A Crafty How To: Antique Mirror

After my post on Monday, many of you have emailed me asking "what can you do with oven cleaner and a mirror?!" Don't worry, it has absolutely nothing to do with cleaning :) Instead, it is a great "Crafty How To" project inspired by these Anthropologie mirrors that I found via a project on Vintage Revivals.

I had found this old mirror at Goodwill when I found my $15 chair. Once again, I didn't really have a specific place in mind for this item. But it was $10 and I loved the detail on the frame. I just couldn't say 'no'.

At first I was just going to paint the frame and call it a day. But there was a small defect in the glass and I have always wanted to try the 'antique mirror' project. The one detailed on Vintage Revivals is amazing, but it uses muriatic acid and after reading all the warnings about using it on old mirrors (which can contain mercury) I decided to look for a another way to achieve the antique look. The trick is to remove part of the 'reflective' qualities of the mirror. And for some reason- oven cleaner is pretty effective!

SO start by removing the back of the mirror. I didn't pull the glass out of the frame until I was almost done. But looking back, now I recommend doing that first :) 

Then break out the oven cleaner.
Thanks to a tutorial from Mitzi's Collectibles for the oven cleaner tip.
 Spray it on the areas where you want 'distress' the glass. This stuff stinks, so do this project in a well-ventilated area. Then let it sit for about 5 minutes.

 The older the mirror, the faster it works. Using gloves and paper towels, wipe a bit off. If it doesn't remove the gray paint, spray it again and wait longer. If you are lucky, it will come off easily :)

Now see how it is turning brown. That means it's working! You can see the tan towel that is under my mirror.

 As you wipe, you will be removing the reflective parts of the mirror--leaving smudgy, speckled clearish glass.

Once you are happy with the look, wipe off any excess oven cleaner. Then use a spray adhesive to attach fabric to the back of the mirror.

Finally I used spray paint to turn the frame black. And then I used "Rub-n-Buff" in antique silver to add some dimension. 

And ta-da! Here is the finished project, a beautiful antique mirror.

Notice how the fabric shows through the glass.

The bottom of the mirror has more speckles, which I love.

That purple reflection is my Afton and her roly poly.
The mirror will now go in our bedroom. This a great project when you have a damaged mirror or if you just want to add interest to a simple mirror. 

I made another one for the playroom too, with stripey fabric.


Ah the power of oven cleaner!

Linking up with these great parties. Come check out all the fun projects.


  1. I have a bit of a mirror addiction so I am going to have to try this. What a cool idea! Love it!

  2. I am in LOVE with this project. It's perfect for my daughters Vintage nursery theme.Thank you so much for sharing!


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:) Samantha

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