I’ve been slowly infusing the master bedroom with a serene, seaside atmosphere. With a limited budget and many higher priorities on our home decorating and renovation list, it’s been difficult to rationalize spending money on accessories. We already owned a large mirror froHobby Lobby but the heavy black frame just wasn’t working with the vibe I am trying to create. A recent Restoration Hardware catalog provided my inspiration.
The inspiration piece weighs in at a hefty $1295 but it’s gorgeous. The 42″x70″ size lends drama but isn’t so unusual that you can’t find a doppelganger and since the inspiration piece is “painted to evoke the vintage luster of aged silver-leaf”, this beauty is just crying for a DIY. You may already know about my love for shiny things. This project gave me a chance to try rub’n’buff on a new surface. I used the same color I did before – silver leaf – and found it just as easy as I did before. What a great, inexpensive way to add the luster of metal to your home decor accents!
1.) I removed the mirror from the wall, taped and covered the mirror to protect it from paint, and cleaned the frame gently with soapy water. Dry thoroughly.
2.) You might want to scuff up your surface with sandpaper, but I knew this mirror wouldn’t be handled (it has to hang high off the floor out of the way of our dogs) and planned to prime, so I skipped this step. Apply two coats of spray paint primer in gray, following the brand’s instructions. I used a tinted primer to thoroughly cover the black paint underneath. Light, even coats are best.
3.) Apply two coats of silver metallic spraypaint. I used Valspar this time, and loved the resulting silver. It seemed more realistic than other brands I’ve used before.
4.) Apply a coat of rub’n’buff in silver leaf with a dry rag.
5.) Polish to a high shine.
Down the road, I may add a glaze in titanium to achieve the aged look of the inspiration mirror or even apply real silver leaf. But, I’ve learned my lesson from jumping through DIYs too quickly and don’t want to overdo it before I have time to appreciate the changes that just happened. For now, I’m enjoying the light the mirror adds to the room. The metallic paint brings out some of the details on the mirror, like the beaded edge. When I have a chance to change the curtain rods (switching from black to nickel) and hang new curtains (crisp white canvas), this silver mirror will really shine. The new shimmering silver accent makes me feel like I am gazing at the ocean in the early morning. Perfect!
Now, I already owned the mirror (I bought it 3 years ago), so a large portion of my potential out of pocket costs were already covered. I purchased:
1 can of spray primer ($4.24)
1 can of silver spray paint ($4.24)
1 tube of rub’n’buff in silver ($5.15)
Total cost before tax – $13.63
Do the math – the original cost $1295 + tax and shipping. My version was approximately ONE PERCENT of that total price. Even if I had bought a mirror (I sourced a similar one at Hobby Lobby for $40 during one of their frequent 50% off sales), my total cost still would have been more than a thousand dollars less. Sometimes, it can feel like between purchasing supplies and counting your time, DIY projects don’t quite add up, especially when you don’t quite achieve the look of the original. In this case, I’m more than okay with going the DIY route.