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Thursday, 10 January 2013

How to Antique a Mirror

Whether your home is shabby chic, traditional, contemporary, or somewhere in between, you might enjoy decorating with antique mirrors for one of a kind decor. You can give a new mirror an antique patina without the antique price tag.

Consider antiquing mirrored accessories, mirrored furniture, and wall mirrors.  This project will require paint stripper, old rags, a putty knife, dish soap, water, muriatic acid, a spray bottle, and paint.

1)  Take your mirror to a well-ventilated area.  Remove the mirror's frame and paper backing.  Put the mirror face down on a table covered in newspaper, cardboard, or another material you can throw away.

2)  Using paint stripper, remove the paint on the back of the mirror.  The rags and putty knife will help in the paint removal.  Make sure to follow all safety suggestions listed on the paint stripper packaging.  You don't have to be totally perfect in your paint removal, but you should remove at least 90% of the paint.

3)  Once the paint is removed, clean the mirror surface with dish soap and water.  Dry the surface to make sure the mirror is clean.

How to Antique a Mirror

4)  Put your muriatic acid in a spray bottle. Make sure to follow all safety suggestions listed on the muriatic acid packaging. Spray the back of the mirror lightly with the acid starting at the corners and working inward.  Do not spray the entire mirror, just a bit here and there.  

The corners should be sprayed heavier than the inside since that is where antique mirrors are mostly aged.  The muriatic acid will eat through the silvering on the mirror, which should only take about one minute.

5)  Once you are finished using the muriatic acid, clean the mirror surface with dish soap and water.  Dry the surface to make sure the mirror is clean.

6)  Paint the back of your mirror with your desired paint colour.  You can use spray paint or paint that is brushed on.  Popular colours choices are black, antique gold, green, or silver.  Keep in mind that the colour you select will show through the antiqued spots.  

You can even mix different colours (or lighter and darker values of the same colour) to get your desired effect.  Start with a light coat of paint and keep adding light coats until you get your desired look.

7)  Wait for the paint to dry then you are ready to use your mirror again.

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