Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Overscale Hand-Antiqued Mirror

Guess. What. I am super excited about this project. Ok, here’s the story: I redid my bedroom last summer [another blog, another day… pins & needles until then] and I needed something to fill space on a big, blank wall. As I flipped through my magazines for inspiration I fell in love with these mirrors from the Oct. 2010 House Beautiful Magazine.




Ok, so anytime I fall in love with an item from House Beautiful [which is every time I read House Beautiful], I know that it will never be mine due to a severe lack of funds [those people are loaded and I am... well, not loaded]. However, once in a while I stumble onto pictures like these and know that if I roll up my sleeves, bust out my craft kit and get all Martha Stewart on it, then I might just be able to do it myself. When that happens, there’s no stopping me [unless the project fails and I end up putting it in a corner of my garage, pretending as if it never happened]. But that didn't happen this time, because here's what I created for my room.


These detail photos show the antiqued mirrors upclose- each mirror will be different.


Now, in the interest of full disclosure I will note that while this project was not difficult, I did have a couple of set-backs. Anyway, I had to change my “ingredients” and tweek this project a couple times. Nevertheless, I pressed on and now I am so pleased with the end product- an overscale 3’x 6’ mirror that cost about $70 to make [I know, not terribly cheap- but mirrors this size cost at least three times that]. Here’s how I did it:

What you’ll need:
3 boxes of plain edge 12”x12” mirrors
Paint stripper
Scraper
Chemical-grade gloves
Muriatic acid (in spray bottle)
Black spray paint (2 cans)
Glass Adhesive (& caulk gun)
4'x8' MDF board cut down to 36 ½“ x 72 ½” (most Hardware stores can do this for you)

Here’s what to do:
Place all mirrors (reflection side down) on a drop cloth out side (near a water hose).





  • Put on your gloves and spread paint stripper* all over the backs of the mirrors (just spread with your hand so you don’t have to mess with a paint brush).






  • Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Then, using the scraper, remove the paint from backs of the mirror [I’ve heard rumors that the paint can bubble up & simply be wiped away, but this NEVER happened for me. . . perhaps your luck will be better than mine].





  • Next, wash off your gloves w/ a hose [don’t take them off, though] and wash off the backs of your mirrors.






  • Spray the Muriatic Acid* [this stuff is serious, so be careful] onto the backs of the mirrors. You will see it working. Wash it off after 10-20 sec. and take a look at the reflective side of the mirror- if you want more texture then spray the back again and let sit for another 20- 60 seconds. Every mirror will be different- examine each one!






  • Wash all mirrors thoroughly and then dry them.






  • [Now go get a snack or something because you need a break!]






  • Lay mirrors out on a [dry] drop cloth face down again & paint the backs with black spray paint.






  • Sand the sides of your MDF** and spray paint them and the front black [I only painted about a 3" strip around the front edges of the MDF since the middle would be covered with mirrors].






  • Once all paint has dried, it’s time to apply the mirrors. You will have a ¼” boarder of black MDF around the entire piece, so center the first row of mirrors and apply them using the glass adhesive.* Repeat with all the other rows until completed [I placed all mirrors on the MDF without adhesive first to make sure the fit properly , then went back and glued them down.].






  • I have to mention this: I chose not to get those little thing-ies to place in the corners where each mirror meets another [I just thought they were decorative so I didn’t bother]. Then, when we moved the huge mirror I realized that those little thing-ies probably serve a purpose because I could hear the mirrors rubbing against one another [it wasn’t a great sound]. So, you may want to purchase those…
    *Follow all directions and ESPECIALLY safety precautions on product label
    **safety note** even though the mirror is intended to lean against a wall, you should still use a wall anchor system to ensure that it won’t fall (install it onto the back of the MDF before you glue on the mirrors).


  • Time to link-up!
    http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/
    http://superstinkyboys.blogspot.com/
    http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/
    http://www.skiptomylou.org/
    http://madincrafts.blogspot.com/
    http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/
    http://becolorful.typepad.com/
    http://thediyshowoff.blogspot.com/
    http://tipjunkie.com/
    http://todayscreativeblog.net/

    71 comments:

    1. I love the mirror! If you didn't live so far away, I would just pop over to see it :)
      Muriatic acid is serious stuff...I once witnessed a snake having a run in with it...the muriatic acid won and the snake is now fossilized in concrete!
      Would you recommend antiquing a large mirror (3x4) or would is this something that is best using 12x12in tiles?

