Month of Makeovers Day 1: Mirror makeover makeoverPosted: October 1, 2013
Yep, the headline isn’t a typo. I thought redoing this old mirror would be a quick and easy Day One project to get started on our month of what-have-I-got-myself-into. HA! Joke’s on me.
It came home with me this summer after it hung in a dark corner of my parents’ basement for ages. The exposed copper wire on the back didn’t look very classy. It had to go. But when I went to remove it both decorative side hooks cracked off. How did hardware with the strength of graham crackers hold up for so many years? This mirror should’ve fallen off the wall in 1972.
Once I removed the broken hardware bits there were two gaping holes in the wood. I plugged them with Elmer’s wood putty. (No photos. Sorry!) It got a couple coats of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk chalk paint finished with a buffed coat of Annie Sloan wax. Then it went to the Vintage Bazaar. Not one person picked it up. Not one! Guess no one likes red as much as I do. Or maybe it just wasn’t a good weekend for mirrors. Or maybe it just needs to have a makeover makeover.
This time I decided to go green. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint again because it doesn’t require any prep. No sanding off the wax that’s already on the frame. Cool! This jadeite green is my own custom mix color. A stockist in NJ graciously and kindly agreed to try to create the color for me more than a year ago. What I got from her was so dark I had to keep mixing it with off white to get a light jadeite green. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Actually, there’s no reason to use such fancy schmancy paint on a tiny project like this. Craft store acrylic paint in a small, cheap bottle would work every bit as well. I only used the paint on the lid to cover the entire frame with a thick coat. After the paint dried it got another coat of wax.
Another thing I claimed from my dad’s former workshop was a jar full of vintage plastic tacks. I assume they were used for upholstery. Who knows? They’re all different sizes and have wonderful textures. They’d be kinda lost on upholstery. On a mirror you might actually notice their detail.
My original plan was to hammer the tacks in, but the wood on this frame is so stinking hard the metal pins bend over without making a dent. Ack! This is not the optimal outcome I envisioned. Instead of a couple minutes of hammering I now have a choice. I can drill a hundred tiny holes or snip off the metal pins and glue the little plastic buttons on. Snipping and gluing seems easier than precision drilling, but it totally defeats the purpose of using tacks. I could have raided my button box or gone to a craft store for some doodads. Sigh. Maybe it’s for the best. Me + hammer + mirror would probably end up with a broken mirror. I get ManRay to find snipper thingies. And I wear glasses so flying bits of metal don’t end up in my eyes.
The next step is Amazing Goop. Somehow it seems more serious than hot glue, and better because even though it gets all over your hands it doesn’t burn. It just stinks. We open all the windows while I carefully gloop the back of each bead and lower them into place. And then the best part–we go out to dinner because we have a gas stove and the fumes from the glue would be terrible if I cooked. (How’s that for awesomely accidental outcomes?)
See the entire list of projects for our Month of Makeovers HERE.