I’ve heard from some of my family members that you can chalk paint pretty much anything. Seriously – my aunt chalk painted an antique scale and my mom chalk painted a cushion. I had only tried chalk painting wood furniture up until last weekend when it alllllll changed. Dun, dun, dun…….
My dear gramps passed away a few months ago and as my mom and aunts were going through his belongings, they kept texting me to see if I wanted stuff. Leaf blower? Sure! Bread box? Um… okay! An old mirror they always had from way-back-when? Mother Bird said I could chalk paint it, so I said, “OK! New challenge!” She wasn’t joking when she said way-back-when… she sent me this picture for proof – she was about 16 here!
Inspecting the Mirror
So she hauled the stuff from Iowa down to Arizona and I got a good look at it. It had a brassy finish and I was amazed to find out that the frame was actually made of… PLASTIC! The whole thing was pretty heavy, but there were a few chips in the finish where we could see it definitely wasn’t metal. I was interested to see how the chalk paint would adhere to plastic, especially being 40+ years old.
As you can tell, there are some really ornate details in this guy. It’s also seen some discoloration over the years – the smoking probably didn’t help.
Prepping & Chalk Painting the Mirror
There wasn’t much prep I had to do, but I gave it a good wiping down with a damp cloth. It was pretty dusty and there were a lot of nooks and crannies for dust to hide. After it was good and clean, I mixed up my chalk paint. I chose the color White Dove by Benjamin Moore, color matched by Behr Marquee (my all-time favorite paint). White Dove is my FAVORITE shade of white!
I was a little nervous to start chalk painting because I had no idea what would happen, but it really couldn’t have been easier. Like all chalk paint, it was going to take two coats for adequate coverage. Also, I didn’t put any tape on the mirror to protect it from paint because I read online that it could easily be scraped off. I’m a very trusting person.
It took a lot of dabbing to get in the tiny crevices. There were some parts that were just too difficult to reach, so I found a small craft brush that would get the job done!
Cleaning the Mirror
Like I said, I read online that we’d be able to easily scrape off the chalk paint. The instructions just said to…
- Spray the mirror with window cleaner
- Scrape the paint off the mirror with a razor blade
I’m not very handy with razor blades, so I had my hubby scrape off the paint. He said it was actually SUPER easy. It came off, smooth as butter!
The Big Reveal!
The chalk paint worked like magic, just like my fam said it would! It turned the mirror from old-looking-Goodwill-decor, to I-found-that-at-an-expensive-antique-store! Plus, it’s a family heirloom!
All the details of the mirror also seem to pop a bit more with the white chalk paint. It just looks so clean!!
I had already picked out a spot for it, so I could hardly wait to hang it up! I love it here because it faces the nursery. Once baby comes along it might be nice to use as a distraction if baby won’t stop crying at 2am.
All-in-all, I’m immensely happy with how the chalk paint adhered to the old plastic. I’m definitely gaining my confidence in chalk paint and can’t wait to paint even MORE things I didn’t think were paintable!
What about you?? Have you chalk painted any odd-ball pieces?
7 thoughts on “Chalk Painting an Antique Mirror Frame”
The mirror is gorgeous and the story behind it even better!
Thanks for a great read first thing this morning with my cup of coffee!
Love it!! You sure inspire me!!
Love it! I love ornate antique mirrors, and this one looks evn better with the whitw chalk paint
Oh AND thanks for including my picture as a teenager 😂
Lookin’ groovy, Mama! 😎✌🏼
Your grandma would be so happy you gave it new life AND that you love it as much as she did!! Great job!!