Call me vein, but I love mirrors. They can add light and depth to any room; they can be an architectural element, an intricate detail, or a bold surprise. So when I come across large, framed mirrors on my pickin’ trips (for a good price, of course), I immediately snatch them up.
Take this guy, for example…
I came across this mirror while at a junk store out in Richmond, VA, and I couldn’t resist the amazing detail – but the color was this gaudy, spray-painted gold that hid those intricate details. So in my typical DIY fashion, I broke out my paint brush, a can of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, some sandpaper, and Annie Sloan’s clear AND dark wax.
When working with details like this, the dark wax works wonders – truly! It gives the piece that aged, antique look while really making every little detail pop with that perfect patina.
So after painting the piece entirely white (two coats), I hand distressed it with 180-grit sandpaper, waxed the piece first with the clear wax, buffed it, and then added the dark wax (*unless you want to attempt to use the dark wax as a stain, ALWAYS wax the piece with clear or natural wax before using the dark wax). When using dark wax, you really want to get it deep into the grooves and details – don’t be shy!
Typically, it’s best to work in sections, dark wax on, clear wax off, allowing the dark wax to stay in the nicks and grooves, but waxing/buffing the majority off with the clear wax, leaving only a tinted patina behind. See how the details really begin to pop?!
After rubbing in the dark wax, and buffing off with the clear wax, I ended up with this…
Not too shabby, eh?
Any mirror can be painted, and with just a little TLC, you can change the whole dynamic of a room. A few more examples:
BEFORE: I’m just starting to paint the piece in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
AFTER: Hand distressed and with a hint of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg
Or, here’s something that has no intricate details at all, but still turned out pretty awesome…
Unfortunately, I don’t have a true “BEFORE” picture – this is the mirror painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
AFTER: hand-distressed, dry-brushed with Old White, and dark waxed.
What do you think – do you have a mirror needing a bit of an update? If so, I’d love to see before and after pictures!