Rustic Red Mirror dated Oct 1954

Mirror Rustic RedWhenever I refinish mirrors, I always remove the back and the mirror glass so that I can refinish the frame with no worries about paint bleeding through tape onto the glass.

On the old mirrors, I will find a date stamped on the back side of the marriage license when I remove the back side of the mirror. This piece was dated 1954.

Ornate Mirror in Distressed Blazing Orange

Ornate Mirror in Distresesd Blazing Orange. From Facelift Furniture's DIY Blog.In my small warehouse, I have this great loft built by a previous tenant.  It’s up above the enclosed area where I do most refinishing, and stores all kinds of random pieces like mirrors and a few chairs other kinds of this-that-and-the-other. It’s really ideal for a creative like myself who tends to see the potential in things, but needs a place where things can be tucked away.

I’ve been refinishing an end table for a couple in Blazing Orange, which I had to buy more of since I’ve been out for a while, and once on hand, I decided to make up for some lost time with this color.  I saw all kinds of potential with this mirror.  For one thing, how often do you see a fancy, ornate mirror like this in a dark reddish orange?  I also knew the black glaze and distressing down to white prime and the original dark stained finish would make for quite the character when the piece was done.

This mirror had actually been up in my loft for at least a year or two, and I was kind of stalled out with what to do with it. The reason is that was missing the ornate topper piece (once I know the correct name for it, I’ll add it to this post!).  The one that came with this mirror, which was positioned in the top center area on top of the inverted shell-like detail, had been removed to use on another piece.

But then as I thought about refinishing the mirror in Blazing Orange, in my minds eye I could see it looking perfectly fine with that piece absent. With all it’s great detail, it was more than fine as it was. Which is one of the reasons it’s so fun to refinish furniture with paint, glaze and distressing. Repurposing gives a person permission to think outside the box, and boy did I have fun doing that with this mirror!

Oh, and by the way, Blazing Orange is the name of a color I gave to a quart of oops paint at Lowe’s!  This week, Home Depot color matched it for me, and now I own a whole gallon!  Now, onto the next project!


~ More Inspiration ~

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Vintage Dresser Mirrors – Before & After

Vintage Dresser Mirrors Before & AfterVintage dresser mirrors offer a great opportunity to upstyle a dated look with paint, glaze, and distressing.   They offer a  great opportunity to think outside the box!

Take this matching pair with their 70’s style.  Originally mounted on a dresser, I recently found them forgotten in a back corner of a used furniture store.  I immediately saw the potential.

Whenever I refinish mirrors, I always remove the backing behind the mirror, and take the mirror out of the frame.  This frees me to refinish without concern of needing to tape the glass, and deal with potential bleeding of paint.

Removing the mirror also allows me to paint the back side of the frame that the mirror glass rests against. Along this area, the edges reflects the inner frame surface.  When painted, it eliminates the look of a painted finish that’s not complete.

Before painting, both frames were spray primed using Zinnser 1-2-3 Bulls-eye primer. The mirrors were painted Turquoise and “Herb Cornucopia”, a Lowe’s Valspar sample that is a pale green.  Next they were glazed black, then distressed, which popped out not only the white primer, but the original dark finish of the mirrors.

After applying one coat of water based polyurethane, the mirrors were place back in the frame, and the backing reattached using wood screws.  I’ve found screws works best as attaching with nails can cause the mirror to break due to the force of using a hammer.  Once in place, heavy duty wall mounts were attached, making the mirrors ready to place on a wall with a bold and one-of-a-kind pop of character!

Find this and many other Before & After images on our Pinterest Blog and DIY Inspiration board.


Furniture Repurposed into Wall Accents


Repurposed Furniture PiecesAs I refinish furniture week-to-week, one of the most fun things to do is find ways to repurpose furniture destined to the garage heap.  Whether it’s a dresser in disrepair or a chair that’s falling apart, I find myself looking for a way to take what’s still good about that piece and turning it into something new.

This photo shows several pieces that now occupy a special place in people’s homes!

Up top is the upper portion of a dresser mirror frame that came with a dresser I refinished in turquoise.  I accidentally broke the mirror, but salvaged the upper portion by cutting off the lower part of the frame.  It’s painted Sea Blue, with glazed black, and is distressed.

Just below is an ornate dresser drawer front that I painted turquoise, glazed black, and with the hooks it became a coat rack.

Down to the left is a long panel with molding along the top. It came from a china cabinet top that I disassembled.  The panel was painted Robin’s Egg Blue, glazed black, and made into a photo display piece with bull dog clips painted black attached with wood screws.

In the middle is a chair that I had refinished in turqouise, and put high up on a shelf before doing final touches.  I accidentally knocked it off the shelf, and it broke beyond repair.  {Insert major frustration!!}  I came close to throwing it away, and then one day made good with my saw and some strong wood screws.  I attached the front legs to the back of the chair, added some hooks, and it became a one-of-a-kind chair back coat rack!

And last but not least, in the middle right is a cabinet door re-purposed into a chalk board.  An upside down drawer pull holds the chalk!

For even more furniture repurposing ideas, visit our new Repurposed Wall Pieces album!


Vintage Mirror Repurposed in Red & Black Glaze

MirrorRedMoldingWhen it comes to re-purposing old furniture, vintage mirrors are a lot of fun.  This piece came with the long old metal brackets to attach standing upright off the back of a dresser.  But seldom do I find folks wanting a matching mirror attached like that.  More often than not, large dressers I sell are re-purposed themselves into a flat screen console.

So then a mirror like this can take on a life of it’s own, popping with character for an entry way or large wall space in a room.

For this piece, I spray primed it white.  I then applied three coats of red, followed by black glaze which highlighted all the molding and many lines.  Distressing popped out not only the white, but the darker stained oak of the original finish as well.

If you had a special spot in your home for a mirror, where would you put it?

Repurposed Accent Pieces

One of the ways I enjoy getting creative is with ornate parts of dumpster worthy furniture!  Our Re-purposed Wall Pieces album has many photos of accent pieces made from parts of furniture that have been recycled and upstyled.

You’ll find ideas on what to do with old cabinet doors too!  Click on the photos, and you’ll find descriptions on how the pieces were made.