Making History: How to Antique a Mirror

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Every now and then, you’ll come across that perfectly-aged mirror at an antique mall, estate sale, or flea, that is marked with a not-so perfect price tag. My solution to cutting costs — make your own! By creating your own aged mirror, you can not only choose any style, shape, or mirror that suits your fancy, but you can customize it down to the amount of wear you’d like to appear on the surface.

Skip the time-machine and save days that could be spent searching for this specific second-hand treasure. If you have a few hours to spare, you can easily make your own mirror the fairest of them all.

DIY Antiqued Mirror
From Apartment Therapy

Mirrored glass
Latex or other gloves for hand protection
Paint stripper (Citristrip is a safer alternative!)
Plastic putty spreader
Modern Masters Metal Effects Patina Aging Solution
1-inch chip brush
Metallic paints of choice

1. Wearing gloves, place your mirror face-down in a well-ventilated area on a cardboard or other protected surface.  Generously apply paint stripper to the back of the mirror with a paint brush, and let it sit for a few hours.

2. Using the plastic scraper, remove the paint from the back of the mirror. You should see the reflective surface peek through! It’s okay if not all of the paint comes off, but 80 – 90 percent should. When the paint has been removed, wash the mirror with soap and water, and allow to dry.

3. Place stripped mirror face-down on clean cardboard or protected surface. Wearing gloves, pour the metal aging solution into the spray bottle. Lightly spray around edges of mirror, where aging would be most prevalent. The reflective surface will noticeably begin to dissolve in a matter of minutes. Rinse the solution with water to neutralize the reaction and allow to dry. Don’t wipe the solution around the mirrored surface when removing, as this will only spread it over the entire surface, which will then begin to slowly age.

Note: I tried alternatives, such as 100% acetone, and Acid Magic for an aging solution, neither of which worked. You should be able to find Metal Masters Patina Aging Solution in a local hardware or art store, if you can’t, then purchase it online!

4. The last step involves reapplying paint to the mirrored surface that you just stripped and aged. I chose to mix metallic copper and silver to give the spots a dark metallic bronze shade. You can use a metallic black, silver, gold — whatever shade you prefer. Apply the paint until the entire surface is covered, and let dry.

Will you try your hand at this DIY, or have your own antiquing DIY tricks? Let us know!

About Julianne

Julie is a modern day Renaissance woman and die-hard bloody mary enthusiast. When she’s not sprinkling magic fairy dust onto ModCloth’s social media channels, you can find her eclectic point of view on food, fashion, music, and DIY documented here!

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6 Responses to Making History: How to Antique a Mirror

  1. Katie 12/01/2011 at 10:40 am #

    never thought about antiquing a mirror myself! great idea!

  2. Laura (ModCloth) 12/01/2011 at 10:54 am #

    How cool! I’m definitely going to try this. It would make for a cool Christmas present, too. Although, if I make one I’ll probably want to keep it for myself… :)

  3. Christina 12/01/2011 at 11:14 am #

    What a fabulous idea! So elegant looking. This would even be fun as a serving tray! :)

    xo,
    Christina

    http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/

  4. Clementine 12/04/2011 at 9:30 pm #

    this has got to be the best DIY project i’ve seen. thanks! :D

  5. Katrina 12/07/2011 at 10:32 pm #

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. I love old antique mirrors and actually saw somewhere (not revealing the place because of reasons) where they took a collection of antiqued mirrors and put them together to form one large piece of wall art. Noticing it was over $600, I knew I had to make my own. I know where to get mirrors now and antique them myself… SO SWEET.

  6. Mary Finley 07/02/2013 at 8:23 am #

    Great idea! I was thinking about doing something like this for my sister for her birthday. I’ve been looking at tons of large mirrors for sale in hopes of finding the perfect one to antique! Thanks for the tutorial.

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