Updating An Antique Mirror


I forgot to get a good “before” shot but here it is with some bits of paint starting out

I have always found family heirlooms and antiques fascinating because they’re a window into how things used to be made. Solid wood, hand carvings, one of a kind craftsmanship; it’s not quite what most of us have at home these days. My friend Lacy gave me this mirror as part of a vanity set that belonged to her great grandmother. Lacy has fond memories of sitting on her lap at the vanity trying on clip earrings and spraying perfume from vintage atomizers. Great grandmother was a painter and I hope she would like what I’ve done with this piece.

Painting and mosaic primer done!

Looking at the ornate carving I immediately decided to go with warm colors. I had this rich Moab Sky paint just waiting for a project so I went ahead and started there. Once I saw the color dried and finished, I knew it would be beautiful with turquoise. I had some green and copper Van Gogh glass that went perfectly, then I picked up a sheet of Peacock glass, some white grout and went to work.

WP_20150816_17_52_58_ProI was only doing a small channel of mosaic which seemed simple, but proved harder than I thought. Because it was a small space it was hard to not get primer or grout on the painted mirror frame. Then came the second challenge: keeping white grout bright and clean. I don’t often work with white but I knew it would be the exact look I wanted to set off the warm colors. In cleaning it off the glass I got dye from the rag on the grout and when I touched up the paint on the frame I smeared orange on the grout as well. This meant more touch ups, so I went back in and painted the dried grout with white acrylic.

Painting the grout bright white

Now I was all set, but I wanted something a little more. The antique glass had some clouds and other variations it had picked up over time. I looked into restoring it, but I really liked the aged look and character. I thought about spray painting a stenciled design on the glass, but decided to keep it clean and simple. I chose to affix a few pieces of mosaic glass to a corner, tying the color palette together.

Updating an antique is always tricky because it’s important to me that some of the original spirit remain. In this case that was the glass. I love the way it’s turned out with the frame so bold and modern and the glass showing it’s rich age. It really meant a lot to me to be entrusted with something that’s been passed down through three generations. I hope that it will go on to be loved by someone else now. If you’re interested in taking this beautiful piece home please click here to visit my Etsy store.


Interested in something similar or custom? Comments? Email Laili@LailiBug.com
See other mosaic mirrors and pieces here

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