April 5, 2010

Antiqued Smokey Moroccan Mirrors

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I wanted to make decorative wall art for the walls of the arch that divide our dining and kitchen areas…something fun and inexpensive.  When I ran across these Four Mirrored Moroccan Panels from Horchow, well… first I scoffed at the price tag ($2,250), but I thought how easy they would be to make.  I wanted mine to look older and not so polished, more like aged plaster.

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I started with basic frames from the Dollar Tree.

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And cheap 8” mirror tiles with the plastic frame.  Two mirrors per  picture frame.

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I taped off the mirrors, putting a piece of paper in the center.

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I hot glued the mirror frames directly to the glass.  (I am sure there is a better glue for this, but it’s what I had, and I didn’t want a trip to the store :))  In between the mirror frames and the picture frames I filled in the gaps with caulk (DAP Alex Acrylic Painters caulk…it’s about $1).  I used my fingers to smooth over any empty spaces and ended up rubbing it over both frames to make it look more cohesive.

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I primed the caulk with spray gray primer, painted it with Folk Art acrylic in black and gave it a subtle wash of Folk Art Antique Gold.  After they were dry, I used a box cutter to score the areas around the tape and pulled it off.  I used a brush with black paint to touch up any areas that were white.

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I primed the mirrors with Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel Surface conditioner for glass.  (OK, I probably would have never purchased this product before, my Aunt D gave it to me, but it rocks!)  I made a stencil in Adobe and cut it out with an x-acto.  I used a small part of a sea sponge to fill in the stencil with antique gold and black acrylic.

8 After the stencil work was dry, I began to work on the smoky antiqued effect.   I first used the sea sponge and lightly and randomly added small sponge marks in a combo of black and brown (mostly in the corners for the super worn effect) . I then took a toothbrush and flecked watered down grey paint in small amounts all over.  I used two colors of grey (Anita’s Charcoal, and Anita’s Grey from Hobby Lobby).  The key was to keep the paint drops as small as possible to mimic the smokey mirror look.

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There are a lot of really neat techniques out there to distress and age mirrors that I would love to try sometime.  Most involve lots of chemicals to strip the backing off and age the silver.  They are very cool with some stunning results.  But for the time being I am trying to keep our house as chemical free as possible for Hannah, so I am going to stick to a faux surface technique with water based materials.

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Here they are right before I hung them up.

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A close-up of the frame texture. 

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A close-up of the stencil paint finish

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(I also used double sided industrial strength tape to insure they stay put.)

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A view from the entry way.

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I decided to space them out, but I also think they would look cool if they were made to look like one long mirrored piece.  You could glue the backs together (on a piece of cardboard or wood) and then caulk and paint.

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The other side, facing the entryway.

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If you wanted them to look  more like the ones at Horchow, you could not add texture and paint straight on the mirror frames.

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These next two photos are my favorite, they are actually both taken from the same angle and perspective.  The first gives you a view of the reflection from the mirror.

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And the second gives you a view of the smokey antiqued mirror finish.

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I am linking up to these fun DIY parties:

The Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party.

Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday.

The DIY Show Off Project Parade.

Just Something I whipped Up

Making The World Cuter

Make It For Monday

Made By You at Skip to My Lou

DIY Day at A Soft Place To Land.

Please visit them!

31 comments:

Lisa said...

Beautiful Job. They look fantastic there!

Nancy's Notes said...

That is just marvelous, it looks stunning! Great job!! Thanks for sharing

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

These are amazing!! I am in awe of all your recent projects. You really are a master of paint. The finishes you acheive are incredible!! I've also wanted to try stripping off the back of a mirror for that antique look, but like you, don't want the icky chemicals in my house. I never thought of painting the mirror. I may have to give something like this a try.

Terrell said...

Wow! Those are amazing!!! :)

Terrell said...

Wow! Those are amazing!!! :)

Caroline said...

WOAH! These are awesome! Great job...so creative!

I'm your newest follower!

Elaine said...

Love your ideas! The only difference that I think would make someone pay the $2250 is that the scale of the ones in the catty are over 2 feet each! That's huge! I didn't see many frames that were 25x25 or close to that size for a reasonable price :(

Stephanie said...

Wow you are very talented! Love your blog!

Kim said...

Absolutely stunning! You did a wonderful job, these look expensive.

Tammy@InStitches said...

I love the way they turned out, so pretty !

Amy Kinser said...

I am in awe! You did a fantastic job!

Nancy said...

Absolutely beautiful...stunning really. I love Horchow but some of the prices are c-r-a-z-y. I imported the same needelpoint rugs they carry for a short time...the mark up is unreal! Anyway, I am really impressed and I love that you took advantage of such a narrow space. So many are afraid to do so. Looks marvelous and so rich! Come visit me as I'm having my first giveaway...a $100 certificate. I'm your newest follower btw. ~smiles

Debbie said...

You did an unbelievable job!~ SOme of these catalogs, like Ballard, Horchow, they are insane with their prices....your are actually prettier, and oh so proud you can be!~

HouseMama said...

You did a beautiful job!

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

wow wow wow. and another "wow" for good measure. too cool to be believed almost!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

These turned out wonderful and they look great on your wall!

Es said...

Wow, those are great!

Lana said...

Okay, these are AMAZING as usual!

I want to say that you are iconoclastic and original and a true artist!

I'm not dissing what anyone else out in blogland does as I love everyone and am a Christian, but you...well...you seem to follow your own direction and drummer and you aren't stuck in all white all the time...(though I love that look, too!)

I applaud you!!

A late Happy Easter to you!

Hugs, Lana

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

These are gorgeous!!! You did a great job. Love & blessings from NC!

Jill said...

Fantastic, so creative and very inspiring!

program executive training said...

Wow, these are amazing. I feel very inspired to try and make similar ones myself. Greast job.

Patty said...

What amazing finds!

Angela said...

Your mirrors are to die for...and just how long did that take?

Also, I tagged you in my new blog...go check out your angel wings that I made. You were the inspiration that got me started.

http://honeydewproductions.blogspot.com/2010/04/flattery.html

Thanks!!

Mommy_2_3monkeys said...

Love the mirrors.

Have to ask about your kitchen island...what are decorative moldings on front of island?
Love them.

Susan said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. Love it! Tons of great ideas and your home is beautiful. I will be anxiously watching for more.

Adore your mirrors!! I have been accused of trying to paint anything that did not get up and run from me, but like you I was a bit reluctant to tackle distressing mirrors. Your project is definitely one I will be giving a try.

Gypsy Heart said...

Wow! These are beautiful. How do you come up with the ideas? I feel like I'm lacking something in the creative dept. :-) I'm glad I found your blog. Your home is gorgeous...and I see why.

We're not that far apart logistically. Hope you have a blessed week!

Pat

Lori said...

Love your ideas -- would love to talk more with you about them and possibly featuring some. Please e-mail me at Lori_Grzybowski@rd.com ASAP.

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spider said...

These are gorgeous!!! You did a great job.

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