Doreen from Hymns and Verses was inspired to give a $10 thrift store mirror a complete makeover using lace and paint. To create the lovely lace design,
Doreen used a technique in which she “stenciled” the back with lace and then finished it with a faux mercury glass treatment. She did an amazing job achieving a truly vintage look.
Doreen pulled off her project by combining an old mirror, a piece of cut glass, some lace material and a nifty process to create her mercury glass effect.
Here’s how you can do it…
Get your frame
Finding an antique mirror frame isn’t too hard. If you don’t already have one, do what Doreen did and frequent your local thrift stores. You’ll find something, even if it’s from the ’80s it’ll still work.
Buy a piece of glass
For the glass piece, Doreen just bought a piece of glass large enough to fit the frame and had it cut to the shape of the mirror. Any glass shop can do this too, but may be more expensive.
The new piece of glass is important because you’ll be “applying” the mercury glass effect on top with the lace design showing through faintly behind it.
Pick up some lace
The lace pattern you want to appear from behind the mirror is completely your choosing. You can use one single pattern such as this, or layer in several different designs like Doreen did.
Using lace gives this piece a unique effect. The idea is to create a mirror that isn’t perfectly reflective, and where it isn’t, you see light lace decoration sneaking through.
Lace as a stencil…
Doreen doesn’t fix the actual lace material behind the mirror permanently. She merely uses it as a stencil. This is done by positioning it behind the glass, then spray-painting over the top.
Where the lace doesn’t mask the glass, paint comes through and the pattern is transferred to the glass.
The result is an even more vintage appearance to the mirror. The lace goes well with the distressed reflective quality and of course the aged border effect.
Visit any fabric shop to peruse lace designs. You don’t need much.
How to Get Distressed Mercury Glass
Now comes the real fun part. Aside from the frame, this is what really gives this project its biggest transformation to old fashioned charm-dom.
The steps Doreen followed match any good tutorial you’ll find online for creating this effect.
What you need is water, white vinegar, any spray bottle, and few sheets of paper towel.
1. Using Krylon’s Looking Glass spray paint, cover the front side of your glass piece. Do a couple coats, then let dry.
2. Mix equal parts water and vinegar into a spray bottle and spray onto painted surface until beaded water develops. It’s your preference here for how much beading you want.
You may not even want any, but just a medium amount of mist to settle on top. Try some test patches on a scrap of flat plastic to modify the effect to your liking.
3. After 5 minutes, gently dab across the wet surface with paper towel, lifting off a little bit of the paint as you go – use your artistic touch here and don’t remove too much paint!
Doreen was inspired by the Lace Etched Arched Mirror by Jo Gibbs that is sold at Anthropologie for $5,800.00. Ouch. No need to pay that when knock-off inspiration is free!
Create your own lace detail mirror following Doreen’s tutorial at Hymns and Verses. You can see more photos and the technique she used to distress the mirror border too.