How to Refinish a Mirror Frame

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How to Refinish a Mirror Frame

Instead of purchasing home decor items new, many shoppers are looking for more creative and cost-effective items. Framed mirrors are a popular home decor element and new ones can be pricey. Whether a shopper is looking for a unique look or just wants to freshen an existing mirror frame, refinishing a mirror frame is a smart way to save money and resources in home decorating.

Mirror frames are constructed of various materials. Due to trends and availability of materials, frames come in wood, metal, plastic, and other synthetic materials. Whether buying a mirror frame at a local shop, an online store, or on eBay, the buyer should consider the advantages of refinishing a mirror frame, the safety considerations involved, and appropriate refinishing techniques.

Tools Needed to Refinish a Mirror Frame

Refinishing a mirror frame is a simple project that can be completed within a couple of hours with a handful of inexpensive tools and materials. Framed mirrors are available for purchase new and used, and many people have existing framed mirrors in their homes that can be refinished very economically for a big impact in style. Other than a mirror frame, the project requires one can of interior-exterior finish spray paint, one roll of 2-inch-wide safe-release painters masking tape for delicate surfaces, craft paper or cardboard, one pack of 220-grit sandpaper, and newspaper or an old sheet for protecting the work area. If an antique mirror frame look is desired, a glaze and a bristle brush is required in addition to the other materials.

Prepping a Mirror Frame

If the mirror can be safely unscrewed from the frame, that is the best way to refinish the frame without getting paint on the mirror. If this cannot be done easily or safely, the mirror has to be carefully covered with craft paper or cardboard and taped with painters masking tape. A piece of craft paper can be cut in the shape of the mirror and carefully secured to the mirror with strips of the painters tape, making sure that they are flush with the border of the mirror frame. If necessary, the edges of the tape can be pushed under the edges of the frame if possible. If the mirror frame has been covered with a polyurethane finish or a type of varnish or lacquer, lightly sand all over using the sandpaper so that the frame is just rough enough for paint to adhere to the wood or metal surface.

Painting or Staining a Mirror Frame

The work surface should be covered with newspaper or an old sheet. The frame should be placed flat on this surface while the spray paint is applied in short strokes. Apply several thin coats of paint allowing 30 seconds of drying time between coats. The mirror frame must be covered with paint yet not have excessive build-up. Allow the mirror frame to dry overnight. If an antique finish is desired, apply a glaze to the completely dried mirror frame with a bristle paint brush.

A different look is achieved by using a stain instead of paint. When a stain is chosen instead of paint, use an old rag to rub the stain lightly on the frame. A pointed stick can be used to get into areas of detail on the frame. Apply a second coat of stain and allow the mirror frame to dry thoroughly.

How to Buy Materials to Refinish a Mirror Frame

Adding a mirror or two to the walls of a home adds elegance and creates an illusion of space in a small room. It is a simple but smart decorating choice, and refinishing a mirror frame is easy and fun. eBay provides you with access to a diverse variety of mirror frames from all over the world as well as materials to help you refinish your frame.

You can browse eBay's wide selection of supplies and products by using the keyword search, but for a more selective search or to search within a certain price range, you can use eBay's advanced search feature. Some buyers also use this feature to limit their search to that of used mirror frames, making it a great option for those planning to refinish the item post-sale. Also, for extra cost savings, append your search with the words "free shipping" to get results of sellers offering free shipping for their items.

When you take the time and effort to refinish a mirror frame yourself, your reward is being able to enjoy a piece of decor that is not only beautiful, but is an expression of your own creativity. Use a paint stripper to remove all the paint or stain from the old cupboard. Let it dry, and then sand any rough spots. Repaint or restain to match the desired décor. The great news is that the cupboard still opens, and the new table can have all types of things hidden inside it.

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