Once again, here I am recounting the steps to my bedroom redo. This was a fun one. I love weird projects (surprise!). Now that the room’s painted I need something on that massive wall next to the armoire. I was thinking about a big mirror – because on the opposite wall is a big window. And besides, that’s what I saw in a book. Yes, I need to stop reading those damned things!
I set about looking for an old window that I could replace the glass with mirror. So, I went cruising my favorite building surplus and junk shops and was a bust for weeks. Too big, too small, way too expensive…. Then one day I stopped into the old Sarges lot (now called the Bargain Warehouse) and spotting the perfect victim. It was a huge old door insert that had really had it. The edging was loose and one of the exterior glass pieces was completely missing. It was leaning against a shipping container encrusted with old mud and algae about 6″up and the glass that was there was streaked and dirty. Looking like a Katrina victim long forgotten, it was just my kind of junk! I gave them $45 for it and ran for the truck (and lots of blue tape)
Step 1: Get it home. When it arrived home, I somewhat sneaked it into the garage to have Jon come in going “What is THAT?” (hee hee) I then explained My Plan and he thought, well – ok and agreed to assist. (silly Jon, he should know better by now…at least it’s just a window and not an entire old house!)
Step 2: Get a frame for the beast. Did I mention it’s 80″ tall? A trip to Home Depot for some surprisingly straight 2 x 2’s and some tiny moulding trim. Jon cut the frame as I asked, with a rabbet cut to hold the edge of the glass and it’ll be secured in the front with the tiny trim.
Step 3: There it is, waiting for its paint job. We removed it and I painted the frame pieces separately. Primed and then painted with the matte black paint used on the other furniture jobs. I spray painted the inside edged with a silver (reflective) metallic paint I had from another project.
Step 4: Dry-fit the piece. See the trim pieces used to hold it in – perfect.
Step 5: Corner braces were a must – this thing weighs in at 75 – 100 lbs! See the inside edges are silver like the leading.
Step 6: Here it is awaiting the next step – the mirror. Yes, the blue tape is for the broken piece of glass – I told you it was junk!
Step 7: OK, there’s only one sheet of glass – it’s tempered, but very thin. It’s filthy. I had to use a razor blade and every cleaning product I had – and I’ve got ’em. I never did get off some something that had run down the glass and dried on. Fine, then, I’ll just antique it anyway!
Step 8: Gather your weapons – These are what I used on the frame as well. The hand sprayer is filled with 1/2 & 1/2 vinegar and water. Note the tiny spray can of Krylon Looking Glass Paint, this is a must ($10/can Amazon). It actually makes a mirror. I went online and discovered that you can do your own mercury glass – and that’s perfect!
Step 9: Spray the glass with a fine mist of the vinegar & water mix. Then follow with a coat of looking glass paint, repeat 3 or 4 times. Please promise me, if you try this, that no matter how bad your day has been you’ll open a window with this stuff! The smell is unreal! Like the worst spray paint and nail polish remover with a a little epoxy thrown in for flavor! Wow.
Step 10: The blue tape’s on the opposite side so you can see it disappear with each coat.
Step 11: How cool – it really works!
Step 12: Last coat – yes, that’s the open garage door reflected in the new mirror, and the blue tape’s invisible!
Step 13: OK, now we have to finish it off. I got a craft paint in a metallic champagne gold and mixed it in with the black paint I’d been using everywhere else. Then I painted it in spots on the backside. Let it dry and sealed it with a coat of clear spray paint.
Step 14: Shadow-box mounted behind the leaded glass it really finishes it off. It really looks antiqued, and the streaks of unremovable gunk just add to the character!
Finished: Here it is. We mounted some masonite to protect the mirror and hung it with a Z-Bar because it was so heavy. Definite Wow-factor! And certainly something I’d see in the Resto Store someday. I’d guess they’d want more than the $100 in materials it cost me.
Another piece to the puzzle down. Now I need something on either side of it…but that’s another blog.
Whew – this would’ve been a funnier Blog Post if I wasn’t so damned tired after all that!
ellen snyderJanuary 12, 2014 at 7:28 am (9 years ago)
Yes, only you would do this. But only you would have noticed it. It is beautifully.