Painting mirror: How To Paint a Mirror Frame (DIY)

How to Properly Paint a Mirror Frame

Today, I’m sharing how to properly paint a mirror!

I know many of you can relate to today’s makeover. You hang onto something because you know you can do something with it, but you have absolutely zero desire to actually do so. Am I right?

Amazing friends, this mirror is one of those pieces for me:

It came with this dresser that Jack and I teamed up on several years ago:

The dresser was only $30 and the mirror seemed oversized for the dresser, so we left it off. I was tempted to donate it on more than one occasion, but it has a nice beveled edge, so I just couldn’t part with it. But then it sat. And sat.

And yes, looking at that photo above, you can see that this was taken at our old house, so we actually dragged the mirror to our new house back in 2017! (We redid this dresser when Jack was in middle school…he’s in college now!!)

Well, today is the big day!

I’m going to share a pretty mirror makeover AND how to properly paint a mirror!

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

Remove the mirror

To start this (and all mirror makeovers), I removed the mirror. I know it seems like too much work sometimes, but to do it right, you know?

To do that, I removed the paper backing and then pulled the narrow staples that were holding it in place:

Sometimes there will be nails or metal points instead of staples, and if it is an older mirror, it may be held in place with small pieces of wood that are nailed in place. All can be removed. Once I got these staples removed, I removed the mirror and put it in a safe place.

Proper prep for shiny surfaces

One of the things that was holding me back on this mirror was that it had what looked like a heavily laquered finish on it. I knew I would need to prep it differently.

For a shiny finish like this, I would usually sand it to give the paint something to grip onto. Now chalk paint will adhere to just about any surface, but for laminate, metal, glass, and heavily laquered pieces, a little extra prep doesn’t hurt, and I didn’t want to sand this surface because I didn’t want to disturb the existing paint finish. Besides, I planned to use the new Silk Mineral Paint on this piece.

A light sanding is recommended prior to using Silk, however, there is an alternative: Slick Stick:

After giving my frame a good cleaning with White Lightning, I proceeded to give my frame a coat of Slick Stick:

I allowed it to dry for two hours, and then followed up with one more coat. Then, I let it sit overnight.

Painting with Silk Mineral Paint

The next morning, my mirror frame was ready for paint! I chose the Silk color, Oyster for this project:

I LOVE this color! It has been a good seller, so I was really excited to try it on something. I know…it is just another neutral, but whites and neutrals are my jam. I just can’t help it! ( Do you spy my boss supervising in that photo? :D)

I waited two hours and then followed up with a second coat.

Read more about Dixie Belle’s new Silk All-in-One Mineral paint as well as the differences between Silk paint and chalk paint


Be sure to flip your mirror frame over and paint the groove where the mirror will sit, so that you see the same color paint in the reflection:

I could have called it done at this point since the Silk Mineral Paint has a built-in sealer, but I decided to take it a step further.

Adding a transfer

I had this pretty transfer in my stash and thought it would really dress up this otherwise plain mirror:

It is a bit of work to apply a transfer over trim work like I have here, but I was able to cut it in a few strategic areas and that helped. Once you cut the transfer apart, you can easily match it up seamlessly with the rest of the pattern. This transfer is called Blossom Flight by Resdesign by Prima. If you do a search on Etsy, you will find several retailers that sell them.

I continued to add bits and pieces of this transfer until I got a look I liked.

Putting the mirror back together

Before I reassembled the mirror, I used a razor blade to scrape away the paint that had gotten on the surface of the mirror from the last person who had painted it:

Then, to reassemble the mirror, I placed the mirror in the frame and added the cardboard that was on the back protecting it previously. I used my Logan Point Driver to secure the mirror back in place:

To make the back pretty, I first applied Mod Podge like a glue using a cheap chip brush, to the frame:

Then I covered the back of the framed mirror with this pretty patterned kraft paper:

I used a utility knife to cut the excess paper.

The big reveal

I couldn’t be happier with how this mirror, that I almost gave up on several times, came out:

In the in-progress photos, Oyster just looked like another shade of white. Pairing it with this bright white dresser, you can see what a lovely contrast it is to the bright white.

