Thursday, March 22, 2012

Old Lady Junk Turned Narnia Portal

Steve thinks this mirror looks like a portal to another world. To Narnia. He thinks it is funky because the frame of this LARGE mirror is so thin. SO it looks like a portal. Well, better to be a Narnia portal than the gaudy old gold thing it was before!

This past October I was at the Ronald McDonald House Sale and from across the room I spotted this baby. The very moment I saw it, I said, "GAH! I must have that! In turquoise!". I scooted my little booty over to it and beamed at the $20 tag. NICE. It was crazy gold and very old lady-esque, but I saw past all that and only saw the fabulous curvy lines. Unique and purrrrrrdy! Have I mentioned how much I love the RMH Sale??? Why oh why is it only once a year??!! I have gotten the best finds from that place.

Well, it sat in storage (we were living with my father in law while we waited to close on the house) for awhile, and then sat in the dining room (currently our staging room for projects) for a couple of months. I needed some warm weather before I could work on it, and finally last week's weather fit the bill.

Here it is before:

Look at that finish. OK, so I realize some people may well really like this gold/bronze hideousness. You might be cursing my name for not sharing your fondness. Well, I'm sorry. It had to go.

First things first, I had to grab my arsenal. Spray primer in white, and glossy jade. I primed it first because a)I didn't want to have to prep the surface at all (sand, clean etc) because of all the curves, and b)Steve said the jade would cover better and more vividly over white. When it comes to paint, I listen to him. Usually.

The primer we had already, and the jade I picked up at ACMoore with a 50% off coupon for something like $3.

Step 1) Thoroughly cover the mirror. I used wax paper to shove underneath the frame (which took forever since there were so many curves) and a piece of plastic wrap once the wax paper ran out.

Step 2) Find your spraying location outside (I would never suggest spraying anything inside your house, fumes and over spray would be wicked) and cover your painting area. I sprayed in our garage because it was SUPER windy out that day. I used an old white fitted sheet. It doesn't have to be fancy schmancy stuff here peeps.

Step 3) Spray with primer. You want to hold the can about 8 inches away from the item. Also, good rule 'o thumb, "if your paints a sprayin', your arms a swayin'". Basically, when spray painting, never stop moving your arm. Never hold the can stationary in one position. Also, you want multiple, VERY thin coats. Thick coats of paint will a)take FOREVER to dry (multiple thin coats will dry much quicker than one thick coat) and b)drip drip drip all over the place. No one likes paint drips on their work.

At this point I was like, "Wow! This looks really good white. Maybe I should nix the turquoise and go with white instead!". But, I talked myself out of it because this is supposed to be a statement piece. So I begrudgingly pushed away my white addiction and trudged on.

Step 4) Spray with several thin coats of glossy jade. I think I did 4 coats or so. I sprayed it real thinly and then let it dry about 15 minutes before coming back and doing another quick spray. I had to really maneuver my way around this thing because of all the curves and hiding places where spray didn't want to go.

At THIS point I was thinking, "GAH!!!! I ruined it!!! I should have stopped at white!! What was I THINKING??!!!" LOL. I just kept going since there was no turning back now and figured I'd wait to judge it until after all the paper and such was removed. But I was already planning out how I was going to cover it in white.

Step 5) Let dry (I waited overnight) and then pull off all the paper. You might have to use a flat edge razor blade to scrape some paint off the mirror. I had a bunch of over spray, how that happened, I have no idea since every square inch was covered. Oh well. I got the mirror wet and then scraped (well, Steve did).


So I love it!! I think it was turquoise over-kill with all the paper and such. Once I peeled it all away, it was EXACTLY what I was hoping for. PHEW!! (I seem to say that phrase every single time I play with color)

It adds an unexpected swipe of color to the room and it definitely makes a statement. Everyone who has walked in the room since we put it up, raves about it!

I love how it reflects so much sunlight from the window, since they are directly across from each other.

It also perfectly matches the lamp on the other side of the room.

So there you have it. Bright & playful & something to talk about for sure. For $23 or so, it is definitely worth the price!


  1. Pretty color! Love updating pieces & making them your own.

  2. I really like this! I agree -- the gold gilding would be fine if the frame were wider, but it looked anemic! On the other hand, the turquoise is just the right punch of color to stand up to the size of the mirror. Beautiful!


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