Tag Archives: Mirror

Another Frame Job

Hers.

Our budget was pretty maxed out after the installation of the granite and new shower so when we got around to the mirror, I knew we had to get creative.

I’ll flash you back to the before.  Oh Hollywood lights, how I don’t miss you.

To recap our demo, we knocked out the furdown and raised the placement of the light.  We thus had a little space to work with around the mirror and decided to frame it with some trim to make it look more custom.

It ended up just looking sad and wimpy though.  The piece of trim we selected created too small of a frame- we needed to beef it up more.  Doing so would make the mirror the focal point of that wall and make it really pop.

To simplify things, we wanted to leave the existing trim up but find an additional piece to place on the inside of the frame.  We chose to go with this guy:

I did worry that the mirror would be too small with all this framing so it took us a few weeks to finally take the plunge.  I have to say, though, it turned out great and we still have plenty of mirror real estate.  If you have a huge mirror on a double sink wall, a big, chunky frame is totally worth the mirror space it takes up.

His.

Mirrors are the ultimate tool of vanity, and this mirror is no exception. For starters, it’s huge. Like, bigger than some rugs. The weird part is that given the way we designed everything, we could now see ourselves in the mirror while showering. And, naturally, everything looks better with a frame around it.

Julie had found a bathroom somewhere online that had a huge framed mirror, and of course she wanted it. The problem with mirrors, though, is that they really are tools of vanity… which means that the prices are absolutely criminal. So, I needed a solution. Cheap.

My first attempt with framing the mirror was actually with casing, a type of trim generally found around doors. Part of the issue was that there are small clips on the sides and tops of mirrors that help hold it to the wall, but they’re too bulky to place the trim over. To work around this, I put gobs of Liquid Nails on the back of the mirror and pressed against the wall. Once it cured, I cut the trim and again used Liquid Nails to glue it to the glass, but on the top and sides I let the trim overhang by about 50%, and then drove nails through it into the wall to help secure everything.

There was a problem: it looked wimpy. It definitely made the mirror stand on its own, but it just didn’t have the classic, bulky look Julie was looking for. So, while perusing the aisles of Home Depot one day I stumbled across the solution: base boards. Granted, these are huge base boards that, quite frankly, I think would look terrible when used for their stated purpose, but they were perfect for what I needed them for.

I did, however, have a bit of a problem: my original framing was not square. Unfortunately, the trim had shifted slightly while the glue was curing and had resulted in something that (mostly) looked square but was slightly off. I decided that the difference was negligible and went ahead and cut everything at a 45* angle anyway, hoping that the end result would look square… well, square enough.

So here’s how things went:

1. Cut trim. I measured at the longest distance for each side and made forward cuts at 45* from those points.

2. Flip over and cut again- I cheaped out and only bought a 10″ mitre saw. Good enough, right?

3. Apply glue to back of trim. Remember, glass is smooth so it’s hard to get things to stick, so don’t be shy- buy extra tubes!

4. Adhere to mirror. This can be a huge pain because most of the time when you press on one side, the other will pop up. In a parallel universe, your anti-self is having the opposite problem (if you don’t get the joke, consult your nearest physics department).

5. Tape until you get a weird frankenstein-looking mirror. Remember Step 4? Again, don’t be shy with the adhesives. Apply liberally.

6. Sand edges between where two pieces of trim meet. This was only necessary because Julie throws a fit if I don’t run sandpaper across every piece of wood I touch.

7. Caulk where edges line up. Remember, putty and paint makes a boat what it ain’t!

8. Paint. See Step 7 for clever limerick.

9. Enjoy!

After.

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Filed under Bathroom, Easy DIY Projects

Mirror Mirror

Hers.

You may remember about a year ago, I publicly declared my love for sunburst mirrors (read more on that here).  After that post, I picked up this beauty at Garden Ridge for $49.99.

A few months later, I shockingly discovered that my mom had purchased the exact same mirror after reading that post and similarly thought her life was missing a sunburst mirror.  Good taste runs in the family, I suppose.

The mirror sat on our bedroom floor for a few weeks as I waited for us to buy the dresser it would hang above.  Well, I got tired of walking around a mirror and the constant paw tracks from our cat walking across it and gazing at herself (she’s the vainest cat I know), so I decided to just pick a spot, hang the mirror, and if I had to move it after the dresser was in, so be it.  P.S. we still have yet to find a dresser, nine months later, so we’re still good.

A new dilemma has arisen, however.