And the transfers really add so much to this simple mirror…



I wrapped the transfer all the way to the edge, both on the inside as you can see it reflected in the mirror…

And on the outside:

Here is the back…

I added the original D-ring hardware for hanging:

And that is how you properly paint a mirror! It is a little more work, but well worth it!

Can you believe I almost donated this back to the thrift store? I’m so glad I didn’t!

I hope y’all enjoyed seeing this mirror come to life as much as I did!

I am REALLY excited to finally call this one DONE!

Here are links to all the makeovers in this haul so far!

Painted Thrift Store Lamps & How to Cover a Lampshade
Cabinet Doors Repurposed
$3 Trinket Box Makeover
Piano Bemch Makeover
$20 Thrift Store Desk Makeover
$5 Thrift Store Chair Makeover & How to Use Silk All-in-One Mineral Paint
Unfinished Wood Cabinet Makeover
Cabinet Door turned Shelf
Painting the Smalls, Holiday Edition (Five of these pieces are in this post!)
Kudzu Painted Side Table

I’ll be back on Thursday with this sweet box I picked up:

UPDATE! No need to wait, see how this box went from mass-produced to one-of-a-kind here now!

Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all who go back and leave me a review for my Etsy Shop! I appreciate it SO much! You can also upload photos of your finished projects when you leave a review, and I love seeing what y’all create!

Have an amazing day!


Don’t Miss a Thing!

If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!


Upcycled Mirror Makeover, How To Paint A Mirror

My fireplace was looking a little bare. So, I took this second-hand mirror, and I gave it a makeover. Sometimes, I find it hard to style my mantlepiece. I knew I needed something more on the mantle, and when I saw this mirror, I knew it was the one. Also, I will share details on how to paint a mirror within this post.

The best part of the mirror makeover was it cost me nothing. I got the mirror for free and used the paint I had from my fireplace makeover. To read more about how to paint your fireplace surround, click here.

Create a search alert on second-hand apps to find freebies. You have to be quick, but you can get some treasure. Also, try the Facebook marketplace and see what you can find second-hand in your local area.

You can also catch my mirror makeover in the YouTube video at the end of this post. Also, I hope it gives you inspiration for styling your mantlepiece.

How To Paint A Mirror & Give It A Makeover

Before painting your mirror, give the frame of the mirror a deep clean. My mirror had paint on the wood frame. So, I brought it outside and scrubbed it with soapy water and a wire sponge. 

Remove as much grime from your piece before painting. I also checked for wax, as your paint will not stick to the wax. It took me half an hour to scrub my mirror. I rinsed off excess suds and allowed the mirror to dry in the garden. 

I lightly scuff sanded the frame of the mirror with medium-grit sandpaper. Using a brush, I brushed away the dust before priming.  

You can use painters tape to tape the glass of the mirror. I skipped this step and used a small paintbrush instead. 

Applying Primer To The Mirror

Using a brush, I applied one coat of primer to the frame of the mirror. It is always better to do light coats and not heavy applications of paint. The primer will help stop the old paint job from bleeding. It also gives a good base for the topcoat to stick.

Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the topcoat. I used the Colourtrend Prime 2 as my primer.  

The primer feels matt to touch when dry. It will prevent any oils from bleeding through and help prevent paint from peeling and chipping. 

What Paint Should I Use To Paint My Mirror

I used Colourtrend “Cherished White” in a satin finish to paint my mirror. My fireplace surround is in this shade, and I wanted to paint the mirror to match. 

I applied two coats of paint to the mirror and allowed it to dry before styling the mirror. 

You can choose any paint finish for your mirror. Chalk paint gives a matt finish that is easy to distress and adds detail. Satin, eggshell and gloss paint will have different levels of sheen. It all depends on the effect and result with which you want to achieve. 

How To Style Your Mantlepiece

To style my mantle, I began with placing the mirror and getting that straight and centred. My mirror frame is heavy and won’t fall off easily. However, attach your mirror to the wall if you have children or pets that like to climb.   

I then used home decor accessories I already had in my stash. I started with the large items and placed the faux flowers on either side of the mirror. 

