Create, Trash to Treasure

Thrift Store Mirror Upcycle

I’ve had two old mirrors stashed away for a while now that I’ve been keeping with the intention of doing some kind of DIY/upcycling project (said every DIY’er ever)! One is from a yard sale and one was actually left behind in our house when we moved in. This weekend I finally decided to DIY/upcycle them into something more useful using minimal materials and creating two completely different items. Keep reading to find out how turn two old, dated mirrors into a vintage perfume tray and farm-house style chalkboard.

These are the two mirrors ready to be transformed… I actually liked the brown mirror, but there was a lot of tiny paint specks on the glass which were really hard to get off. I kept hold of this mirror regardless, as I knew I could find something to do with it.

Also, sorry (not sorry) for including the photo of my not-so-helpful helper Mr. Marty. He likes to be in on the excitement too!

For both mirrors, I gave them a good clean to get rid of all the little bits of dust and grim. For the wood mirror, I also lightly sanded the frame to help the paint adhere to it better.

For the chalkboard mirror….

I used the Martha Steward chalkboard paint, but any brand of chalkboard paint will do. I’ve had this bottle for a couple of years now and luckily I just had enough to complete this project – phewf!

I applied the paint right onto the glass and used both a small flat brush and sponge brush.

It took a few coats of the paint to become opaque….

When that was fully dry, I painted the frame with Fusion Mineral Paint in Limestone. I love this colour – it’s a lovely off-white/cream colour. This took a few coats to completely cover the dark wood.

As you can see, I’ve used this FMP for a few other projects. It’s a product I’ve used a couple of times and have always been pleasantly surprised by the results. There are many reasons why DIYers love this brand of paint so much – it has Zero VOCs, needs minimal prep work, is easy to apply, and no top coat is needed (depending on what you are painting, their Clear Tough Coat would be recommend)! I also used the Staalmeester oval brush in the Series 2010 #40. I won’t lie – it is a pricey brush – but it works wonders. It’s great to minimize the appearance of brush strokes that flat brushes would typically leave. It’s also great for getting into the nooks and crannies when painting certain pieces. For this project, these items are not necessary – it’s just what I had on hand. You could totally get away with just using any ol’ acrylic paint in whatever colour you wanted and same goes for the paint brush – just use what you have on hand.

When that was dry, I scuffed it up a bit with a piece of 100-grit sandpaper. I wouldn’t recommend using anything courser (smaller number) or you may strip the paint. I was going for the rustic, farmhouse style so I wanted it to purposely look warn. Once I was happy with that, I decided to add some stenciling onto the frame. I used black chalk paint (from Michaels) that I’ve had lying around.

The trick with stencilling is to use a super small amount of paint to prevent bleed-through. Again, going for the rustic look I didn’t want it to be perfect, so I just lightly brushed on the paint, and intentionally not painting it in completely. I then went over it lightly again with sandpaper to scuff it up more.

And voila! All done! I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I’m planning to use this in my pantry as a message board to write down notes and lists of things we need. However, this chalkboard could be used for so many things!

And one more look of the before and after…

For the perfume tray…

For this mirror I decided to make it into a little vintage-inspired perfume tray. After cleaning it, I used painters tape to tape off the sides of the mirror so I wouldn’t get paint on the glass. I then also removed the hooks on the back as I would no longer be needing them since I wasn’t going to be hanging this on the wall.

I then used the same FMP paint in Limestone and painted a couple of coats onto to the frame.

Bye-bye ugly black and gold frame!

I thought it looked too plain painted just with the FMP alone. I wanted to bronze it up a bit so I used a metallic gold acrylic paint to highlight some of the features of the frame. I used a small amount of paint at at time and just lightly brushed it on to the details of the frame, removing any access as needed with a lint-free cloth.

All done! Pretty happy with how this one turned out too – I think it’s much better than how it looked before. Lets compare!

I hope you enjoyed this little DIY/upcycle project! I always find it inspiring to see others repurpose something old/drab into something new and exciting. Hopefully you did too!

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