How To Make An Ordinary Mirror Look Antique

I needed something large to hang in the center of our dining room wall. After several unsuccessful attempts at finding the perfect piece, I decided to make something unique instead. After scouring Pinterest, I found the perfect idea on How to Make An Ordinary Mirror Look Antique.

How to make an ordinary mirror look antique

Several years ago I bought this mirror at Wal-Mart for $8.00. Long before I knew anything about chalk paint and dark wax, I painted the frame with white latex and aged it by rubbing gold Rub n Buff along the edges. I must apologize for the poor quality image, it was taken in the basement at night using my iPhone.

Inexpensive mirror before makeover

The mirror hung in the master bedroom for many years until we built a custom Wall Mount Jewelry Cabinet. Instead of donating or throwing it out, I knew it would be perfect above our new Board and Batten Wall in the dining room.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

How To Make An Ordinary Mirror Look Antique

STEP 1 - Remove the backing paper from the mirror

Make sure you keep the cardboard backing because you will be using it again later.

STEP 2 - Remove the painted backing  

IMPORTANT: Before starting this step you will need to work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to wear rubber gloves, eye protection, and a respiratory mask.

Stripping the backing of a mirror to transform it into an antiqued look

Generously apply paint remover (*affiliate link) all over the back of the mirror using a chip brush. Let it sit a few minutes and remove with a putty knife. Clean the back of the mirror with a wet cloth. Some of the backing paint will remain but that's okay, it adds to the aged patina.

Step 3 - Remove Some Reflective Surfaces

Removing the backing of a mirror using paint stripper

IMPORTANT: This MUST be done outdoors wearing a chemical respirator mask (*affiliate link). This stuff is has a strong chemical odor. You MUST wear chemical safe rubber gloves and eye protection as well.

  • Using a funnel carefully pour Muriatic Acid (*affiliate link) into a spray bottle. Some home improvement stores carry muriatic acid but not all of them. My fellow Canadians, mine was purchased at Home Hardware. 
  • Lightly spray the acid onto the back side of the mirror along the edges and anywhere you want to remove the reflective backing. This stuff works fast so only keep it on for about 1 minute (unlike what I did). 
  • Using a wet cloth or paper towel gently dab and remove the muriatic acid.

STEP 4 - Aging the mirror

To add to the aging appearance, randomly dab gold metallic and graphite (charcoal gray) craft paint over some of the areas using a lightly dampened seafoam sponge or lint free scrunched rag. I splattered the graphite paint by flicking the bristles of a loaded small paint brush.

Remove reflective surface on a mirror using muriatic acid

STEP 5 - Add Reflective Paint

If you are happy with the reflective surface removed from your mirror, skip this step and go directly to Step 6.

If you were overzealous like me, you can bring back some of the reflective surface by spraying the back of the glass with approximately four coats of Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint (*affiliate link).

STEP 6 - Paint the frame

The first coat of paint on the wood frame was painted in the color Graphite (charcoal color) chalk paint. After it was dry I applied a second coat of chalk paint using the color Old White. With a sanding block I distressed the frame to reveal some of the graphite underneath.

Hand painting graphics onto an aged mirror

STEP 7 - Add a papered backing

Glue a pretty scrapbook paper onto the original cardboard backing that you removed earlier. My floor length mirror took four sheets of scrapbook paper. Place the mirror back into the frame followed by the papered backing and staple in place.

In the photo below you can see how the paper is peeking through. Clean the front of the mirror and you're ready for the next step.

Adding scrapbook paper to a DIY Antiqued Mirror

STEP 8 - Create a graphic

In PicMonkey.com I created a graphic and saved it as a jpeg document. Feel free to download the pdf of my graphic below - just click on the graphic.

STEP 9 - Create an image transfer template

In Blockposter.com enlarge the graphic to fit horizontally onto 3 sheets of paper in order to get the size required. Print the sheets and tape the graphic together to form a template.

Tape the template onto the center of the mirror and using graphite paper (*affiliate link), simply trace the letters onto the mirror.

STEP 10 - Create decorative cornices

Also in PicMonkey.com I found cornices that I liked and applied the same process as Step 8 & 9.

Adding handpainted corners onto an aged mirror

STEP 11 - Paint graphic onto mirror

Using a script liner art brush and white multi-surface craft paint, (*affiliate links) paint the letters and cornices onto the mirror.

Close up of DIY Antiqued Mirror using muriatic acid, scrapbook paper, and craft paint.

Voila, a gorgeous inexpensive mirror that now has that time-worn look of an Antique mirror.