Working from the middle out, large to small, I positioned my trinkets how I like them. As it is now Spring, I picked a lighter colour palette. The faux cherry blossom vase is from Marks & Spencer. However, I did get this a few years ago, and unsure if still in stock. 

I love how the mirror makeover transformed the mirror into an item that looks specially made for my fireplace. With the weather starting to get milder, I won’t be using my fire as much as I was during Winter. However, I will stock up on some logs and display them in the basket. I hope you got some ideas on how to style your mantlepiece.

Check out my video below for a closer look at the mirror makeover and my mantle styling. I hope you got inspiration from this post, and please share on your social media platforms if you did.
Thanks for reading! Catherine.

Mirrors with secrets in the paintings of famous artists.

From strange

If you want to tickle your nerves, have fun and be scared, look in the mirror. This is known to girls who guess on the night before Epiphany. Those who have read Zhukovsky’s Svetlana know this. This was known to Pushkin, who at the last moment decided to take pity on Tatiana Larina and the reader, and canceled the terrible divination on the mirrors. There is a boundary between life and death, truth and falsehood, reality and illusion. We were not afraid and chose 7 unusual picturesque mirrors, which are worth taking a closer look at. These are mirrors that give more questions than answers. Who protect their secrets. From the look at which it becomes uncomfortable. But sometimes – and joyfully.

Paintings based on Vasily Zhukovsky’s ballad “Svetlana”. Left: painting by Karl Bryullov “Fortune-telling Svetlana” (1836, Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum). Right: Alexander Novoskoltsev’s painting “Svetlana” (1889, Volsky Museum of Local Lore, Saratov Region).


Tatyana, on the advice of a nanny
Going to tell fortunes at night,
Quietly ordered in the bathhouse
Set the table for two appliances;
But Tatyana suddenly became afraid…
And I, at the thought of Svetlana
I was scared – so be it …
We can’t tell fortunes with Tatyana.
(A.S. Pushkin. Eugene Onegin. Chapter V)

Guests in van Eyck’s Mirror

Of course, this review cannot do without one of the most famous and most mysterious paintings in the world – “Portrait of the Arnolfinis” by Jan van Eyck.

Portrait of the Arnolfini couple. Jan van Eyck, 1434, 82×60 cm

This painting is full of details that were probably clear to the painting’s client and his contemporaries, but cause conflicting interpretations centuries later. One of these details is a mirror in the back of the room, decorated with medallions depicting the Passion of Christ. On the left (from the side of the man) the events of the medallion depict episodes that took place before the death of Christ, while on the right (from the side of the wife) – what happened after death. This is an argument in favor of the theory that the portrait was commissioned by van Eyck by a disconsolate spouse in memory of his late wife. On the other hand, the mirror itself is a symbol of the Virgin and the virginity of the bride: an argument in favor of the wedding portrait (or the merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini wanted the posthumous portrait of his wife to be performed in the form of a wedding scene).

The mirror reflects two men entering the room. One of them, the man in blue, may be van Eyck’s self-portrait. No wonder that it was above the mirror that the artist wrote: “Johannes van eyck fuit hic”, which is usually translated as “Jan van Eyck was here” (the reading of this phrase and its translation also has several versions).

Mirror on the painting “Portrait of the Arnolfini”

and the artist’s signature above it

ADVERTISEMENT and Velasquez was a courtier artist. And under her influence, he created his masterpiece with a mirror and a couple reflected in it.

The royal couple in Velasquez’s mirror

Velasquez’s Las Meninas is another painting with many unknowns. Who is the artist looking at – us or the king and queen entering the room? What, apart from the fact that he liked van Eyck, is he telling us with this mirror? He invites us to enter inside the picture? Or does it show that everything in life is vague, illusory, but what the great Velasquez drew with his brush on the canvas is much more real than the reflection in the mirror? “What is the strength in, brother?” — “In art.”

