Monday, 3 February 2014

Shabby chic mirror progress

So, today I'm going to share the progress I've made with shabby chic-ing the 'brass' dressing table mirror (notice the ''? That's important later) I hope you will excuse the not great photo quality. I'm continuing to battle with poor light quality and, I'll be honest, I've mislaid the charger for my camera battery so I'm using the camera on my phone. The charger is somewhere in the cupboard under the stairs but if you could see the cupboard under my stairs you would know why I can't find it!

Anyways, here's a couple of the before pics. As you can see, it's old, it's dirty and the mirror is not doing what it should be. That is: it's not staying in it's frame and mirroring.

Step one was giving it a good clean. As it was purchased as a 'brass' mirror from Ebay I got out the Brasso and started cleaning. This is where I hit a snag. It wasn't brass after all. It's a cheap metal covered in a brass coloured layer. I should have known, really, as it is quite light and my husband commented when he saw it that although it is definitely quite old it is poor quality. So I invented a little story in my head about my mirror. This mirror belonged to servant in a big house 'Downton Abbey style' and was the best she could afford but she wanted something pretty. I'm sure brand new and shiny it looked lovely. Here's a couple of pics of the frame after it was cleaned.

As you can see it cleaned up a bit but not all shiny like proper brass would clean up. Never mind- on to stage two. Next was two coats of a creamy colour chalk paint. Branded chalk paints are available such as Annie Sloan and Autentico to name a couple. I mixed up my own with a matt emulsion in Pale Ivory and a chalk paint base purchased from Ebay.


I quite liked it at this stage before I distressed it and I did debate a little while with myself whether to distress it or leave it in the ivory colour but as this is a practice project I went ahead and distressed it. First I applied one layer of clear wax and buffed it off and then I sandpapered off a little of the chalk paint on any raised bits and edges. Anywhere it would rub. The idea I had originally was that the gold of the brass would come through but instead what I ended up with was little bits of the gold brass like layer and silvery colour of the base metal in places.  After rubbing off the paint I did another layer of the clear wax to seal everything. Here's a couple of close up pics of the detail.
And here is a nice extra large picture of the frame all finished.
The last thing I want to do is decoupage the back board that holds the mirror in before securing. I have five vintage patterned papers and I can't decide between them. I'm not sure that the colours have come out great on the computer but they are all cream and green variations. I think the top two are my favourites but I'm still debating. I also need to get a matte varnish/glue as I think it will work better with the matt chalk paint.


So, that's where I am with my mirror project. When it is finally all finished I'll do you a nice picture, hopefully in daylight and with some nice staging. I hope you like it so far and will pop back to see the completed project.

L x

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