DIY Antiqued Mirror

The silver hammered metal trays that used to be in our china cabinet look great flanked on either side of the mirror.

Hammered Metal serving tray hung on a wall

I absolutely love our new Antiqued Mirror. We have since replaced the dining room furniture in this room (not pictured below).

The oak pedestal table was replaced with a Duncan Phyfe Table we found at a local thrift store.

A few months later we were lucky to find four Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs at the same thrift store and they too received a complete makeover.

We also repurposed an old headboard into a French Country Patisserie Dining Room Bench that seats 2-3 more people around the table.

The dark walnut Radio Cabinet pictured below also was refreshed since this photo was taken.

Board and Batten wall with DIY Antiqued Mirror

Has this inspired you to transform an inexpensive mirror into a unique time-worn conversation piece for your home? Have you made something similar? If so I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below.

You'll find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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DIY Sunday Showcase Party and Features (March 28, 2015)

It has been an exciting week at our house.  Last Saturday at 6:45 am we welcomed our first grandchild into the world!  It has been hard to focus on anything but our adorable little grandson, Westin.
Then yesterday Mr. Frugalista and I celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary.
So with all the celebrating going on over here I'm in the mood to party!

Bloggers this is a great link up to showcase your work because not only will it appear on this blog but on the blogs of five of my friends.  That's five times the exposure and six opportunities to have your work featured!

If you didn't make the TOP 6 Featured here at the party you may have been featured at our DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE TALENT BOARD on Pinterest so be sure to hop over there as well!

So without further adieu
it's time to get this DIY Sunday Showcase Party started!
The party goes Live every Saturday at 5:00pm CST and runs until the following Wednesday.



Lyn gave her friend's mother's dresser a brand new life.  What a difference from how it looked before and I'm crushing on the color!

Healthy Blueberry Cheesecake Pancake Sandwiches


Mason Jar Blue (Junque Boutique Milk Paint) Headboard Bench

This Easter hot chocolate bar is adorable!

Chocolate Egg Cakes are bunny approved! Inspired from a favorite Easter Egg, chocolate egg cakes sandwich peanut cream filling and are drenched in milk chocolate glaze with a candy bow on top! Recipe at littlemisscelebration.com
CHOCOLATE EGG CAKES by Little Miss Celebration

Feel free to copy our button if you've been featured!

  1. Follow your party hosts.
  2. Post a maximum of 3 of your newest DIY's.
  3. Linking to the party allows the hosts to possibly PIN your project to our DIY Showcase Pinterest Board, use your project in a round-up post (with direct links to your post), as well as Feature your project in the next DIY Sunday Showcase!
  4. Please Do Not Pin from the party, instead go to the original blog post.
  5. In order to be featured you need to grab the button or link and copy it onto your post or in your link party page!
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How to install a Board and Batten Wall

I'm so happy to have Phase One of our dining room makeover completed. The wall in the dining room is very long and it's always been a challenge decorating it. For decades I had a large mirror hanging behind the dining table with candle sconces flanked on either side. It never felt right, no matter how many times I painted out the mirror or changed the sconces.

Inspired by two blogging friends, Nancy at Artsy Chicks Rule and Kris at Junk Chic Cottage, who both added board and batten walls in their homes, I knew it was exactly what our dining room wall needed. So today I'm sharing How We Installed Board and Batten Trim In Our Dining Room.

An easy DIY Board and Batten Wall

Materials List:

  • Upright Battens: 2 1/2" x 1/2"
  • Horizontal Battens: 3 1/2" x 1/2" 
  • Panel Cap Moulding 1" depth
  • 1 1/2" - 2" brad nails and a nail gun
  • Compound miter saw
  • White latex paintable caulking
  • White latex paint
  • Small foam roller
  • Regular pile paint roller
  • Minwax Polycrylic Satin Finish

How To Install Board And Batten Onto A Wall

Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of each step but hopefully, my tutorial will help guide you.

STEP 1: Cleaning the walls

Dining room wall before

Prep the wall by giving it a good wash with 1/2 cup of Borax Powder to 1-gallon of hot water. Using borax powder leaves a streak free clean. An easy way to reach the high spots is by using a microfiber cloth on a pivoting floor mop.

STEP 2: Deciding the height of your Board & Batten

Measuring the wall to install board and batten trim
  • Decide how high you want your wall to be.  As you can see in the picture above, ours is 63-inches high to the top of the trim.
  • Before you mark the height, subtract the size of your top trim piece from the measurement.  We subtracted 1/2-inch for our panel cap molding.
  • Once you've established the height using a level draw a line across the entire wall.