Meninas. Diego Velasquez, 1656, 318×276 cm

The most important question is: what kind of painting does Velasquez paint? It is possible that the king and queen did not just look into the artist’s studio (although it could have happened – the artist and Philip IV were connected not only by service, but also by friendship), but in order to pose: in the mirror they are against the backdrop of drapery – a finished portrait. By the way, a mirror is hanging among the paintings, you can easily mix it up, and this again pushes you to think about the illusory nature of everything, including the border between illusion and reality. But there is no double portrait of the royal couple in the legacy of Velasquez. But he wrote them one at a time, so that we can see those whose faces in the mirror are very blurry. Just scroll right.

Meninas. Fragment. Portrait of Philip IV and Marianne of Austria in the mirror Diego Velasquez

Another fuzzy portrait in Velasquez’s mirror

Let’s face it, there is something to admire in this picture. But in addition to the spectacle, the audience also demands facts. I would like to know who is this woman who captivated Velazquez so much that he performed in the nude genre unusual for him. Obviously, the artist himself preferred to keep this a secret: the reflection in the mirror is extremely illegible – one cannot see the face. Moreover, the study of the picture showed that initially the heroine’s head was turned a little more to the left and the woman’s nose was visible. But the artist abandoned this idea – perhaps fearing that the one depicted in this way could be identified. Well, or that we won’t be intrigued enough.

One wonders why he introduced a mirror into the picture at all. Everything is simple here: painting ordinary women naked at that time was unthinkable, only goddesses could be without clothes, and a mirror instantly turns any woman from a picture into a goddess, because it is a traditional attribute of Venus.

Venus in front of a mirror, Diego Velázquez, 1651, 122×177 cm


There is a suspicion that the same woman is present in Velasquez’s painting “The Spinners” – already dressed, but again without a face.

Velázquez’s biographers have one suggestion. That during his second trip to Italy, the painter, who was legally married, had an affair with a young Roman artist named Flaminia Triva. According to another version, her name was Flaminia Triunfi (Flaminia Triunfi) – this name is mentioned in connection with Velazquez by Antonio Palomino, the author of the collection of biographies of Spanish painters “Museum of Painting and Optical Scale”, a kind of Spanish Vasari. So, Velazquez allegedly started an affair, painted a naked colleague, left (and never visited Italy again), and she gave birth to his son Antonio from him.

And Bosch has something wrong with his mirror…

It’s in hell, that is, on the right wing of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Instead of a mirror, the beauty is offered the ass of a monster. Why is she serving her term here? Perhaps her sin is lust, and her outward resemblance to Eve from the left wing of the triptych is not at all accidental.

Garden of earthly delights. Music Hell. Right wing. Fragment Hieronymus Bosch Painting, 1500s

Pride is also possible. It is with the help of a mirror provided by evil spirits that this sin is illustrated in the work attributed to Bosch, The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. The girl’s eyes are closed: maybe she abused narcissism during her lifetime, and now she doesn’t want to look in the mirror forever?

Many popular proverbs are encrypted in the “Garden . ..” of Bosch (yes, Brueghel was not the first to entertain himself by illustrating folk expressions, often strong ones). And this scene may be a visualization of the proverb “If you admire your reflection in the mirror too long, you will see the devil’s ass”, intelligibly warning about the punishment for pride.

Pride. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Fragment Hieronymus Bosch Painting, 1485

Devilry at Manet

Wrong, impossible, inexplicable – not uncommon in the paintings of Edouard Manet. At the same time, one can never say for sure whether the artist made a mistake or thought so. For example, when he allowed an outrageous neighborhood on the table of oysters and coffee and either sent a giant woman to splash in the river, or deliberately squeezed the perspective. But in the painting “Bar in the Folies Bergère” it is wrong, lying and / or confusing, as if it were not Manet himself, but a mirror in a gold frame, against which a girl in a velvet dress stands. Yes, yes, all this noise and din, with drinking spectators and gymnasts flying in the air, is not behind her, but with us.