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    2. Thanks Missy! You're right, you know that you've crossed the line from crafty into "the real-deal DIY projects" when you are using Muriatic acid!
      And any size mirror can be antiqued, I suggest that you make sure to age your mirror like it would naturally occur- so spray more muriatic acid around the edges, leaving more reflection in the middle.

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    3. I love it! So creative and resorceful too!!

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    4. Shut Up!!!!! You made that??? I'm an in awe (you can't see, but I'm bowing down to you). I've been admiring those same types of mirrors for an empty wall space in my room. THanks for the tute!
      xoxo,
      Kim
      p.x.I'm a new follower - pop on over and enter my giveaway if you have a chance!

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    5. FABULOUS...and thanks SO much for the detailed tutorial!

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    6. I love this, it looks incredible! Such a lovely addition to your room.

      http://laurathoughts81.blogspot.com/

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    7. I SO LOVE THIS!!!!! THANKS FOR POSTING THIS!!!

      Sendin' some lovin' from:

      http://www.operationceo.com
      http://momsforhealthyhomes.blogspot.com

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    8. I love this and am featuring it on my blog tomorrow (tuesday). I can't wait to make this for my room!

      Thanks, Rachel

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    9. Thank you! I'll definately go check it out on your blog- I'm thrilled to have it featured :)
      Connie

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    10. Wow did you do good or what, I saw you over at CRAFT, and had to come see how you did this. Just incredible!!! I love the way it turned out, and come on for that price, EVEN BETTER!!!

      I am so scared to try muriatic acid, but how else can you get this effect? Do you know? (Actually my bathroom mirrors are starting to fade towards the bottom of the mirror, lol. I guess 10 years of steam in a bathroom will do that.)

      I would really like to invite you over to link this up to my party girl, and while you are there, linking up, don't miss out out on my giveaway!!!

      $100 prize total, blog makeovers and necklaces up for grabs to 4 winners. If you think you might be interested, here's the link :) **Blog Makeover Giveaway**

      Thanks so much for your support,
      Bella :)--- Ps I am featuring your mirror on my facebook, and pinterest board--under NEED TO TRY THIS.

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      Replies
      1. You can use a mix of hydrochloric acid and water in a spray bottle also. Its slower and you can "focus" your antiquing. Also you can paint funky colors on the mirror then spraypaint over that for really authentic looking antique. I did this for a a high end faux antique furniture company....shhhhhh. trade secrets lol

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      2. Hi there, do you paint the colors on the back of the mirror? What do you spray paint over the colors? Do you mind explaining...Thanks so much!

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    11. I love this! Great idea!
      Where did you find the mirrors at?

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    12. Thanks for all of the great comments!
      @ Bella- I wanted to do this project a year ago, but I was pregnant so muriatic acid was out of the question... unfortunately I couldn't find any alternative. Obviously I've had my baby now :)
      @Becca- I purchased the mirrors from Menards, but all of the large home improvement stores have them. You'll find them in the mirror section, they come in a box,and each box contains 6 mirrors.

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      Replies
      1. THANK YOU for this!!! I see I am late to the party, but I have been wanting to do this for SO long. You are genius! I hope to do this only spray some gold paint on the back of the corroded mirrors and see what happens. Thank you again!!!!

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    13. I need this for my bedroom! Lovely tutorial!

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    14. Thanks again for linking up to my party :)

      I know you already saw that I featured you, sorry I am late leaving a comment about your feature !!

      Hugs, Bella **Features from week #38** @ Bella Before and After

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    15. Ok so I too fell in love with a huge (7ft tall) mirror. I found it at a antique store here in town and passed it up. Then called the next day and it was sold. (LOST!)

      I've been on the lookout for another and now I plan on attempting this project! Love the idea!

