Saturday, November 9, 2013

Painting Mirrors in Chalk Paint made easy

When I blogged a while ago about a huge ornate mirror I painted in a "Paris Apartment" style I had 17 people ask to buy it, but it was a keeper, something special for our house. So ever since then I've been on the look out for similarly shaped mirrors.

The one I've kept

I recently found a lovely huge cedar mirror and got busy painting it. Painting mirrors or glass panelled furniture is very easy with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. No masking or taping is required. I am hopeless at taking the time to mark off glass. BUT... then every time at the end of the shop I hate the task of scraping the paint off the glass or mirror with a razor blade, and there is always the risk of scratching the glass.

Not a problem with using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Just paint your mirror frame how ever you want it and don't worry about getting paint on the mirror. I painted this frame in two coats of ASCP Paris Grey all over the timber not worrying about being particularly neat.

and then used two coats of Pure White on the ornate trim to give it a little pizazz.

The photo above is after one coat, you can see I haven't worried again about being too neat with the white paint. I will tidy it up with a damp sponge and also more Paris Grey when I've done the second coat.

Go over lightly with a damp sponge any white paint you want removed. I went over the curved edge to remove bits of white paint like this below.

Wrap your finger in a clean damp dish cloth and wipe the paint gently so as to remove the white paint but not the grey paint. Keep using clean parts of your cloth so you aren't smearing the white paint around.

Much neater. The grey paint will dry out perfectly - it's just damp where I have rubbed it below.

When you have the whole frame painted how you want it but before waxing, wait for the paint it dry and then get a damp rag and dampen the paint on the mirror but don't bother trying to remove it.  

Use a wooden paddle pop wooden stick the stick as you would a razor and scrap along the glass. However because the wooden stick is so soft it will remove the paint but not scratch. The paint will lift off the mirror perfectly.

Once most of the paint is removed go over it again with a damp cloth.

When you have removed all the paint, wax your mirror then clean the mirror normally. 

I used two coats of clear wax and then antiqued the mirror's ornate details with some dark wax.

Isn't it lovely now!

The important thing to remember when painting mirrors to look like old French style mirrors is that neatness is not of paramount importance. I painted over dints and chips in the timber and didn't fully sand then out or fill them as they add character and authenticity to the age and finish. If you want perfection in your pieces then you will be happier buying imported modern pieces from Asia or Ikea.  I like the signs of years of use and some aged patina.  When I paint my aim is to make it look like it was painted years ago in Europe.  You might be aiming for a different look with your painting; and I hope you do find your own style.  The look that I try to achieve is something that has evolved over time and I'm sure will continue to change and grow as I gain more experience.

It's very hot in Sydney and I've got some home made raspberry and mint sorbet setting in the freezer as we have friends coming for dinner tonight. I'm also cooking chateaubriand and vegies. If you want to make the sorbet it's very simple (just four ingredient - frozen raspberries  sugar, water and mint) and you can find the recipe here.

have a good weekend!
cheers Fiona xx


  1. thanks for this step by step, Fiona, your mirror turned out beautifully. And that sorbet looks delicious. I'm going to make it this week. My girls will love it. Enjoy your weekend. Beth x

  2. Great information. I have a very elaborate mirror that I have been planning to paint. Now I know exactly how to do it!

  3. Thanks for that info Fiona - lovely job - also love the photos of the sorbet - looks scrummy! Hot here on the Gold Coast too so I'm procrastinating our garden make-over!!!

  4. Fiona, what type of wax do you use? I haven't been able to find dark wax at

    1. hi Eva
      dark wax is usually at bunnings - feast and watson or gilly stephenson. you can also use Porters or Annie Sloan
      cheers fiona

  5. Sorry, I just saw your post on what you use to wax furniture. Still not sure about the dark wax though... nothing local?

    1. hi Eva, Most of the hardware stores i go to have dark wax. perhaps just do the rounds. sorry I don't know where you live but every hardware shop in rozelle, balmain and annandale stock dark wax of a variety of kinds so not sure i can help, try googling feast and watson or gilly stephenson and check suppliers. cheers fiona

  6. Mmmmm, I use the Gilly Stephenson but have not seen it in dark wax. Our local Bunnings is pretty useless too, they obviously don't get too many people doing furniture make-overs. Thanks for the reply. I am enjoying paging through your blog!


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