DIY: Metallic Mirrors

DIY: Metallic Mirrors

During January, I spent hours online searching for the perfect affordable mirror for above the fireplace in our dining room. I love the classic look of a round mirror above a fireplace and also how it reflects light and creates a larger and brighter space. When you enter our dining room, you can't see the feature wall of wallpaper on the opposite wall and I thought a mirror would draw an immediate focus to this, reflecting something which wouldn't otherwise initially be seen.

I didn't have a big wish list for the mirror I was looking for except that I wanted it to be copper in colour and round in shape and ideally, I didn't really want to spend more than £50. 

The best mirror I found was's Alana Copper mirror but even though I love it, I couldn't justify spending £99 on it. 

So, I had a brainwave (hold tight...). I had a retro 1960's round plastic mirror that was sat gathering dust in the garage, as it was a faded cream colour and looked a bit like it had been living in someone's house who smoked 30 cigarettes a day. I'd paid £10 for it from a junk shop and despite being plastic, it is backed in wood and is actually really sturdy and the mirror part itself is in perfect condition. It was also the absolute perfect size to hang above our dining room fireplace. So, I decided to create my own copper mirror and spray paint it! 

First of all, I enlisted a helpful assistant (my husband Steve). When I say assistant, I basically mean Steve did the job for me whilst I annoyingly stood over him and gave instructions. Team work, that's what I like to call it. Here is what we (Steve) did:

1. Covered the glass mirror area in newspaper and taped around the middle and sides to make sure the whole area was thoroughly covered. We then set up a little spray paint station on our drive using old dust sheets on the ground and a decorating platform to balance the mirror on. It's important to use spray paint in a well ventilated area and if you have one, a face mask is useful to prevent inhaling paint fumes. Steve then used some sand paper to give the plastic area that we were spraying a light sanding as this meant the spray paint would take to it better. 

2. Sprayed the sides of the mirror with a white spray paint primer, which we allowed to dry for 30 minutes. We used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Craft Enamel Spray-Paint Primer in Off White, costing £4.99 for 150ml. We used about 2/3 of the can for this mirror.

3. Finally, sprayed the mirror surround with copper spray-paint and left this to dry for a couple of hours before removing the tape and newspaper. We used Rust-Oleum Metallic Brilliant Finish in Bright Copper, costing £9.49 for 400ml. It only took one coat and we used about 2/3 of the can for this mirror. 

And this is how the mirror turned out! I think it looks far more expensive than it was, and including the cost of the original mirror and the primer and spray paint, it cost less than £25. 

Since doing this mirror, we got a bit of the spray paint bug and decided to work the Rust-Oleum magic on two other old 1960's retro cream mirrors also lurking in our garage. 

This is a spray-painted silver metallic mirror in our main bathroom. 

This is another copper metallic spray painted oval mirror in our downstairs loo. 

Spray painting is such a cheap and easy way to update a tired home accessory or piece of furniture and it's also really quick and easy to do. So, if there is something you're looking for but you can't find the exact item you want or you've found it but it's too expensive, have a look at what you've already got to see if you can easily update it. Also keep an eye out in charity shops, junk shops and antique markets for a bargain that can easily be given a new lease of life. 

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