      1 question: What did you use to clean the mirrors? soap and water? windex? THanks!

      http://portofthoughts.blogspot.com

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    16. Darn... that just makes my heart sad when I miss-out on a good thing! Well, I'm glad you discovered this project!! I just rinsed each mirror off well with the garden hose, then used dish soap and water to clean them the rest of the way.
      I would love to see how your mirror turns out!!
      Connie

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    17. I think this is the best effect I've seen (at least with a tutorial attached) for a realistic antiqued mirror. I Love IT!

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    18. The mirror is so beautiful! You did an amazing job and I am so impressed by how authentic it looks! Thank you for linking up this week...I hope to see you again next Saturday!

      Jamie
      day-and-age-design.com

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    19. WOW! I am truly in love with this mirror! Great job and great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

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    20. Thank you so much for being a part of Tales from Bloggeritaville’s Thrifty Thursday! I just LOVED your project and am featuring it in my Friday Flashback!
      I sincerely appreciate you linking up. It’s not a party without guest! Thank you!
      I hope you will accept and display the Tales from Bloggeritaville feature button on your blog. YOu can find it on the Friday Flashback Post. It’s my way of saying “Thank YOU!”

      Live*Love*Laugh,
      Leigh
      Tales from Bloggeritaville
      www.lbratina.blogspot.com

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    21. The mirror looks gorgeous.

      Saw your link on 'French Country Cottage'. I am hosting my first Link-up party - Tea Time Thursdays. Would be glad to see some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see ya at the party :)

      http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/2011/08/celebrating-one-party-time.html

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    22. I am in LOVE with this. It is a must do for my living room!

      ashtonscraftycreations.blogspot.com

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    23. I absolutely LOVE this!!! This is fantastic!! Well done! Sharing on FB~ thanks for sharing at FNF :)

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    24. this is EXACTLY what i've been planning to do on my future yet to be completed home. Thank you so much for posting this up.

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    25. Was just wondering about the first step...removing the paint. Is the goal to remove ALL the paint off the backs? Or just some of it (in blotchy amounts to create the antique effect)? Thanks. Oh, and this is an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    26. Hi Milly! I tried to reply to you, but there wasn't any email address listed, so I hope you happen to check back for the answer :)
      Yes, your goal is to remove all of the paint from the back of the mirror [but I was happy if I got 90% off... it didn't just come off easily]. The blotchy-ness will come from the application of muriatic acid! Hope that helps!
      Connie

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    27. Has anyone tried oven cleaner to get the back off ? I love love the mirror!

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    28. I've really been wanting to know how to do this!! LOVE the tutorial...my fav part was adding in the "take a break for a snack" point : ) Love directions that tell me to eat : ) HA! I can't wait to try this on every mirror I can find....maybe I should just do them all at once tho-seems like something I would really jump into more than once. HA <3

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    29. Hi! This is such a great project!

      Can you explain more about what you mention here: "I chose not to get those little thing-ies to place in the corners where each mirror meets another [I just thought they were decorative so I didn’t bother]."

      What are you referring to here? Can they be bought at the same place you buy the mirrors?

      Thanks!
      Pam

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    30. Hi Pam! I haven't researched where to buy them, and I don't know the technical term for them... but I'll tell you what I do know: they fit into the corners and often look like little metal circles of some type (often decorative like a flower, star, etc.) and they serve to keep the mirrors from rubbing against eachother (and potentially cracking if they rub too much). I am sure you could find them at a glass supply store. Perhaps even a hardware store, but I'm really not sure. Sorry, but that's the best I can tell you since I didn't use them!

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    31. I really love this! Great job! Thanks for sharing the tutorial so we can try it to!!

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    32. wow - you did an amazing job - this looks beautiful! :)

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    33. I love the mirror! What was the thickness of the MDF - 3/4" ?

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      Replies
      1. Yes, and I wouldn't go any thinner than that because the mirrors are heavy!

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    34. Well, I did it! And I LOVE it! Thank you so much!!!!!!!

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      Replies
      1. Wonderful!!! I'm thrilled to hear that you love it too :) You know what, that post has had almost 24,000 pageviews and you are the first to let me know that you did it... thanks, I appreciate it!!

