This farmhouse mirror post really should be called, “The One About the Mirror From 1977,” because my dad made this framed non farmhouse mirror, complete with brassy hooks and function-less knobs, and to top it off, he opted to stain it some strange shade of orange in 1977. Pretty sure it was doomed to stay in 1977 forever. My mom actually had this thing hanging in our hallway growing up, and I never realized just how orange it really is, until I got it to my house. Gah.
So orange. So 1977.
My mom just moved, so I took it in my garage thinking I could hopefully breathe some new life into this sad thing. Perhaps I could turn it into a farmhouse mirror? Oooooh. After marinating on it all week long at the beach, I decided the time warp was going to double as a glorious antiqued framed mirror towel rack for the bathroom my kids’ fight in share. My brain always paints the most perfect result before beginning any project. Does yours do that too?
I was going to outfit this monstrosity with gorgeous matte black hooks for the kids’ shower accoutrement. I would add vintage glass knobs. I would paint the frame with a glorious to-be-determined color, chosen in hours spent waffling between five swatches of paint perfection at the Home Depot (coffee in hand). I would distress and age the mirror to a circa 1877 glory.
In my years of DIY and crafting things, I’ve had no less than three failures for every success, so it’s a good thing I’m not swayed by my track record. One cannot simply get down in the dumps over a few hundred failed craft attempts, now can we? I started thinking about what would happen if I ruined the whole thing… then started laughing because the only direction this thing could go, was up.
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Restoring the Hooks
I cleaned the mirror and frame, removing all the crud with my sanding sponge and tack cloth. I’m the laziest prepper, but I know it’s so important to a good result. If you need a good synopsis of prepping to paint, my lovely friend Lisa at The Purple Hydrangea has awesome tips for you!
I set forth and removed the mirror from the clips, hooks, and those knobs. Those hooks were gross! After a good cleaning and a few coats of Valspar flat black spray paint, they were glorious once more. Reusing these hooks was great, because I didn’t want to buy farmhouse-looking hooks or have to fill and drill new holes. I love the silky matte finish, smooth coverage, and how fast it dried. This is the same paint we used on our barn light, and it’s gorgeous!
Erasing the Orange
There’s nothing like a good chalk-like paint, but let’s face it, the paint-that-shall-not-be-named is ridiculously expensive. There are a lot of DIY recipes out there for that type of paint (like this one I made), but my friends Leanne and Terri at Diva of DIY, gave me and our blogging posse some Diva of DIY’s Chalk Mix to try!
All you need is 1 cup of paint, 2TBS hot water, and 4TBS of the mix. The little paint samples from Lowes or Home Depot are the perfect measurement to mix up a perfectly-sized batch. At $3 each, you can make whatever color you want and have the perfect amount for the perfect price. I decided to use Behr ‘Eden Prairie’ flat interior paint (the same color we used on the front door). Because, otherwise, all the things are white.
I mixed mine right in the container, but I realized I should’ve taken out a tablespoon or so of the paint before mixing to allow for some extra room. Disclaimer: I am the world’s sloppiest painter.
The paint was super smooth, gave wonderful coverage, and dried within a half hour. After two coats were on and dry, I distressed the edges with my sanding sponge until I had just enough of the wood showing on the edges and corners.
I chose to seal this with Minwax clear satin polyurethane, but you can also use oil or wax if you like.
Now, let’s address this mirror.
I did zero research on how to antique a mirror. But, I had Rustoleum Mirror Effect spray paint (but Krylon Looking Glass spray paint also would work), a spray bottle of water, and a prayer. I mean, why would I actually research such an undertaking? As I sat on the picnic table, I decided if I took the mirror beyond the point of no return, I’d use the mirror paint as it’s intended to be used on the reverse of a piece of glass, and call it done.
I went ahead and just sprayed the mirror effect paint all over the mirror in a few light coats, then misted the wet paint with water. It puddled and sat in the sun for a bit to dry.
The texture was great, but far too uniform. So, I took a paper towel and blotted some off pretty easily where it was still damp. Another spray of paint around the edges for some layering, a bit more misting with water…
This thing was looking a mess. I grabbed a paper towel and decided to wipe down most of the paint, in a haphazard pattern. It kinda looked like frosted glass. Not the look I was going for.
I channeled my inner Tim Gunn. Step away for perspective. Editing eyes. Keeping true to my aesthetic. Make it work. Thank you, Mood.
Scrubbing at the heavy-handed paint worked like a charm. Some places were thick, thin, void, or caked. But I needed age. A very light dusting haphazardly around the mirror of the matte black spray paint I painted the hooks with, add a few splatters here and there… finally, the right amount of crud.
Your farmhouse mirror is in. You can leave the runway.
I put the mirror back in with these gorgeous glass knobs and repurposed hooks, and admired the crust on the mirror and slight wear on my paint.
The towels hang perfectly, and it adds just enough color in the small (white) space.
We’re adding board and batten in the bathrooms for our $100 One Room Challenge coming up next month, so I cannot wait to see what this looks like all finished!
Please feel free to pin and share this all o’er the place, then visit the link up below for more awesome Chalk Mix projects!
Here are a ton of other awesome projects from my friends using Diva of DIY’s Chalk Mix, to get you inspired!