Antiqued Smokey Moroccan Mirrors
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.
I started with basic frames from the Dollar Tree.
And cheap 8” mirror tiles with the plastic frame. Two mirrors per picture frame.
I taped off the mirrors, putting a piece of paper in the center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here they are right before I hung them up.
A close-up of the frame texture.
A close-up of the stencil paint finish
(I also used double sided industrial strength tape to insure they stay put.)
A view from the entry way.
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.
The other side, facing the entryway.
If you wanted them to look more like the ones at Horchow, you could not add texture and paint straight on the mirror frames.
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.
And the second gives you a view of the smokey antiqued mirror finish.
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