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  • Melissa Geskie

How To Age A Mirror & Create A Gold Ornate Frame

You all know the saying "One man's trash is another's treasure..." well this little slice of heaven was pulled from the trash, yes the trash! Her frame was broken, her metal mirror brackets were rusty. The backing was falling off. And I could still see her beauty beneath. Let me show you how I made this Restoration Hardware knock off from garbage!

First things first, let's clean her up. I removed the full broken backing of old wood from the frame. Using White Lightning, I cleaned the whole piece. The frame itself was separating. I wanted to secure the corners where it was pulling away. I added metal brackets to hold the mirror frame together. Small screws inserted into the brackets with my cordless drill.

I pulled the nails that were sticking out of the back from the old backing. Cleaned the mirror with Windex.

Now that the mirror has been secured and cleaned we are ready to begin. I wanted to add detail to the frame using Woodubend mouldings. I got out my stash and started to play with placement and see what would fit best. I decided on two scrolls, and a top ornate piece. Woodubend mouldings are one of my favorite tools to use for repairing and adding detail to any crafting item. They are bendable, paintable, even able to cut them! These little decorative mouldings save the day for me!

Let's talk about how I aged the mirror. Since it had a few chips, and already some slight aging I knew I wanted to really make it look old. I've had success doing this before on a mirror but wanted to try something new. I've heard that vinegar works to age the spots, but I wanted to try something stronger. I chose bleach and Citristrip.

Flip your mirror face down on the floor, use a sheet or a protected area for your flooring. Apply one even coat of Citristip to the back of the mirror. I used a disposable chip brush.

Wait approximately 5-10 minutes to see how the stripper is working. You want to be removing the black layer of protective coating on the mirror. I checked with a paper towel about 6 minutes in and could tell the black layer was lifting. Now here is my handy dandy tip of the day....don't' use too much Citristrip. I used too much and had a hard time wiping it off. A thin layer would work best.

I used a plastic scraping spatula tool wrapped in paper towel to remove the excess stripper. I didn't want to scratch the glass.

After all the stripper has been removed your left with a mirror like surface on the back.


Next I wanted to remove the mirror layer from the mirror. I tried one corner of vinegar, and one of bleach. The vinegar did not remove any of the silver mirror. The bleach did! I put the bleach into a spray bottle and sprayed the back liberally. You will see the dark runs in the mirror in the video below from where I tipped the mirror to look under. I should not have done that, because the runs were noticeable from the other side. I recommend spraying and leaving it about 3-5 minutes. This will work quickly to remove the silver part of the mirror backing. Wipe clean with Windex. And open a window!

When you have removed the silver mirror finish from the back it will become clear glass. I removed a little too much in one area where the runs from the bleach were. My plan then changed. Rather than paint the whole area black (This is what you would see from the front of the mirror) I decided to add some old vintage book pages. I used Midnight Sky from Dixie Belle paint products and painted the entire back of the mirror. Using paper towel I wiped back the paint to reveal some clear glass. This is where I will add the book pages.


You can see in this video the paint being applied to the entire back of the mirror.

Once I covered the back of the mirror with vintage book pages I taped them down so they would not move. I then covered the back of the mirror with carboard and stapled it down to the frame.

Let's get working on the front of the frame! Flip over the mirror and lay it flat. I painted the Woodubend Mouldings with Gemstone Mousse in Golden Gem. I find it easier to paint them before I apply them to the piece. I also painted the entire frame in Golden Gem. This is a water based product that has zero VOC's and high pigment and shine. Little is used in thin coats.

Let's add the Woodubend details! Woodubend are flat and hard. When you heat them up they become pliable and shapeable. I use a heat gun to warm the backing and apply wood glue to the piece. I then apply to the mirror frame and heat again to ensure they are stuck onto the frame. I added one to each bottom corner (1320) and one to the top center (1385). Dixie Belle carries over 50 exclusive designs from Woodubend!

I decided to add some Best Dang Wax in Black to the frame. I used it on the mouldings and the frame over the Mousse. It gave it a aged look without hiding the shine. I applied with my French Tip brush and wiped back the excess.

This is what I was left with so far!

What do you think? Did I achieve the romantic, old, ornate look I was going for? The book pages peeking though the glass, worn and aged. Ornate frame in gold - looking like it was pulled out of a old French chateau! I'm in love!

Thank you for joining me on this trash to treasure journey! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Happy painting! Melissa

Dixie Belle Brand Ambassador

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