I really don’t enjoy winter! As of Dec 22 the days started getting longer and I for one, can’t wait for spring! I love to garden and dream of the day when I can get my hands dirty again. Next best thing: how would it be, if every time you looked in the mirror, it would seem as though you were standing in a field of flowers!
I found it very difficult to get really good photos of this mirror project – it’s soooo hard to photograph a mirror, never mind when it’s the actual surface you’re trying to portray. So apologies right up front – you really have to see this in person to really ‘get it’, but I’m going to try…
This is one of the finished mirrors showing how the silvering has been distressed and the image taped to the back of the mirror now shows through where the silver is missing. The top half of the mirror is not distressed so it shows the true reflection as usual.
Okay, so if you’re still following me, I’ll walk you through the steps to get to this point.
I removed the mirror from the frame and laid it down on a protected surface. Then, I brushed a liberal amount of paint stripper on the bottom half of the mirror. Most mirrors have a coat of paint on the silvering to protect it from scratches. After about 1/2 an hour, I used a scraper to remove as much paint as possible. Not enough came off, so I reapplied the stripper and let it sit for a bit longer. Here’s a photo of the initial application before the loose paint was removed.
I scraped again until most of the paint (it looks black in this photo) was removed. This still left a lot of the silvering on the glass. I tried all kinds of things to scrub the silvering off, but settled on 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The goal was to remove most of the silver along the bottom edge and then take off less and less until it was full strength by the half way mark. My thought was, to have a clear image along the bottom that faded to nothing by the time it was half way up the mirror. Can you see in the finished one above, that near the middle of the mirror, the image is there but very faint? There is still some silver on the glass but it’s not solid. I then cleaned the glass and dried it and put my image behind the mirror to see how it looked. I did a bit more scrubbing in a couple of spots, but was finally happy with the results.
I trimmed the paper and taped in along the edges of the glass before putting the mirror back in the frame. The paper is from Monahan Papers and is from their French Botanical Series – I used it on the Garden Cabinet and just LOVE this paper!
A Second Mirror:
I did my best to get some good shots of the finished pieces, but I’m not sure I succeeded. I sure hope you get the idea – and trust me, they look amazing up close!