Many years ago, I had much the same addiction to home and lifestyle magazines as I do today. The only difference is that back then I drove my parents crazy by filling up the family home and now I have my own home to fill to the brim with them.
I would have been in my impressionable early twenties when I saw an absolutely gorgeous floor-to-ceiling French antique mirror whilst flicking through a mag. I remember it looking like the most elegant, majestic statement piece… the backing of the mirror flaking off to create a mystically worn effect. It just totally captured my imagination.
Last year on a holiday to France, and my love of this mesmerizing aging effect on older mirrors was sparked up again in a major way at the Palace of Versailles… in no other than the Hall of Mirrors.
In VERY stark contrast, I was recently in the paint isle of my local hardware store Bunnings when I saw a ‘Super Chrome’ spray by White Knight which looked interesting, so I thought I’d try to create this look myself. Much like my recent fling with chalkboard paint, quite a few surfaces were covered… and below are those that made the cut.
I did a quick online search on projects for creating antique mirror / mercury glass effects and most of them used a product called Krylon Looking Glass Spray, which I’ll probably try and find to use next time, but this White King Super Chrome spray did the job well enough in this instance.
The method with Krylon seems to work on the basis of creating that antique look by spraying a glass item first and then spraying over the top with an acidic water and vinegar mix to eat away at the Krylon spray.
Through a bit of trial and error, I created my own method which is a tad different but I guess either way would work well.
The antique mirror and tray
- Black spray paint approx $4
- Chrome spray paint approx $19
- Spray bottle with water
- Paper Towel
- 2 drawer handles (optional for if you are turning the mirror into a tray) approx $3 each
- Find a frame that you’re no longer using, or buy one second hand – these types of frames are everywhere I always try and re-use and recycling before buying new in instances like this.
- Remove the backing board and wipe down both sides of the glass so that it is free of dirt.
- Spray one side with the black spray paint and leave flat to dry (it usually only takes around 15 minutes to be touch dry). I always find that quick and even strokes have the smoothest application with spray paint so try not to linger too long in one spot because the paint will bubble.
- Turn the glass over and use the water spray on the most misty setting and randomly spray the glass from a height so that the water beads on the glass (don’t let it get runny and streak).
- Immediately apply the chrome spray on top so that the glass is evenly coated.
- Let it dry for just a minute and then get the paper towel and dab the glass gently so that the water is soaked up.
- Repeat steps 4-6 till you are happy with the effect and then leave the final version to dry for at least an hour to make sure all the layers dry well.
- Paint the frame with one coat of the chrome spray and leave to dry.
- Replace the backing board and if you’re turning your mirror into a tray, then screw on some drawer handles.
Style away with your favourite bits and pieces. This little creation oozes opulence and looks gorgeous propped up as a mirror and makes a lovely statement as a tray for a table centerpiece, topped with delicious treats in a high tea spread, use as a drinks tray or a very grand way to serve up some breakfast in bed.
Candle Holder & Vase
- Chrome spray paint
- Spray bottle with water
- Paper Towel
- Larger glass bottle for the vase (I just used an old Chivas Regal scotch bottle – it had some nice 3d details that showed up well when sprayed)
- Old jam or pasta jar for the candle holder
For the bottle vase. follow the same directions for the mirror above (first removing any jar and bottle labels), but leave out the black spray step as you don’t really need it here. I did use the black spray step for the jam jar candle holder but next time I think I’ll leave that step out so that more of the light from the candle shines through.
The old jam jar looks so sweet with a little tealight candle. My photo doesn’t capture the lovely way it glows at night, but I’m sure you can imagine all the flickers through the beaded finish.
This spray really has opened up a world of possibilities for the glass items most of us throw away. Take a look through your house and see what you can think of up-cycling or saving from becoming landfill.