In this post, I’ll show you how to take the glass from any cheap picture frame and turn it into a beautiful DIY antique mirror. All you need is some spray paint and vinegar.
This just might be one of my favorite projects ever. Does it seem like I always say that? This project is so budget-friendly but doesn’t look that way at all.
If you are into those beautiful antique mirrors, then you will love this project. The real vintage mirrors can be quite pricey, so this a good look-alike version for not a lot of money. And don’t worry, this DIY won’t hurt the glass or damage the frame. The technique is somewhat similar to the mercury glass candle holders I made.
And you can use any type of frame to do this; whether you have one from Target, IKEA, or even a thrifted frame (which is what I used).
I very rarely look at the artwork when I’m thrifting. It’s mainly the frames that catch my eye. I snatched up this antique gold frame for only $6! And then I just removed the artwork inside. If you don’t have a gold frame, but you want one, you can always antique one yourself.
Expert Tip: If you are looking to create a distressed mirror look with an existing mirror – I have a tutorial for that as well. That project is a little messier. It involves removing the mirror from the frame, then using a paint stripper like Citristrip and scraping the back of the mirror off with a putty knife.
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DIY Antique Mirror Instructions
I made a quick video of this DIY and found it much easier to watch – so be sure to check it out to see this in action.
How to create a DIY Antique Mirror from a cheap frame with vinegar and spray paint.
Total Time: 2 hours
Remove Glass from Frame
Carefully remove the glass from your frame. I gave the glass a good cleaning with a wet paper towel and let it dry. I laid the glass on a plastic bag to contain the mess.
Spray Vinegar on Glass
Spray vinegar on the glass until you see a mix of big and little droplets. If you sprayed too much, you can wipe it up and start over. You want the vinegar spray to look casual and random.
Spray Looking Glass Over Vinegar
Immediately after applying the vinegar, spray paint with the Mirror Spray directly on top of the vinegar spray.
Blot Paint with Paper Towel or Sponge
You’ll start to see the mirror paint dry and become more reflective. At this point, take a paper towel or a small piece of sponge and lightly blot some of the vinegar drops. This will remove some of the mirror paint from those areas – creating a blotchy look. You can repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until you have exactly the look you want! This is the fun part!
Spray Paint Glass Black
After the mirror paint has dried (I gave it 30 minutes), spray paint it black (directly on top of the mirror paint.) This is going to give those little blotchy areas a dark, aged look. Allow the black spray paint to dry completely. Once it’s fully dry, flip the glass over to the front to reveal your gorgeous antique mirror!
Place Antique Glass Back in Frame
Final step! Place your beautiful aged glass back into the frame and hang it up!
This is a great way to put those old frames you have hanging around to good use. The finished look is so cool! You could also buy a bunch of little frames and create a gallery wall of aged mirrors.
I also love the look of a giant mirror above a fireplace – and if you are looking to save money, buy an large thrifted picture frame and do this technique. It’s a great way to get the look for less.
What if I mess up?
The beauty of this project is that you can’t really mess up, however if you don’t like the look you’ve created, I’ve read you can scrape off the vinegar and black spray paint layer using glass cleaner, like Windex, and start over.
Can I clean this antique mirror glass?
Yes! Since all the paint layers are on the back side of the glass, you can clean the front side of the mirror with glass and window cleaner just like you would any other mirror.