I found this mirror in an antique store somewhere. I was pretty excited to find it because it’s so lovely and I’d been looking for mirrors for a while. I thought it was really pretty as it was, but decided I wanted it to be a bit brighter & more cheerful. The fact that a leaf was missing didn’t bother me. Thankfully it wasn’t one of the flowers that was missing. That would’ve been a lot more work to replace. Sorry I don’t have incremental pictures of the process. I didn’t think about it at the time. I’ll do better next time. I hope. 🙂
It’s a heavy mirror with the frame being metal. The back is wood, with a chain hanger. I tested the stability of the wood & hanger and it seemed to be fine. So that meant that I didn’t have to change out the back of the mirror. The mirror part is in excellent condition, but even if it had some issues it would’ve been fine. It just adds to the character for me.
The paint was chipping and there was some rust, so I sanded down the frame with a 200 grit sandpaper. I took some epoxy putty and got an impression of one of the small leaves so that I could replace the missing one. It’s a pretty simple piece. All I had to do was raise parts of the negative impression and shape it to sit the same way as the original. A little pinching and pushing and it looked like an original. The epoxy putty is pretty good at sticking to stuff so I didn’t have to glue it.
I taped off the mirror part with painter’s tape, covering it completely. I also taped off the wooden back. After letting the epoxy putty cure overnight, I took the mirror outside and hung it up with a wire clothes hanger to be spray painted. I didn’t use the mirror’s hanger because it made the mirror hang face down and that wouldn’t have worked at all! I just hooked the clothes hanger to the frame.
First, I sprayed it with a primer. Then I used a metallic color that wasn’t too shiny. It took a few coats of spray paint to be sure all the parts were completely covered. There was lots of position changes so that I could reach those curly cue parts! I had to keep turning it and looking underneath all of those curves to be sure they were all painted. Some areas, like the pieces curving up from the frame, were hard to reach with the spray paint. I left some drying time in between coats. It’s hard to not get in a hurry but well worth it to be patient so that you don’t mess up the paint. I let it hang for a few hours outside before bringing it in for detail work. ( I made sure to do this on a relatively calm day so the wind didn’t blow stuff onto the paint.)
So, I had to decide on what colors to paint the flowers. I went with yellow and purple, as they are complimentary and I love purple and thought it would really make the mirror pop.
I painted the flower petals a little bit of yellow with a white wash going to the center. They probably could’ve been painted green to look like leaves, but I wanted more color. After that, I added some white in the center part of the flower and put some purple over that. Then I added some darker purple along the edge. It was actually purple that wasn’t thinned with water. I also added a little sparkly purple jewel in the middle of the flower to make it interesting.
The little leaves are a mix of green and yellow. The one on the right is the new one that replaced the missing one. The larger leaves are green with a darker green for shadow in the recessed parts. All of this is done in acrylics. I put a clear coat of acrylic over the flowers & leaves after they’d dried and let it all dry before moving it.
And Tah-Dah! The finished piece! I haven’t hung it up yet because we recently moved and I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I was going to put it in the powder room, but it’s just not big enough for that spot.
If you have any questions feel free to ask!