STEP 3: Marking the width of each section

Installing the trim for a board and batten wall
  • Using a stud finder, find the studs and mark a line up to the top using a level.
  • Establish the width of each section of your Board & Batten.  We made ours 32-inches, skipping every second wall stud.

STEP 4:  Installing the top batten

Vertical trim on board and batten wall
  • Starting with the top horizontal batten, using a brad nail gun attach the 3 1/2" x 1/2" trim in place following the line you drew earlier.
  • Cut any joints at a 45° angle.

STEP 5:  Installing the bottom batten (see Diagram 1)

  • We kept our original baseboards and simply added 3 1/2" x 1/2" trim directly over top.
  • Again cut any joints at a 45° angle.

STEP 6:  Installing the vertical battens (see Diagram 1)

  • Using your 2 1/2" x 1/2" trim measure your vertical battens and install using a brad nailer (ours are 52" high).
  • Ensure each batten is straight by using a level.
  • Remember, we skipped every second wall stud. 

STEP 7:  Installing the top molding

Panel cap molding on board and batten wall

Finish off by installing the panel cap molding on the top using a brad nailer.

STEP 8:  Prepping the trim for paint

  • Caulk around all the battens using white latex paintable caulking.
  • Fill all the joints and nail holes with wood filler.
  • Once dry sand them down nice and smooth.

STEP 9:  Painting the wall

Painted DIY board and batten wall
  • Once the caulking is dry, apply the first coat of latex paint using a small foam roller on each of the trim pieces.
  • Using a regular size roller with a regular pile, paint the first coat of latex onto the wall.  If you have dark walls you may want to either prime them first or use a latex paint with primer.
  • Continue the above step until you have complete coverage.  Ours took three coats to get the finish we wanted.
  • For a more consistent finish, we applied a coat of Minwax Satin Polycrylic over the battens and wall.  This step removed any paint strokes and inconsistencies between the wood and drywall.

DIY Board and Batten Wall After

DIY Board and Batten Wall After

One of the next phases of this room makeover is to replace the table and chairs.  We found a Duncan Phyfe style table for $40 that is in the shop for a makeover.  As our family continues to grow a rectangular table will fit everyone far more comfortably than the oval.  I'm on a mission to find wood chairs with upholstered seats.  Not an easy task it seems!

DIY Board and Batten Wall

But before we do that, we are currently working on Phase Two which is the built-in china cabinet on the back wall.  Here's a sneak peak...

Board and Batten Wall before and after

Next, I'm going to show you how to turn an ordinary mirror into an antique looking mirror...

DIY Antique Look Mirror

If you found my Board and Batten Wall tutorial helpful, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
Board and Batten Wall Before and After

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An Extra Special Project mid way through another!

Hi guys, I've just had the most amazing weekend!  While almost near the finish line of our dining room wall makeover...

An easy DIY Board and Batten Wall

...another very special project entered the picture.

Our new grandson
♥♥♥ Our 1st Grandchild ♥♥♥
March 21, 2015 at 6:45 AM
6 lbs 11 oz

This little guy has stolen my heart and soul!  
Our new baby grandson

His arrival trumps everything.  All those projects currently on the go are just going to have to wait because this old gal is in Grandma mode!  The only thing on my mind and in my heart right now is my little Westin.  

Our new grandson with his Sharkie outfit!

Yesterday he began his new life at home and was introduced to his feline siblings.  To say they were curious would be an under statement.

Our new grandson's curious feline sister!
This picture cracks me up every time I look at it!

After getting over the initial shock, this little gal's mother instincts kicked in and she has taken on the role of protector.  Every little sound coming from Westin and she's on it!

Our grandson's feline sister keeping watch over him.

This little guy on the other hand doesn't know what to think of his castle's invasion.  After getting a good peek and a little sniff he's decided to just watch from afar.

Our new grandson's curious feline brother.

Yesterday we let the new family get settled and have some uninterrupted bonding time. Mr.Frugalista and I picked up those paint brushes that were literally tossed to the side when I got the "it's time" phone call late Friday afternoon and got back to work putting the finishing touches on the dining room wall. It was so hard to keep focused but we did it!

DIY Board and Batten Wall and sneak peak of our built in cabinet makeover

More to come about this project later in the week.  In the meantime here is a sneak peak of what's going on with the built-ins on the back wall and how I made the antiqued mirror.

Until then, I've got some Grandma cuddling time to do! 

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