Don’t get rid of that old full length mirror just yet! Look at some of these ideas that I sampled and see if you can’t come up with a new design you like better from my full length mirror makeover.
I bought this year about sixteen years ago from Costco for $150, it was gorgeous. But as you know, our styles change every five years or so, definitely every ten years.
The chocolatey brown and gold swirls on the bulk of this frame just weren’t doing it for me anymore.
It wasn’t a big deal, but this little corner of the house felt off to me. I decided to really focus on it and ended up doing a mirror makeover to make this space feel more cohesive.
Often times color is the problem and that is such an easy fix with paint! I could have listed it on craigslist and maybe recouped some of the money, but I like the size and the style is OK. It was really the color causing the most problems.
I decided to try some paint samples out. The frame is not real wood I discovered, it’s actually just particle board. So I couldn’t sand it down and get a good raw wood look.
Now something important- if you already know, that you know, that you know that you’re going to paint the item, take the liberty to try out every paint sample you’ve got.
However, if the piece that you’re debating on is a question of whether or not to paint, DON’T TRY SAMPLES!
You really could make a mess for yourself because they can be tricky to remove.
Instead, you can use a temporary fix by taping or draping paper or fabric over it to try to get yourself the best idea of what the finished look will be without actually altering the piece before you’re ready.
That’s what I ended up doing the other night.
I originally was thinking I would just gild or “gold foil” the piece. This is an old French technique where you take ultra thin sheets of gold medal and carefully adhere them to said piece.
I started the process on the bottom of the frame and and was quickly feeling like it was just too much. Maybe it was the dramatic change and if I had given it more time I would’ve gotten used to it.
But the other thing I need to think about was the actual design going on in this particular room. It’s becoming more sophisticated and I like it in this space.
I’m trying to not let everything get too feminine in here because this is also my husband’s space.
Once I added the gilding, I gave it a quick shot of gold spray paint. Nothing much, just a light dusting. Followed by a light dusting of a chocolatey bronze spray paint.
It just wasn’t what I was going for. That’s when I started cracking open every paint sample I thought might work.
I ended up with seven options. There was a beige, a true black, a Fusion mineral paint black with a blue undertone.
I grabbed a dark gray, a light gray and the color of our walls which is a white (Silos White) from the Magnolia paint line.
Usually, I’ll let something sit around for a week while I make up my mind but I instantly saw which one it was. Any guesses?
Well, if you guessed true black, you’d would be right.
Full Length Mirror Makeover
*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.
- Full Length Mirror
- Frog Tape
- Magnolia Chalk Paint – in Blackboard
- Paint Stirrer
- A Paint Brush– Sidenote- if you only own one paint brush I recommend a one and a half inch angle brush I love the Purdy or the Magnolia line. Since this is such a small piece compared to furniture painting I’m going to use a tiny angle brush that I have on hand, it’s a 1 inch craft brush.
- Dark Furniture Wax- I love Annie Sloan, I tried a lot of dark waxes and either the finished look is too black or the wax itself is too hard to deal with, it feels dried out. This one has the perfect creaminess and it looks like shoe polish.
- Old T-shirt- I love these better than wax brushes because they tend to have problems with bristles coming out and getting onto the project.
- Disposable Glove– I was like to wear a latex glove in my right hand because as you apply the wax, it starts to get under your nails and it’s a pain to get out.
Full Length Mirror Makeover Tutorial
- I taped up the edges that I wanted to keep with Frog tape. You could use masking tape. But, the Frog tape gives that perfect line with no bleeding. I still really loved the outer and inner edge of the frame, just really great size, texture and detail. So I wanted to preserve this a little longer.
- Be sure to actually mix your paint with the paint stirrer. I’m always so tempted to cut corners here and just give it a good shake, but if you’re reusing paint of any age, it really does separate and there is a sludge at the bottom of the can.
- Once I got everything taped off, it was just a simple one coat of my Magnolia black chalk paint.
- Once the first coat was dry, I decided that to make it really perfect I would want two coats. That’s really typical so, brace yourself for that with any painting project.
- I added the second coat and I let that dry.
- Finally, I grabbed my finishing wax and buffed out the whole thing. This is really where the magic happens. I love the slight color change and final gloss as I add the wax over chalk paint.
- Using your pointer finger and middle finger with the T-shirt wrapped around them, dip into your wax and then apply a little bit onto your space working in about 6 inch sections.
- I went ahead and did the waxing while my Frog tape was still in place and that helped protect the parts that I was trying to preserve.
- Once I was done with the waxing I got to do the really fun step of removing the tape and seeing the reveal of all the finished work.
I’m very happy with the finished look, I feel like this full length mirror makeover brought this piece in line with my vision for this room.
I can even see little brushstrokes, which makes this piece look more like it is real wood. You can see “wood grain” and that was an added surprise!
So, what little piece in your home needs a slight makeover? Will you paint or not paint?