And in this mirror, the bottles are not in the place of the table where they are in reality (we will consider the foreground of the picture as such). And this mirror makes the girl pretty fat: from the back she looks too massive. Okay, a mirror that makes you fat is not a trick: these can still be found in every second fitting room of a department store. But the girl from the reflection leaned towards the man and maybe even talking, flirting with him. Whereas the girl from the foreground reality stands straight, looks indifferently.
The artist did not say what he wanted to say. And we are free to see our own in this mirror confusion. The bartender, disconnected for a second from all this vulgar fuss (with the same look as hers, in the cinema the dead look at their lifeless body from the side and realize something important, here she is – as if separated for a moment from her routine role, she heard silence in the midst of a noisy party). Or a visitor who has everything floating before his eyes from entertainment, champagne with beer, and maybe from the discreet but undeniable beauty of the heroine.

Bar in the Folies Bergère. Édouard Manet, 1882, 97×130 cm

Magritte’s mirror with bugs

Hiding human faces is Magritte’s favorite technique: remember, at least “The Son of Man”, at least “The Lovers”. When Edward James, the British millionaire patron of the surrealists, commissioned two portraits of Magritte, the artist resorted to a proven method: on one he depicted the client with a glowing lamp in place of the face, on the other in front of a mirror that reproduces the back of the head instead of the face.

Playback prohibited. René Magritte 1937, 81.3 × 65 cm

Magritte wrote the painting “Reproduction is forbidden” based on a photo that he took himself – in the same 1937 in the London mansion of Edward James: in the picture, James stands in front of his painting by Magritte “On the threshold of freedom “.

And now, although reproduction is prohibited, filmmakers reproduce Magritte’s painting with a “faulty” mirror when they want to arouse anxiety in the viewer from a lack of understanding of what is happening and uncertainty about what is real and what is not. In this video, we give examples of films that quote Magritte’s painting (there are also other mirrors in the video)


Serov’s friendly gesture
Henrietta Hirshman believed that this portrait of her, with its compositional play with mirrors, echoes Velazquez’s painting Las Meninas (Serov loved and even copied Velasquez). The modern viewer will find a reason to compare this portrait with Magritte’s painting: look, in the mirror behind Henrietta Leopoldovna’s back, not her head, but her face is reflected at all! Mirror reflection mirror reflection.

But we are talking about something else now. Take a look at the lower right corner of the mirror from this canvas: here is direct evidence that the gloomy, unsociable, taciturn Serov, whose portraits were often called evil, knew how to be kind and witty, not to everyone, but to many of his models he treated with sympathy. Igor Grabar, who wrote a biography of Serov, claimed that Valentin Alexandrovich was very disposed towards Henrietta Girshman, “finding her smart, educated, cultured, simple and modest, without the manners of rich upstarts, and very pretty.”

— I remember how, with his usual ironic smile, he thanked me for my long-suffering, work on the portrait lasted a year and a half — and pointed out a surprise: in the depths of the portrait, in the mirror, he painted his reduced self-portrait! (from the memoirs of Henrietta Girshman)

Author: Natalia Kandaurova

Printing photos on wood. Painting on boards “Mirror”


Paintings on boards from our collection

Code: BAL-001

Code: BAL-001

2 100 ₽

27 x 36 cm. (3 boards)

36 x 48 cm. (4 boards)

45 x 60 cm. (5 boards)

54 x 72 cm. (6 boards)

63 x 84 cm. (7 boards)

72 x 96 cm (8 boards)

81 x 108 cm (9 boards)

90 x 120 cm. (10 boards)

100 x 130 cm. (11 boards)

109x 145 cm. (12 boards)

118 x 157 cm (13 boards)

127 x 169see (14 boards)

136 x 182 cm (15 boards)

145 x 193 cm (16 boards)

Surface treatment:







The painting is made of dried pine wood.
Handmade, highlighting the wood structure, firing.
High quality print on wood.
Odorless hypoallergenic paint.
Additional treatment with UV protective varnish.
Hook, fixings, packaging included.
* If you could not find the subject of the picture on the boards from our collection, then we can make a picture from your images, photographs. Share your idea with us and we will be happy to select an image for you, making a layout for free.
The painting is made of dried pine wood.
Handmade, highlighting the wood structure, firing.
High quality print on wood.
Odorless hypoallergenic paint.
Additional treatment with UV protective varnish.