Antiqued Acid Mirror

acid mirror 1
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I am so excited to share one of my latest home décor projects with you.  I am really happy with how this one turned out.  I have seen these fun “antiqued” mirrors in quite a few places on the internet recently, but saw it them when my friend Mandi from Vintage Revivals shared some that she made for a Crafting with the Stars competition.  I have wanted to make one ever since.  My Dad was recently going through some of his old stuff and asked me if I wanted this old mirror.  Ummmm…yes please!  It was perfect for what I had in mind.

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I took the mirror apart by removing the backing and the frame.  I set the mirror aside and took the empty frame and cleaned it up with a damp cloth.  Then I spray painted the frame with some white Krylon Semi-Gloss Spray Paint.  The frame needed two coats.  Be sure to let the paint dry between each coat and then let dry for several hours before touching or moving your frame


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Then I took the mirror outside and placed it on a thick layer of newspaper.  You need to remove the layer of paint that is on the back of the mirror to get to the reflective coating on the back of the mirror (which gives the glass it’s mirror reflection).  I put the stripper into a spray bottle so that I could easily spray it onto the back of the mirror.

**Important—When working with paint thinner you should always wear some protective gloves for your hands and protective eyewear! You can also find some regulations for using Paint Strippers here.

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Spray the stripper so that every surface of the mirror is covered and let it sit for several minutes.  Let the paint stripper do the work for you.

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You will see when the paint is ready to be scraped off when the paint is all bubbled up.

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Then take a putty knife or a scraper and scrape the paint off of the entire mirror.  There may be a few spots on the back of the mirror that the paint does not come completely off.  I was not too concerned about these areas because I wanted an antique look.  I scraped the back of the mirror clean and carefully gathered up all the paint strippings and disposed of them according to the directions on the can.

I followed the directions found here from HGTV Making a Distressed Mirror if you are interested in the full process.

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I wanted to put a fun patterned material behind the glass mirror.  So that you could see the pattern in the areas that the mirror had been worn away by the acid.  So I took this fun Cutting Edge Damask Stencil in the Anna style and made my own patterned fabric.

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I bought some minky soft buttery yellow fabric and stenciled white paint directly onto it.  I used this great stencil paint in white from DecoArt.


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I was really happy with how it turned out.   And I love the texture it adds to the mirror.

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I cut the fabric so that it fit the mirror perfectly.  Then I took this lovely vinyl lettering that I was given from Ten 23.  I selected the saying “Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful”.  Don’t you just love that?  I ordered it in a white vinyl because I wanted a very classy, fresh and subtle look to the overall finished mirror.

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I carefully measured it and centered it and then with my husband’s help applied the vinyl lettering to the front of the mirror.

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Then I took some clear Silicone and applied a thin layer to the inside of the mirror frame.  Don’t do too much or you will have the Silicone oozing everywhere on the front of your mirror which will not be too pretty.

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Gently place the mirror into the frame.  Have someone help hold up the mirror so that it is still laying flat and get under the mirror and check for any silicone that may have seeped over the edges and onto the front of the mirror.  Gently wipe clean with a damp cloth.

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Then I attached the fabric to the back of the frame with a staple gun (I forgot to take a picture of this part).  Then I screwed the back of the mirror which I had originally removed onto the frame.

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Then I scuffed up the frame so that it looked a bit distressed to match the overall feel of the antiqued mirror.  I used this handy dandy sanding bug from Rockler.

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This has come in handy on several of my home décor and remodeling projects!

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Then I hung it in my daughter’s room.  This has been one of my absolute favorite projects.  I just love how it turned out.  It was super easy to make and fairly inexpensive.  And it looks like something that would cost some big bucks if you were to buy it in a boutique.  Ahhhh!  I love how it turned out!  What do you think?

acid mirror
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Amy Huntley is the owner/author of The Idea Room. A mother of five, who enjoys sharing her love of all things creative in hopes of inspiring other women and families. Connect with her on Google+, or read more of her posts.


