Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Experiment - How to Age a Mirror...

The vignette below of antique mirrors layered with photos just about knocked my socks off! I'm not sure why, but the beveled glass mirror in the center caught my eye in particular. 

All About Vignettes - GOING TO DO THIS ONE!

I pinned this from All About Vignettes a while back.
I tried to trace it back to the original pinner, and got lost
at Little Blue Deer...so I don't know who originally pinned it.

I have experimented with turning clear glass into antique-looking mirror. I was pleased with those results, but I wanted to try removing new mirror to replicate an old, weathered splotchy finish.

Recently I found a mirror place mat for .99c at a thrift store. 

It was a bit scratched, which wouldn't affect my purpose for it, so for .99c, I nabbed it.

The first thing I did was fill a spray bottle with bleach. I laid the mirror face down on the porch and spritzed it, hoping to see silver being eaten away. It didn't happen. New-fangled mirror silvering is tougher than the vintage stuff - at least on this place mat.

Since there was still bleach dripping from the mirror, I didn't want to bring it inside. I slid it in between the architectural pieces I have weathering on my front porch.

The next morning, as I was getting ready to leave, I heard a noise, sort of like someone hammering across the street, or something a little metallic.

I looked outside to see of the man who mows my lawn was here...and what did I see?

The cutest little red bird, hovering and flying into the mirror trying to get to his twin (or maybe his competition.) Do any of you Audubon folks know what kind of bird this is? He's smaller than a Cardinal, and doesn't have the cute hat...

He's been back time and time again. I almost feel guilty...for either faking him out, or removing his fun. I considered hanging a mirror out where my cross usually hangs, but the little guy has made a bit of a mess, if you know what I mean. 

He's either admiring himself, or scared, or something, but he's made a birdy poo mess in an area near the mirror.

I've also noticed a couple of cats hanging around, probably hoping for an easy catch. Maybe I'll save his life by removing the mirror!

Encouraged, I got out my Citristrip. I remembered a tutorial by Rosemary at Villa Barnes from a while back...

When I applied the stripper, I left it for about 15 minutes. I went back outside and it looked like it had barely started working around the edges. So I waited a bit more. 

Then, I got antsy, and started scraping it. The finish came away easily, in spite of looking like it had not softened yet. 

I scraped much of it away, but left some of it. The back looked sort of gold and still very opaque.
So, I sprayed on the bleach and let it sit for a few minutes. I was hoping for a splotchy, aged look.

I had no idea what to expect, since this was a first-time experiment. 

The effect I got was a faded mirror-look, still reflective, but transparent. (It is still wet from rinsing.)

I removed much more of the mirror than I had intended, but I think I'll still be able to use this some way. All in all, I consider this experiment a success, but with different results than anticipated. 

And now, to find more mirrors to play around with... 

Word for the Day:
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Possibly Linking With:
Sundays at Home
Sunday’s Best
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Mod Mix Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Vintage Inspiration Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
Drop it or Swap it Party
Under $100 Link Party
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Furniture Feature Friday
Frugal Friday
Junkin’ Joe
Thrifty Things Friday
Party Junk


Michelle H said...

Oh, my goodness! How sweet (except for the poo)! I keep looking at mirrors, but I have so many in my bathroom, that my 11 year old says, "Don't be surprised if I get sucked into a vortex because of all those mirrors!"

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

You can also use Krylon Mirror Like spray paint to get the effect. I sprayed water on my window first and spattered some black craft paint. After a few coats of the mirror paint it really looks like an old mirror!

Poor little birdie thought he had a friend. :)

Donna Wilkes said...

Thanks, I have tried a bunch of different solutions to the backs of new mirrors to get them to age without much success. I have been using a sander. I do not like using bleach so do you think the bleach step can be eliminated in favor of the stripper?

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I have always wanted to play around with this, too...I want to do one of the projects where they decoupage an old portrait to the the back so it peeks through the faded mirror...

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Good work! I have the hardest time finding antique glass for my frames and mirrors that break in transit. And the reproduction old glass is very costly. Keep us posted on future experiments, Revi! Cute bird :)

lynn said...

i don't know what kind of bird he is, but, he's sure cute!

Anonymous said...

I loved aged mirrors and yours is beautiful! I haven't tried it yet but I want to. The chemical smell is hard on me and causes migraines. The class I am taking has a aged mirror section I have yet to get to. The instructors have the same problems with chemicals as I do so I am hoping they have a different approach!

Pura Vida said...

I am going to try this soon...thanks for a great tutorial...that's a cardinal...he's just a baby! The females are olive and the males are red...he just isn't old enough for his crest yet...he's looking in that mirror saying..."mama???" :-)

Deanies Stash said...

I will have to try doing this. That is such a cute bird!

Audrey said...

Hi Revi ... I have never tried to age a mirror and it looks difficult. I have too many mirrors that are already aged. I would like to do one as Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces suggested ... an old portrait in an open section. I saw that done, but forgot about it. Good luck with getting your mirror like you want it. Yes, cardinals will fight their reflection in a mirror. Don't know why but it drives me crazy when they do that.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Lynne Halloran said...

Wonderful job in antiquating that mirror. I already have a vintage one at our living room, which has weathered brass frames and it's a great conversation piece. I've had a few offers for it, but I've always turned them down. Now I can tell them that it's possible to DIY a vintage looking mirror. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing that one! All the best to you!

Lynne Hollaran @ SGS


What a cute young cardinal! Thanks for sharing your experiment, I have always wanted to try it. I have some of that krypton paint someone mentioned, think I will give it a go.


Anonymous said...

How sweet :) That IS a baby male cardinal.