Yesterday I shared my tutorial for how to “antique” a mirror with muriatic acid. Now I can show you the rest of the project: how I turned an old bathroom mirror into a unique work of art! After antiquing it, I stenciled a famous Hungarian poem onto the mirror and then Hubby & I built a simple, inexpensive frame.
Here’s a sneak peek at the finished product, but keep reading for tutorials on how to stencil a mirror and how to frame a mirror – plus tons more photos!
How to stencil a mirror:
- Custom Stencil from Stencils Online
- Large Mirror (“Antiqued” is optional )
- Temporary Spray Adhesive
- Painter’s/Masking tape
- Scrap Paper or Newspaper
- Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin in Oil Rubbed Bronze
After antiquing the mirror, I laid it back down on my work surface, reflective side up, and positioned the stencil I ordered from Stencils Online (I collaborated with them for my my feminist DIY mirror as well). For this project, I used a famous Hungarian poem by Sándor Petőfi (the translation is at the end of this post). The poem is beautiful and the proportion was perfect for the mirror (this is exactly how I found the poem written). I sent the poem to Stencils Online and asked for “typewriter-ish fonts”. After looking at a few different proofs, I chose this font, and it’s perfect.
To make sure it didn’t end up wonky, I measured and marked with masking tape where the stencil should go. Then I covered the edges of the mirror with scrap paper to protect from over spray. When I was all set, I misted the back of the stencil with spray adhesive and laid it down on the mirror. Using Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, I misted the stencil in multiple, thin coats, working quickly. When the letters looked opaque enough, I quickly removed the stencil and allowed the paint to cure fully.
Here’s a better look at my custom stencil, once I’d already done the painting:
I had one little “oops” moment: a tiny area didn’t get enough spray adhesive so the paint blurred a little bit. Luckily, it is hardly noticeable.
How to build a frame for a mirror:
- Sheet of 1/4″ plywood, larger than the mirror
- Casing (model # 1541 at Lowe’s)
- Screen mould (model # 144 at Lowe’s)
- Lepage PL Premium Construction Adhesive
- Jigsaw or table saw to cut plywood – or have the hardware store do it for you
- Mitre saw or mitre box + hand saw to cut mitered corners
- Measuring tape
- Spray paint
First, I decided what colour I wanted to paint the frame, because I did that early in the process. I considered black, but in the end liked the Satin Nickel I used for the back of the mirror, during the “antiquing” process. I sprayed a scrap and held it up to the mirror to help decide.
We bought casing and screen mould (for the edge) at Lowe’s, but any home improvement store will have some trim that will work. Right away I painted them silver.
Then Hubs made the cuts and I touched up the edges with the silver spray paint.
We cut a sheet of plywood that was slightly bigger than the mirror – the casing overhangs the mirror but reaches the edge of the plywood. The measurement will vary for the size of your mirror/trim. We left an extra little bit so the edge could be belt sanded (or hand sanded) after it was cut, for extra neatness.
Then we cut four pieces of plywood the size of the plywood overhang, glued them on with construction adhesive and used clamps to hold them in place until the adhesive dried:
At the same time, we glued down the mirror, using Lepage PL Premium Construction Adhesive. We asked the expert at our local improvement store what would be best for gluing a mirror to plywood and this was what he recommended.
Here are the mirror and shims, glued in place and patiently waiting:
Hubby then pre-drilled holes through the two layers of plywood and glued the casing in place with adhesive.
To add a touch more security (although the frame is in NO way load bearing – the mirror relies on the glue for hold), Hubby screwed the casing (frame) to the layers of plywood, from the back.
Then, using consutruction adhesive, we glued on the screen mould to hide the rough edge. Home improvement stores have a ton of selection and there were some really stunning trim pieces but I chose this simple profile. It hides the edges and adds a touch of visual interest from the side.
The back is a wee bit messy, but we scraped off excess adhesive that has squished out and added two hinge hangers to use with 30 lb. braided picture hanging wire.
Here is the frame completed:
Here are some tips for drilling into brick and also hanging the mirror.
I definitely think that this new stenciled mirror is a better scale than the print I had there and with new, cheery turquoise accessories, the fireplace looks better. A subtle change, and there will likely be more, but after everyone’s advice on my post asking for fireplace feedback, a mirror seemed like the popular decision. I just decided to give it my own spin!
For anyone wondering how reflective the “antiqued” surface still is:
One reason I chose to antique the mirror is that this is the view opposite, and I didn’t really think it warranted a reflection. But the antiqued mirror still reflects light and sparkles on sunny days, so it’s a happy compromise.
To be honest, I am not 100% sure if I got the poem right. I think so. Well, few people will know the difference! Little by little I’m teaching the Hubs to read it (in Hungarian) and it’s adorable. Here’s the rough translation:
I’ll Be a Tree
I’ll be a tree, if you are its flower,
Or a flower, if you are the dew-
I’ll be the dew, if you are the sunbeam,
Only to be united with you.
My lovely girl, if you are the Heaven,
I shall be a star above on high;
My darling, if you are hell-fire,
To unite us, damned I shall die.