  1. 1

    Oooh. Amy I love it! It turned out so pretty. Perfect for summer too! I have a mirror I’ve been saving for this…maybe it’s time I get on it :)


  2. 3

    Just beautiful. I love the addition of the words. I’m sure your daughter will treasure it.

    • 4

      Thanks MaryAnn! I think the vinyl lettering was the final touch. I sure hope she does or I will have to put it in my room :)

  3. 5

    I love this project! I may have to make a trip to Goodwill to hunt for a mirror.
    Thank you for the inspiration :)

  4. 7

    this is really cool, i’m not sure if it’s as easy as it looks! love the look of it!

    • 8

      I was actually surprised at just how easy it was. I was prepared for it to be harder and was happy to see just how easy it really was!

  5. 9

    This is such a great project, love it! Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. 11

    LOVE IT! I have to make me a new mirror;)

    • 12

      ha! Thanks! Good luck! I love it when I see something that I HAVE to make…just wish I could get to all of them sooner than later.

  7. 13

    I love this project Amy! Thanks for sharing!

  8. 15

    Beautiful job Amy!! Love the end product. You do such a wonderful job of showing each step. I hope to do one of these soon.

    • 16

      Thanks Danielle. I need step by step instructions myself. So I just assume others like them too. Thanks for the comment girl!

  9. 17

    WOW! I love this! great job! Where did you get the striper?

    • 18

      I found the stripper at Home Depot but have had it around the house for a while now. You can find a lot of different types of paint strippers at any home improvement stores in the paint aisles.

  10. 19

    Amy–this is an awesome project! great tute!
    Love the saying and this is the perfect place for it, on a mirror!


  11. 21

    I really like this and love that quote.

  12. 23
    Amber @FromTheHeartsOf says:

    Simply stunning! I love it!!

  13. 25

    Soooo if I give you my address how soon can you have this shipped to me :) I love this and it is perfect for a corner of my bedroom that is needing some attention! I’m linking back to you today for Wonderful Wednesdays at .

    • 26

      Ha Ha! Of course :). If my daughter will let you have it. But I could be persuaded to make another one. It was a fun challenge.

  14. 27

    Very cool! I have always wondered how it was done, thanks for sharing!

    • 28

      Thanks Candace. I thought it looked a lot harder too until I actually made one. It was suprisingly simple. The hardest part was buying the Muriatic acid! But if you have a pool, you probably already have some.

  15. 29

    GORGEOUS Amy!! I think this is one of my favorites you’ve done!! LOVE IT!!!

    • 30

      Thanks so much Cheryl! I appreciate that. I really think it has been one of my favorites too. Now I need to make one for my room.

  16. 31

    So pretty, Amy! What a cool project! I love how it turned out!

  17. 33

    It’s gorgeous and I love the words you chose. How are you?

  18. 34

    I LOVE this! I’m going to go scrounge through my parents house and find a mirror!

  19. 35

    I love this Amy!! I made a printable and canvas with that quote. It’s one of my favorites.
    Your acid mirror turned out so pretty.

  20. 36

    This is beautiful! Just curious if any of the mirror reflection is still there? And if not what would you say the difference is between doing this to a mirror and just using a piece of glass? Either way I’m totally doing this! ;)

    • 37

      There is quite a bit of mirror reflection there. I mainly just used the acid around the edges and then spotty throughout the rest of the mirror. I wanted to be able to still see your reflection in the mirror. I personally love it with the mirror. But it would be fun with a regular piece of glass too.

  21. 38

    I LOVE IT!!! I need to write it on my decorating wishlist. A very doable project. Thanks for sharing!!

  22. 39

    Oh wow….very cool!!!

  23. 40
    Lindsey says:

    Amy, You did a wonderful job. It is quite beautiful. You are so talented.

  24. 41

    love this for so many reasons!! the destroyed/aged looked mirror is fantastic :) and the demask print adds a perfect touch! My favorite part, the sweet message on it for you daughter :) such positive words that ring true!!

