In this post, how to paint a wooden mirror frame, I'll show you how to use milk paint to update a thrift store mirror. The old wooden mirror was a good deal, but it needs a little TLC to update it's looks. I may even add a little rub n' buff!
Brown Wooden Mirror Frame
At $10, this wooden framed mirror was over my regular budget. But it's really heavy duty, and definitely worth the money if I can give it a good makeover.
This is our Thrift Store Day, be sure to check out all the projects below.
The wood frame had some dings and dimples. I used a fine grit sandpaper wrapped around a board to sand the bad places. Keeping the sandpaper on the board helps to get a straighter edge when removing the dents.
Prep Mirror Frame for Painting
If you're working on your own wooden mirror frame or furniture project, you know where it's been and what it's been subjected to. However because this is a thrift store find, I don't know what kind of grime might be on it. Although I'll be using milk paint, I want to make sure there's no grease or nicotine present.
I find it best to apply the deglosser with a chip brush. In the case of this wooden mirror frame, it helps to get into the intricate areas to ready them for the milk paint.
How to Use Milk Paint
After taping off the mirror, I used a chip brush to apply the General Finishes milk paint to the wooden mirror. This is after one light coat.
Related Content: Painting Plastic Mirror Frame
For the second coat, I used a True Applicator Sponge to stipple the milk paint onto the mirror frame.
Don't you think it's so much better painted black? Maybe you would have chosen a different color?
Using Furniture Wax and a Sponge
I chose to use Miss Mustard Seed's furniture wax over the milk paint, applied with an old piece of a True Applicator Sponge. It went on smooth and gave a slight shine and protection to the painted wooden mirror frame.
If you're buying thrift store projects for your own home, $10 is quite a deal for this regal looking mirror. Of course, I'll be selling this at my booth, so here's hoping the new look will give it a fast turnaround. It will be going back to the same store where I bought it. 🙂
How to Use Rub N Buff
To show you how I used Rub n Buff, I placed a piece of black poster board over the mirror. This was solely to make photographing the mirror easier.
Less is more when it comes to Rub n Buff. Applying with your finger works best, you can do this with or without a latex glove.
I definitely recommend squirting a small amount onto a paper plate. Dip your finger into the dab, then rub the plate to get the excess from your finger/glove. I didn't start out that way, but quickly realized it was the best way to have control over the amount of Rub N Buff applied.
Initially, I wasn't going to do the long outer border on each side. For that application I used very little on my glove and finished the complete area without reapplying the silver leaf.
Have you got a secret for taking a picture of a mirror? I'm not sure I love the silver leaf rub n buff, what do you think? Too much?
Many people commented that the silver leaf rub n buff was too much. I used the black milk paint to tone it down a little.
Awesome Thrift Store Ideas
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Thrift Store Stacked Boxes Makeover
Shamrock Decor from Vintage Wooden Bowls
How to Paint a Wooden Mirror Frame (you are here)
Bird Nest Vintage Water Dipper Display
Melamine Serving Tray Makeover
Succulent Terrarium using Embroidery Hoops
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Christy @ Our Southern Home
That mirror is so my style! What a fabulous find for $10. I really love the paint finish along with he rub 'n buff of the details. Great job!!
I don't think I've ever used the Rub n Buff, but it sure does highlight the mirror! Hope it sells quickly for you!
That black is the perfect color on the mirror, Gail! And the Rub-n-Buff really makes the details stand out! This is a great makeover - Pinned 😊
The mirror has a much richer look painted black, I think. Not clear whether you left the silver leaf on the frame or not. I like it better without. Nice job, though.
Naomi, I toned down the silver leaf with a little of the black paint and it looks so much better!
This turned out great! l love the color, so updated! I have no advice on taking a picture of a mirror lol
love the mirror. think if u took the "shine" off the rub 'n buff, it would look better. just my opinion (kinda like it better without it).
Thanks Nova! I tried to "rub" it back, but once it's on--it's ON! 🙂
What a beautiful mirror and I love the finish that you put on it - such a beautiful color!
Thanks Maryann! Gotta love the power of paint, eh?
I love it with the silver leaf. I wish my antique mirror had a detail instead of being plain. Great job!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment on my most recent project!! I truly appreciate it.
Carlene @ Organized Clutter
You found a great mirror! Perfect for a makeover!
Thank you Carlene!!
I love an easy project makeover.
Perhaps you could darken the silver a little so it doesn't look so garish. I do like the mirror with all its trim work.
I think I will try to tone it down a little. I tried (unsuccessfully) to rub it back a little, but that stuff doesn't budge!
Sue at Blu
Gail, that is such a great find! I do like the mirror without the Rub n' Buff which is surprising because I tend to be gaudy. Could I be mellowing? But I agree with you, I always plan to use just a little but it's hard to stop. It's a fun product that really can add to a piece! Someone is gonna love this beauty!
Thank you Sue! To each his own, right? It's so hard to know what "my" community likes here in town. hahahah