At first, I was convinced I wanted to introduce antique bronze into our room through the bay window’s chandelier and the mirror.  I was convinced that different finishes would help make the room feel cozier and have the “collected over time” look.  Yes, yes, I had been watching a lot of Dear Genevieve on HGTV when this idea popped in my head.  And while I adore Genevieve and want her to make over everything in my life, I just couldn’t buy in on the non-matching finishes.

Everything else in the room was either iron/oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel.  I just couldn’t bring myself to accept a third finish.  The final verdict came in last week when I decided to spray paint the bay window chandelier from antique bronze to oil rubbed bronze (see that transformation here).

It looked great and further convinced me that the mirror had to change too.  I could either spray it oil rubbed bronze or go the silver route.  I decided to go with silver as that side of the room needed more of the color.  But not just any silver, I wanted something more antique-looking rather than contemporary.

Hm, now for the big question.  Could an antique silver look be achieved via spray paint?

The only guide I could find online was on eHow (read here) and it was for painting frames antique silver and it was a text-only guide, no pictures.  Frames were a close enough subject to my mirror but the no picture thing had me a little nervous.  How would this turn out??

Well, there was only one way to find out.  If I didn’t like it, I could always spray it back to a different solid color.  So, here are the steps I took to achieve the final look:

Supplies Needed:

  • Paintbrush (that can be tossed afterwards)
  • Rag (that can be tossed afterwards)
  • Cup of water filled halfway (that can be tossed afterwards)
  • Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish in Silver
  • Flat black spray paint.  The eHow guide recommended gray spray paint for for a more natural aged look and black paint for a more intentional/stylized antique look but the flat black paint I used turned out pretty light once applied and took a few coats to really show so I recommend using black.  I just don’t see gray paint showing up at all.

  1. Dust mirror to ensure surface is clean.
  2. Tape up the mirror part to ensure no paint hits it.                       
  3. Spray paint the mirror with the metallic silver spray paint.                                                                     We sprayed ours two coats with an hour of drying time between coats.  After the second coat, wait for the mirror (or whatever you’re spraying) to completely dry before the next step.  We waited an hour.                                                                                Look at all that fabulous silver grass!  Chris- watch out, you may wake up with a backyard of silver-coated grass one day.  Maybe not the greenest move but, man, what a look that would be!
  4. Fill a cup halfway with water then spray flat black spray paint into the cup for 10 seconds (this could get a little messy so I recommend wearing gloves).  Stir paint/water to mix it.  The liquid shouldn’t be too thick.   
  5. Dip paintbrush in paint/water mixture and apply to surface.  Paint evenly on surface.  I recommend splitting the total area you’re painting into sections as you will need to move quickly with the next step.  For example, I painted two rays on the sunburst mirror at a time then completed the next step before painting again.  
  6. Wait for the paint to dry for one minute then blot dry with a rag.  
  7. If the painted section still looks a little light, go back with paint then re-blot.  The first few sections I painted I had to go over two or three times to get the look I was going for.                                                      
  8. When you’re done painting/blotting, let the mirror dry.  I let mine dry for 4 hours before hanging it up.  The eHow guide recommended finishing with a gloss coat but I think the matte look I achieved after blotting was more authentic looking so I didn’t apply a final gloss coat.  If you want a shinier finish, however, I recommend the gloss coat step.                                                      

And there you have it!  From manufactured-looking bronze to unique, antique silver.  The mirror looks great and fits nicely into the overall look of our room.  The technique didn’t take that long and looks pretty genuine.  Look out house, I could be going on an antique-silver rampage soon!

His. 

Something has really been bugging me lately. It’s kept me up at night and is all I can think about during the day. I can’t live this lie anymore: I must disclose something and I want it to be known so there is no confusion, so no intentions are misconstrued, so that truth may prevail: when Julie says she or we spray painted something, what she really means is I spray painted it. I admit, she helps a lot when brushes are involved, but she’s never painted anything via propellant.

With that said, I was growing tired of faux oil-rubbed bronze finishes- the $7 cans of spray paint are easy to use and ergonomic, but unless you’re going for a nice splattered look they’re strictly a one-time-use can. So when Julie told me she wanted to try antique silver using a brush, I was intrigued- I’ve become something of a rattle-can expert, but I’ve yet to experiment with alternative finishes.

The first order of business was to spray the frame a basic silver. I chose Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish in silver because it was cheap, and I had used it in the past with great results- I repainted a handrail at work with it and apart from the fumes, my coworkers were none-the-wiser. Anyway, it laid a nice, even first coat (short bursts were key) and I decided a second coat would be necessary, even if we weren’t “antiquing” it. I strongly recommend wearing gloves, though; my fingers looked like the Tin Man’s after only a few seconds.

