An Antique Mirror

So, since our house burned back in February, I haven’t been able to do many “creative DIY” projects that are really inspiring and fun.  Between the time we moved in our new house, at the end of February, until the time we moved out for construction, at the beginning of September, I never even hung anything on the walls or decorated.  Not one single bit.  Not even a little.  Like NO JOKE.  And… it almost killed me.

This past weekend my back was a little sore, so I laid down the paint brush (mostly) and picked up a paint scraper.  I wanted to create something for our new and improved house.  Something with meaning.  Enter… an old window from our previous house, the one that burned.

A few years ago we had all of our single-pane, wooden windows replaced in our house uptown.  You better believe I kept every single one of them.  I didn’t know exactly what I would do with them, but I knew they would come in handy someday.  And Saturday was that day.

I thought it would be SO special to honor our previous home in our new place.  And what better way than using an old window… or 2… or 57?  Ok, not 57 windows, but you may or may not end up seeing more than one.  Just saying 🙂

I got a little inspiration from Jenny over at Little Green Notebook, where she took regular glass and turned it into an antique mirror, not just once, but twice.  Click here or here for her detailed tutorials.  So, I hopped on over to her blog for instructions and gathered some materials.

-Old window

-Glass cleaner (I used equal parts water and vinegar)

-Spray bottle

-Paint scraper


-Paper towels

-Mirror effect spray paint

-Metallic glaze by Martha Stewart

-Paint brush

First off, I started by laying my window across two saw horses.


Looks pretty rough, huh?!  That’s because it is was.  Need I remind you that these windows were original to a 1940s home, which makes them 72 years old.  OMG.  I seriously didn’t even realized until I just did the calculation.  There’s a LOT of history in this window.  They really are antiques, in my book anyways  🙂

They had been sitting outside for a few years behind our shed so they needed a good cleaning.  I bought a spray bottle and mixed 12 oz of water with 12 oz of vinegar.  You could use any glass cleaner.  I just happen to like cleaning with vinegar.  Plus, it’s super cheap!


I sprayed down the panes pretty good with the cleaner and went to town with this bad boy.


WOW!!!  Where has this thing been all of my life?  My husband may have a little competition… I mean, can he do 6 things at once?  It’s questionable.  Anyways, this little dude is the BOMB.  That little sharp piece on the right side was SO helpful in getting in all of the cracks and crevices.  You need one of these, take my word.  I purchased it at Wal-Mart by the paint supplies, but I’m sure you could find one at most hardware/big box stores.

Then I went to town on scraping most, not all, of the paint off of the frame.  I wanted to leave a little on there.  And to be honest, some of just wouldn’t budge.  A little tip, while scraping the paint, wear gloves and protective eyewear because paint flakes will be flying everywhere, including in your eye.  I learned the hard way 🙂


Once the window panes were really clean and scraped, I flipped the window over to the side that we won’t see.  Is that confusing?  What I mean is that if this window is hanging on a wall or propped up against something, I turned it over to the back side.  When antiquing glass, you antique the back side and then flip it over to reveal a “mirror” on the front side.  You’ll see in just a minute, don’t worry!

I stared out by every so lightly misting the backs of the glass with that same vinegar/water mixture.  Then I made some big “blobs” of water on each separate pane.  You don’t want it to look uniform or perfect.  That would defeat the whole “antique” purpose.  In this picture, you should be able to see that the whole glass is slightly wet and there are a few spots that are more wet than others.



Then I broke out the mirror effect spray paint, which was from Rust-Oleum.  I’m not really sure what other brands, if any, carry this stuff.  It’s pretty cool… just watch and learn!


I shook well and attached my “spray rig.”


FYI, I don’t spray paint anything, not nothing, without that little spray rig attachment thing-a-ma-bob.  It makes for such an even finish and my finger isn’t locked up and covered with paint when I’m done.  One of the best inventions for spray painting!

I lightly misted all of the panes with two coats, one after the other, of the mirror effect spray paint.


Can you see the one I painted?  It’s on the right.  It goes on dark gray and then turns lighter as it dries.  Here’s a close up shot of it drying.  It only takes a minute or so.  I learned that I had to be patient on this part or everything would just smudge.


See where it’s silver?  That’s the dry part.  Once they are dry, I blotted the excess vinegar/water mixture off of the panes with a paper towel.  Next thing to do was to turn it over and remove a few pieces that weren’t going to stay.  First up was that 2 x 4 on the side.  I didn’t get a picture of the “action” but the screws were rusted out so I ended up knocking the hinge pins out with a flathead screwdriver and hammer.  Pretty much felt like a rock star.  Then I used that bad-to-the-bone scraper to get a bunch of dried on paint and gunk out of the tract where this here hing was.  It wasn’t easy, but I prevailed!


I decided to leave the little metal strip on there. For some reason, I just love it. I might put a pencil on there… or maybe lean a picture up on it… or maybe not. We’ll see.

We’re almost done.  Next up was the painting of the wood.  You’ll see in this next picture that it was just a little lackluster.


I busted out my trusty Martha Stewart Living metallic glaze from Home Depot.  It’s a silvery finish and for the life of me, I don’t remember the name.  You are welcome!  I’m sure any paint color, watered down just a smidge, would have worked.


And as for the brush I used, it was a $4 angled brush from Wal-Mart that I didn’t expect anything out of; however, for the little project, I really enjoyed it.  I have a lot more control with that short handle.


It’s a GOOD little brush.  Seriously, that’s what the package said anyways.  With the metallic glaze, I brushed it on, let it set for just a second and then wiped the excess off with a paper towel.  Quick and easy does the trick.


And for a final reveal………..


Ta-Da!  Isn’t it stunning?  I’m so in love.  I cannot wait to hang it up somewhere.  Every time I look at it, I think of our first home.  And in case you are wondering how reflective it really is…


I seriously could not be more happy with the way this DIY project turned out.  I took an antique window and turned it into an “antiqued” mirror.  In person, it looks like a piece that someone would easily pay $75 to $100 for at a retail store.  It stands about 3 to 4 foot tall so it’s quiet impressive.  I love it.  The end ♥






6 thoughts on “An Antique Mirror

  1. YAYYYY!!! What a happy ending to a poor old window! Beautiful! Now I know what I want for Christmas …. Hint, hint…. And I don’t mean a suitcase! So you said you had a bunch of them, right? Lol. I just absolutely really mean to say I love it! Ok, I’m done wit d beggin! Love you, Mom

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