Several people have commented on the mirror in my Pottery Barn Knockoff Mercury Glass Easter Eggs tutorial, so I thought I’d share how I made it.
Just a few simple ingredients required:
- old window
- Krylon Looking Glass spray paint
- paper towel (or soft rag)
- paint, if desired
- polycrilic sealer
I bought several old windows from a local salvage shop, and I’ve been saving them until inspiration struck. When I first learned of Looking Glass Spray paint, I knew I had to use it to make an old weathered mirror.
First step was to clean the mirror well, to knock off years of dirt and chipping paint. (Be careful with this step, especially if you’re using a pre-1978 window. It may well be painted with lead paint, and you’ll need to be careful that you, your kiddos and animals don’t ingest the paint chips or dust. Miss Mustard Seed had a great post on safety precautions when dealing with lead paint. I encourage you to check it out and follow her tips.
Once your window is clean and dry, shake up your Looking Glass spray paint for a couple of minutes — until your arms get so tired you can’t shake anymore.
Now, it’s time to start painting. The Looking Glass spray paint has a strong smell, so do this outside or in a well ventilated space. I recommend wearing a mask, too.
Apply a coat of Looking Glass spray paint to the back side of your window/mirror. This is the side you’ll want to be facing the wall. Use a smooth, left to right sweeping motion. Let the first coat dry for about a minute — gotta love how fast this stuff dries — then apply a second coat. You may still be able to see through your mirror at this point. Continuing adding coats until you have the mirrored look you want. (Make sure to check the other side to see how the coverage looks from what will be the front of your mirror.) I did five or six coats, plus two more after I’d distressed the mirror, to achieve this look.
Now, you could leave your mirror like this, but I wanted mine to really look like an old vintage find. So, I decided to distress mine to make it look like mercury glass, or more accurately, an old chipped mirror. I followed the instructions for DIY mercury glass at Take the Side Street. Her tutorial is great, and it essentially involves spraying the painted surface with a half-vinegar-half-water mixture and removing spots of the paint. Use a light hand when doing this, and a soft moistened rag. Be careful not to take off large patches of paint. This will ensure the mirror will look authentic.
After I’d removed some paint to create the mercury glass effect, I added a couple more thin coats of paint to give the worn spots dimension and to make them look more realistic.
Next, I painted the wood frame on the front side of my mirror with a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I think I used Provence, but I can’t remember. It may have been Duck Egg Blue, as well. They’re very close, though Provence tends to be brighter and more vibrant, while Duck Egg Blue is more muted. Normally, I finish my painted pieces with wax, but I wanted to make sure to encapsulate the old paint, in case it contained lead. So, I sealed it with polycrilic. You could also use polyurethane.
The final step is to add a hanger or hanging wire on the back of your window mirror.
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