  25. 42

    Where do I begin with my praises for this master piece? Well I begin by stating publicly….that I am scared of the acid. I wish I weren’t. But it’s true. I digress…

    I LOVE the painting on the fabric thing. That turned out AMAZING!!! And the fonts on the vinyl are exquisite as well. What a HUGE project. I hope you spend at least 30 minutes a day…just staring at it. :)

  26. 43

    Oh!!! I love this! I love you take on this project. BEAUTIFUL. The damask anna stencil is one of my faves.

  27. 45
    Rebecca Green says:

    That is awesome. I really, really love that! And especially for a young girl to truly understand beauty. Great idea!

  28. 46

    Every aspect of this project is just lovely! And put all together? AMAZING! I love it, Amy!!

  29. 47

    Gorgeous! I sooo want to do this for my daughter’s room. I’ll add it to my list. :)

  30. 48

    This is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!

  31. 49

    It’s beautiful! Breathtaking! I am not flattering you. :) I wish I could make this. Mine probably wouldn’t look as good. Your photos show what you do–but they’re really artistic, too. Not sure I could do that.

  32. 50

    SO stinkin’ awesome!!!! I feel lucky that I saw it at your home waaaay before you posted! Love that quote, too;)

  33. 51

    wow…Great project! i like it.

  34. 52

    I was SO inspired by yours that I made one!! I LOVE it, thanks!!

  35. 54
    Deborah~jean says:

    I am in LOVE with this mirror….Where can I get the vinyl letters…..I just love what it says….For a daughter its perfect….Now I am in on a hunt for an old mirror i have one that size in the garage but it is super heavy and it would need a frame.Thanks for sharing.

  36. 56

    What a great ideal.. I love mirrors but they look a bit redundant after awhile. This will be great to help break it up a bit.

  37. 57

    I love your mirror!

  38. 58

    I AM SO IN LOVE WITH YOUR MIRROR!!! It would be perfect for my daughters room!! and that is one of my favorite quotes. I do have a question…what size of mirror did you use??

  39. 59

    How did i miss this? It is gorgeous! Love the quote as well.

  40. 60

    The directions for this mirror messes with my creative sense…in that this is way too much work to get virtually the same results with a picture frame and it’s own glass…I would simply spray a thin layer of a spray paint on the glass…do some scraping to mae it look like sraped away mirror…and do the steps after you used the acid and muscle….sometimes we can come up with an alternative plan…..nice work

    • 61

      That sounds like it would be nice too. But I personally love the fact that you can see your reflection in the mirror still and for me that adds so much more to the saying fo being your own kind of beautiful. But I love that there are so many ways to interpret creative artwork and ideas. Especially since everyone has different tastes and styles!

  41. 62

    Great tutorial – I’ll have to try this! I have this linked to my mirrors post too today, for inspiration!

  42. 63

    wow. that is 100% perfect

  43. 64

    I am a bit confused. I have made this mirror but am to the point of putting it back together. How do I secure the mirror in the frame? I read that you put clear silicone but then you put the backing on it? The picture looks as if there is no backing because you can see the blue wall behind the picture. That was what I had in mind but am worried that the silicone won’t be enough to hold the glass to the frame.

    • 65

      I just looked at the post to see what you were referring to. I think the blue that you are seeing in the reflection in the mirror of the painted blue wall. There is most definitely a back on this mirror. i just put the mirror back together how it came after adding the silicon around the edge and then adding the yellow material to show through the areas where the acid ate off the reflective mirrored surface. Does that make more sense?

  44. 66

    I love it!!! I am dying to try this on a mirror! I love the yellow fabric behind it – Gorgeous! And the Lettering is perfect! Crazy, I have put lettering on mirrors, but didn’t distress them – Duh me!! Now I just gotta!! Thanks for sharing!! Great blog!

  45. 67


    First time to your site.

    Interesting project but I’d just like to suggest that you should make a smaller, more transparent watermark–it is truly too distracting.

    Keep it up


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