painted the deep nooks and crannies
of this mirror with the antique wax and then wiped 98% of it off.
I love it!
Next step is to "age" the mirror.
In order to proceed with the aging,
I needed to remove the outer layer of paint.
I sprayed on the paint remover and left it for about 30 minutes. 
The first coat didn't work that great so I sprayed
another layer of paint stripper and waited.
The second time worked like a charm and was a bit fun
to peel! Then I sprayed muriatic acid to make those
old dots and it went everywhere and looked like crap!
No pictures available because I was busy cursing.
I then stripped all the mirror and started over again
because now basically I have a piece of glass!
Gee, thanks Pinterest!
So I ran to my local Ace Hardware to buy some
of the Mirror Effect spray paint but they didn't have it.
I then headed to my home-away-from-home, Home Depot,
and bought a can (I didn't know it at the time but that was a mistake!).
I did like the way the spray paint layered the layers of silver.
HOWEVER this is after another trip to Home Depot and
2 more cans of mirror paint because the muriatic acid
was a F.A.I.L again. Cue more cursing and now
we are on day 3! I finally decided to just man-handle
the paint and rub away a bit. I added a layer of black spray paint
over the mirror paint and finally,  I am somewhat happy.
I put the mirror back in the frame and voila!
It's not what I started out going for but it's not too shabby
or actually, its just the right level of shabby! 

After three days, three cans of Mirror Effect Spray Paint, several minor burns on my hands from the acid, the investment in a pair of heavy rubber gloves, and my time, I probably could have flown to Paris and found a vintage mirror but I am very happy with the results. Knowing me, I will probably pull it down in the near-future to make some adjustments to it but for now it will hang. Wanting to show off my handiwork, I called my youngest in to admire my oh-so pretty mirror and in a teenage girl way, she mumbled something about it being ok. She then proceeded to ask me if I planned on cleaning the mirror. Hand to head! Ahhhhh! Guess I'll need to keep my day job. I head to the kitchen for a bottle glass of wine. Put a fork in this one because I am done! I have another super fun, and much easier, project to share next but that is for another post!


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