thrift store mirror upcycle

ugly thrift store mirror before

Here’s my victim for this week: a terribly ugly mirror that I found at Value Village. As you can see, it’s got a great shape to it, and I dig the geometric style. The mirror also reminds me of an old picture frame; classy and elegant. You just have to visualize the potential.


ugly thrift store mirror before up close

I’ll be honest, I still don’t know what the frame is made out of. It was a really strange finish, and ever so slightly metallic. The mirror may look sort of rustic on camera, but I assure you it was comparable to costume jewelry. That middle strip almost looked like crackled shatter nail polish, which is why I opted for a paintbrush instead of spray paint. I wanted the paint to go on thick in order to hide the many imperfections of the frame’s surface.


DIY painting thrift store mirror

When you’re dealing with a mystery finish such as this one (paint? plastic?), it’s always best to do a layer of primer before you begin painting. I used two generous coats of Beauty Tone semi-lustre white paint, making sure to drown all the nooks and crannies. I would really recommend using a matte or eggshell paint instead, because the glossy paint stuck to the painter’s tape better than the smooth frame. Due to the ‘carved’ design, sanding wouldn’t have been possible.


DIY painting thrift store mirror
After the first coat dried, the mirror had a shabby chic aesthetic going on (again, thanks to using a brush). I could have left it as is, but shabby was not the look I was trying to achieve.


DIY thrift store painted white mirror after

Look how much nicer the mirror is in white! It will add extra light and texture to any room, and is perfectly contemporary.

Thrift store tip: Look for furniture or decor items with solid, interesting underlying structure. Cosmetic issues like paint can usually be fixed, but a wobbly chair will always be wobbly. If in doubt, choose something plain that you can dress up with color or hardware.

xo lauren harris graphics

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