We let the paint dry overnight and then went back to attempt the antique look. Julie had found some tutorial online, but we found we had to make a few modifications. For starters, don’t spray the black paint into the water at full blast (just a tip). Second, use cheap flat black paint; the sprayed finish quality and sheen are irrelevant when you’re diluting it in water, so we bought the 99 cent variety- waste not! Finally, the tutorial said to wipe the surface after applying the black paint/water solution, but we found dabbing it gave it a more authentic look, while wiping made it look… well, wiped.

Generally, I’m not big on these kind of projects (and couldn’t care less about decorative mirrors) but this one turned out to be pretty interesting. There’s a certain art to hand-made faux finishes that interests me, and the results for this one drastically exceeded my expectations, as I fully expected Julie to give up and ask me to paint it bronze.

So, what do you think of the transformation?  Have we inspired you to go on an antique silver crusade as well?

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Filed under Before & After, Master Bedroom

Canton Oh Canton!

Hers.

Sunburnt, exhausted, deliriously happy.  That pretty much sums up my post-Canton feelings.  Chris and I traveled to the bustling town of Canton, TX (a whopping population of 5,000) this weekend to check out First Monday Trade Days.  I’ve been wanting to head down there for over a year but always seemed to have something scheduled for the one weekend the event occurs every month.  Finally, Texas spring ends, the 100-degree weather starts, and one of our weekends finally clears up.  I decided not to mention to Chris that a majority of the event was non-air conditioned and outside… oops.

The heat kept the crowds away, which was nice, but, boy, was it hot.  I’ve been told by everyone and their mothers (especially their mothers) what great deals and unique items you can find at First Monday.  I wasn’t let down.  Not only was it fantastic people watching, but I stumbled upon the greatest finds.  The long drive and sweltering heat was so worth it (no matter what Chris says).  I am now, however, at the mercy of Chris’ continuous banter of “you owe me’s.”

His.

This was the most miserable experience of my life.

If you’ve ever been to a swap meet, you know what Canton is like. The difference is that instead of old car parts, people are hocking “antiques”… or at least stuff that’s manufactured to look antique. I suppose I should clarify by saying that there are two distinct areas in Canton: 1) the true antique booths, which is where you’ll find these fabled “good deals” if you have a few hours on your hands and can muscle your way past the white trash and 2) the retailers, which is more like a disposable shopping mall filled with overpriced junk (complete with groups of weirdos that wore matching t-shirts to commemorate the event). And guess where Julie wanted to shop.

There’s not actually enough bandwidth on the internet for me to explain exactly how much I hated this sojourn, so I’ll simply say that despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions (Julie claims she “didn’t realize” it would be so hot, nevermind she’s spent the last 23 Junes in Texas), I consider this trip to have been a success for two reasons. First, we actually did get some decent junk, including an old milk pail from a gentleman claiming to have eaten dog (see above swap meet reference) and second, I finally got Julie to shut up about going.

P.S. If I hear the phrase “shabby-chic” one more time, I going to punch someone.

Check out some of our loot!  More pics to come as soon as we figure out where to put everything!

       

I love this flower pot made from an old aluminum bucket.  This would be an easy, inexpensive DIY project.  The vendor selling these simply spray painted the lettering onto the bucket and added chains to turn the bucket into a hanging flower pot.  As I type this, I can’t help but laugh remembering the vendor recount the tale of eating German Shepherd at a fine dining establishment in China.  In case you’ve ever wondered what dog tastes like… apparently it tastes like alligator but not as tough.  Noted.

I found this rickety, old, wooden stool and immediately fell in love.  It wasn’t until we got home and placed the stool in the entry of our bedroom did we notice just how rickety… and crooked… this old stool was.  It doesn’t get shabbier than this but, hey, it still works as filler for a space I wasn’t sure what to do with.

If you don’t already know my affinity for letters, you soon will.  They’re scattered all over our house.  Chris jokes that if strangers came into our house not knowing our names, they soon would after taking a look around.  I even managed to pilfer one from Chris’ parents’ house (thanks Mrs. Weber!).  As I walked into this one adorable shop called The Gypsy Pearl, I knew I had met my Canton soulmate… a set of black block letters.  It look awhile to locate a J, C, and W but once I did, I knew it was fate.  They look great on our new stool!

I stumbled upon this mirror in a stack in the corner of someone’s booth.  Although I have an insane number of mirrors sitting in rooms waiting for a home, I knew I had to add this one to my collection- I mean, it’s white, distressed, and sheer perfection.  It could work in a variety of rooms.  Now, I’m just stuck with the dilemma of which room will be the lucky home for this treasure.  It may live a nomadic life for the next few weeks until I figure it out.

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Filed under Deals & Finds