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      2. Yes, I think it went crazy on Pinterest! And your tutorial was spot on. Here is a link to the picture of mine. Thanks again, such an awesome tutorial!

        http://sandidenhof.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/a-photo-a-day-day-11/

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    35. We may be moving soon and while organizing, I came across two giant mirrors that are about the same size as this one. I've had them for a several years and didn't know what I was going to do with them....until now!! Thank you for the great tutorial. Whenever the time comes to move into a new home, my old mirrors are going to get a "new antique" makeover!

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    36. Hi, just wondering what was the percentage of the muriatic acid (known in Australia as hydrochloric acid) that you used?

      Great tutorial and I can't wait to try it.

      Sandy K

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    37. Hi Sandy, It's hard to say exactly how much because every mirror reacted to the acid differently... Some only needed one spray and others took three or four. But the spray itself was 100% acid (not diluted at all) so be careful!

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      Replies
      1. Hi Connie, Thanks so much for the reply. I'm still yet to undertake this project, but am looking forward to it. Hopefully it turns out as well as yours has. And yes, previous experience at Uni has shown me that you need to be exceptionally careful with Hydrochloric Acid!

        Regards,
        Sandy K

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    38. my question is where did you find the boxes of 12 x 12 mirrors?

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      Replies
      1. I found them at Menards, but you can find them at any hardware store in the mirror section!

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    39. This is just BEATIFUL! Great job! :) I'm pinning this for later!

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    40. I plan to do this with a 3x5' mirror for our daughter's room. I had no idea HOW I wwas going to do it, I just knew it was gonna happen! WONDERFUL tutorial, THANK YOU...I will be bookmarking this one...Can't wait to get started! (=

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    41. Great job on the mirror - it's gorgeous! I have your tutorial linked to my mirrors post too today, for inspiration!

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    42. I adore this project
      If you don`t worry I have your post linked to my blog

      I like to my hall with ikea mirrors
      http://emeritadesastre.blogspot.com

      Seville
      Spain

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. That is wonderful, I'm glad you like this idea!
        Connie

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      2. I'm having trouble posting here, the comment box keeps disappearing, so I'm going to reply to this comment. Sorry about that.

        I just wanted to say that I love this project. Very cool looking!

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    43. Have been experimenting with this for a while.... I just found that oven cleaner is a quick go to rather than the muriatic acid... Worked perfect!!

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    44. Great idea, thank you for sharing! I have a smaller mirror and always wanted to try and do something with it but was not sure what! feeling inspired now, will try and follow your instructions!

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    45. I'm just wondering if you are trying to remove all the paint off the back of the mirror, wouldn't it remove the reflective quality? or is there mirroring and then another layer of paint? I guess you would just use a piece of glass if you were removing the paint and the mirroring?

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    46. What do you mean..those little thing-ies to place in the corners where each mirror meets another?

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    47. Love the idea, but where can you safely wash the acid off?

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    48. Hello All!
      I was SOOOOOO intrigued at this project and I immediately went to work today pricing out the pieces. I found out what those "thing-ies" you were referring to are called -- they are mirror mounting holders/rosettes. Here's a couple links: http://stores.ebay.com/TechnologyLK/Mirror-Mounting-Hardware-/_i.html?_fsub=1377861017
      http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-30346/4-Pack,-Clear-Plastic,/Detail
      http://www.lowes.com/Search=mirror+rosettes?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10051&N=0&newSearch=true&Ntt=mirror+rosettes#!

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      Replies
      1. Thanks Terri! I want to make more mirrors soon, so I'll definitely use your links to find some :)

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    49. Beautiful Piece!! Can't wait to get started. I'm super excited. Can you please tell me how you got the decorative top and molding on sides. Thank you a bunch for sharing this.

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    50. Where in the world does one get "3 boxes of plain edge 12”x12” mirrors"?!

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      Replies
      1. I purchased mine from Lowes, but virtually any home improvement store will have them in their mirror section.

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      2. Here are some from Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Erias-Home-Designs-12-in-x-12-in-Plain-Edge-Mirror-Tiles-6-Pack-201010/202300825#.UgviNsAo5Ms

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    51. this is a fantastic idea/project!! you can also get really inexpensive mirrors from the Dollar Store. since you are going to strip the backs anyway, the quality of the mirror shouldn't matter too much. i think i'll be going this route but using your technique. THANQ!!!

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