Creating an antique mirror effect is an inexpensive way to revamp a flea
market find. This ageing method can be used on almost any mirror.
old framed mirror
set of table legs (I used the legs of an old butler’s tray)
You will also need:
water and soap
Harlequin’s Rust It Activator
small glass bowl
enamel paint (for rear of mirror once treated)
1. Carefully remove the mirror from its frame as you will still need the
frame later. Place the frame, face down, on a flat surface that is covered
with newspapers. Apply paint stripper generously to the back of the mirror
and leave it for a few hours, or until the paint can easily be removed with
a plastic scraper. It is not necessary to remove all the paint. When the
paint has been stripped, wash the mirror with water and soap and leave to
dry. (Pic T236)
2. Decant some rust activator into a glass bowl, then apply a very thin,
even layer with a sponge brush to the rear surface of the mirror.
As a mirror tends to age from the edges inwards, replicate this by starting
from the edges. The rust activator works in a matter of seconds and you need
to be quick to rinse it off, thus neutralising the reaction.
I find it easiest to have a bucket of water and a sponge close at hand. Leave
3. Now paint must be reapplied to the back of the mirror. The colour you
choose will be visible through the gaps created by the rust activator. I
used black and gold enamel paint. Apply the enamel to the entire rear
surface and leave it to dry.
4. Insert the mirror back into the frame and secure it. Paint the frame if
necessary and position the ‘antique’ mirror on the legs to become a table
Caution: Ensure that your working area is well ventilated and that you wear
protective gloves when working with chemicals.