The Before Shot
Those who follow me on Instagram for my behind the scenes shots may remember this post last year of this great vintage mirror I picked up at a local garage sale super cheap because of its sorry state. I saw this project on Pinterest and wanted to create one for myself, didn’t have enough time last year before the holiday. But I was sure to complete my own version of a ghostly mirror just in time for Halloween this year!
Here Is How I Created My Ghostly Mirror
Use Furniture Stripper
You don’t need any fancy antiquing mirror solutions! I am way to thrifty to throw down that kind of cash for a project that will only be displayed for a short time in my home. all you need is some furniture stripper, bleach, and metallic paints in various colors, black craft paint and a great spectral image. I used Citristrip, but you could use the can aerosol spray stripper as well.
Apply stripper generously, let it do its work. Scrape off paint with a plastic scraper. You don’t want to take off everything down to the bare glass all over, you want a stippled effect going on. Clean off all stripping solution with soapy water. Make sure its nice and clean. Dab a cotton ball soaked in bleach to add some areas for more stippled glass reveal.
Add Your Paints
See the light silver area with the black spots? That is part of the the stripped area before I added paints, and the area with the light reflection is where I scraped off all the reflective mirror down to the bare glass for my image. Normally I would have taken the mirror out of the frame, but this one is wedged in with wood, yes a real antique!
Correct Paints To Use For An Authentic Vintage Effect
Create An Authentic Effect
In the tutorial I saw, only black paint was used to create the old antique feel. In my opinion the way to create an authentic antiqued mirror is by using multiple metallic colors along with black. Old mirrors used more than just a silver backing, they also used a layer of gold over the silver then the final grey paint seal. thus to create something more authentic you need to recreate the oxidation process with multiple layers of paints.
Its All In The Paints
I used black acrylic, for the more pronounced holes, and strategically added various colors of metallic paints, in bronze, light gold, warm silver and silver acrylics applied with a stipple brush. Left my area for the spectral image unpainted.
Select Your Image
Found a great image on the web, printed it to size, laid on the glass and applied Modge Podge. Then finished it all off with a layer of Krylon looking glass spray paint to be sure to cover all the stippled areas fully.
The Finished Product
Here are shots of the finished Ghostly Mirror, I cant tell you enough how hard it is to capture antiqued details in a mirror with all the color variations! I must have taken 50 shots both inside and outside with backdrop cloths and everything. Finally I figured out that the reflection of my white ceiling captured the details the best.
Hope you enjoyed the mini tutorial, and be sure to follow me on Instagram for all the behind the scenes shots.