Kristan Cunningham shows you her trade secret for taking a new mirror and giving it the antique patina that complements these
fun frame finds perfectly.
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How to Antique a Mirror
Featured Pro: Kristan Cunningham Category: Home Décor Time: 4:22
KRISTAN CUNNINGHAM: Hi, there. I’m Kristan Cunningham, here to show you how to give a new piece a classic look. Welcome to your GMC Trade Secret, courtesy of the GMC Acadia.
Now, I can’t tell you how often, whether it’s at flea markets or yard sales or thrift stores, I find gorgeous old gilt, beautiful carved frames. But very often they do not come with the original mirror intact. And new piece ain’t gonna cut it with something that’s old and gorgeous. You want that same level of patina in the glass. So I’m going to show you today how to age new glass.
The first step is put on some gloves and a mask. So I’ve got my gloves and my mask on. Now, to get a pretty antiqued finish on the top, we have to begin on the bottom, because before you even get to this mirrored layer, there’s a paint layer. So the first step is to use stripper to get off the actual paint, and next we’ll be using muriatic acid to actually make all the splotches and the pretty stuff.
So let’s start with stripper first. So I’m covering the whole mirror, because the goal is to get all of the paint off. I’m trying to go back and double up my layers to get some good bubble action happening. Okay, so now this is going to take a moment for the stripper to actually activate and start to make it bubble. Once we start seeing some bubbles, we can take a rag and start pushing a lot of it out of the way.
We have bubble action. And now it’s time to scrape away the paint. Now, the most important thing is that mirror surface, very fragile. You don’t want to scratch it. So if you can do the majority of it with a rag, great. And if you need a little plastic guy, you can use that too.
So most of the paint is gone. Now we’ve still got a little bit here and there, but that’ll add to the patina. And what we’re actually seeing is the true mirror film now. The paint was the coating. This is the true mirror film. And now muriatic acid is what’s going to eat it up.
So I’m going to put my mask back on, put on some fresh new gloves, and the idea is to spray it as randomly and organically, so it looks like time took care of this process, as possible. And after it sets for a minute, wipe with a clean rag, and then finally with a wet towel. All right, safety stuff back on.
So, now that I kind of like the amount of aging that’s happened, I’m going to neutralize or stop the activation process of the muriatic acid with water.
All right, let’s take a look. Wow, nice. So I’ll get it all nice and cleaned up, dried up, and then we’re going to start with some black paint.
Okay, so now I’ve got it where I want, and now I’ll add a dusting of black spray paint to kind of even the finish out. And then we finish with a coat of black paint paint to really seal it in.
Okay, let’s see how this looks. Oh, so pretty. And that’s to me the perfect level of patina. And this is with just a dusting of the spray paint. Now, if you do kind of a lighter finish like that and you have less of these big areas, you could also get away with adding actual black paint, not just the spray paint. And that’ll be a nice thick coat. It’ll seal everything in. But I kind of like the idea that this will continue to kind of get worn and more aged-looking. So I’m going to stick with just the spray paint.
And that’s it. I’ll pop it in a frame, hang it on the wall. We’re all set.
I’m Kristan Cunningham, and that’s my GMC Trade Secret on how to antique a mirror.