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Painting A Metal Mirror Frame To Look Like Wood

June 20, 2023

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I found a round mirror with a silver metal frame, but it was all wrong for my country decor.

Here's how I updated it with paint to make that mirror frame look like it was wood.

Thrift Store Metal Mirror

I'm a curbside shopper and thrift store junkie.

It's not a great habit when you live in a small space.

But I just can't stop myself.

Can anyone else relate?

It doesn't seem to matter that every nook, cranny and wall in this cottage is basically covered. 

No room at the inn.

I simply can't pass up a good find when I spot one on the side of the road.

Looking all sad and lonely.

Begging for someone to rescue it, before the trash truck comes around.

I don't have the heart to say no.

It's even worse at the thrift stores.

Frog Pitcher and Animal Figurines on thrift store shelves

There are so many cute things there. And every one of them with that pick me look. Waiting their turn. Hoping to hop in a cart and get a new home.

And they don't even have to be pretty.

I'm a sucker for lost causes. I have no willpower at all.

So I try to limit my trips to the stores and leave the truck at home when running errands. It helps. 

A little.

It's also why I love it when someone asks me to find something for them. Then I get to shop with abandon and no guilt...and with a little luck, I get to play with paint.

It's how I ended up with this mirror.

You see, my daughters filmed a music video a few months ago.

Kelly & Kat Stardust Music Video

Originally, their director had envisioned a scene with mirrors. Lots of mirrors.

And it was up to mama to track them down.

The first one we found was this gorgeous full length cheval mirror for $15 on Marketplace. The frame was a little cracked and the finish was chipped, but it was the perfect style.

Oval Standing Cheval Mirror

Besides it was nothing a little wood glue and my trusty furniture markers couldn't fix.

Then, we found a few more, all in great shape, all in wood tones that matched the standing mirror.

The last mirror was a bit of challenge to track down though. We were looking for round and that's always a tough one. It's like trying to find a round accent table to upcycle. 

They're scarce. 

So when we found this round silver metal mirror for 50% off we grabbed it. Of course, while the size and shape were just right, the finish was not.

No big deal, makeovers are my thing.

Round Silver Metal Mirror

At first I was a little skeptical, but we'd already painted a white plastic mirror to look like wood

I figured why couldn't we do the same with a metal frame? 

Turns out it was a little more involved than that first project, but still relatively easy.

Here's the DIY.

How To Paint A Metal Mirror So It Looks Like Wood

Step 1: Remove The Frame 

So first we started by taking the mirror apart to isolate the frame.

The backing was cardboard and plastic, so we went slow, we didn't damage anything.

Metal Mirror Makeover In Process

We also labeled all the screws in ziplocs, since believe it or not, there were a lot of them. Too many for such a small mirror, but as the sign in my kitchen says, it is what it is!

If your frame is not removable, add painter's tape around the edges of the mirror to protect the glass. Any paint or stain can be scraped off with a razor later, but it's easier if there's less of it.

Step 2: Clean It and Add Stain

Using a bristle brush, so we'd get little faux wood grain, we coated the entire metal mirror frame with a water based gel stain and we were done. The stain matched the other mirrors with one coat.


Until it dried. And then it was a matte black. Grrr. The stain did not mix well with the matte metal frame. 

Back to the drawing board.

At this point my handy husband abandoned me in favor of sleep, it was late, but I was determined to get this project done. So I forged onward into the night.

Unfortunately, my one track, problem solving, sleep deprived brain wasn't focused on taking in process pictures, but you'll get the idea.

Based on the original results, I decided that stain was not the way to go.

Step 3: Layer Paint Colors

Instead, I painted over the stain with mineral paint, in Umber. A brown color that I thought would do the trick. But nope. It was still too black/ brown. 

The wood on the other mirror frames seemed to have more of a red tone...somewhere between mahogany and cherry.

Chalk and Mineral Paint For Mirror Makeover

So I decided to add some Red Barn chalk paint to the Umber to fake that finish. It was closer.

Almost a little too red though. It needed to be taken down a teeny bit and I did that with a very thin coat of brown antiquing gel.

Finally, it matched.

Round Mirror Makeover from metal to wood

Well, near enough anyway.

Step 4: Seal and Reassemble

Once I had the right color, I sealed it with a gloss coat and left it to dry before I grabbed those zippy bags and put that maze of hardware back together.

And get that mirror ready for its close up.

Painting A Metal Mirror Frame

Which never made it into the video. 

Ah well. It worked out well for me though.

After spending so much time together, I grew quite fond of that adorable mirror and found a place for it in my newly redecorated family room.

Thrifty Metal Mirror Makeover Hanging On Wall

Like I said, it's a great size and round mirrors are hard to come by.

And super hard to pass up.

Especially for a girl with a junking addiction.


Do you brake for trash?

Before Metal Mirror Frame Makeover

Happy Thrifting Friends!!
Kim Signature

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  1. LOL I break for trash for sure! You know the saying your trash is someone else's treasure. I like the color you did on the mirror. Looks wonderful. Happy Tuesday. Kris

    1. Treasure indeed, Kris!! My whole house is filled with it and I just can’t stop collecting. Yesterday I paid it forward and I donated a bunch of things that no longer suited my style. Now I have room for more. Oops!!

  2. I always look at trash piles.
    I was getting ready to leave for a long weekend..mmbacknof vehicle all packed up... husband waiting while I took the dog for a quick walk...and I came back with a well made butnoit dated foot stool. He just shakes his head

    1. Haha! He sounds like my husband. The other day we were driving out to craft fair and he spotted two mid century modern styled wooden accent tables. They were decent but beaten up. He just looked at me and said, I guess you want me to stop? Now they're in my garage waiting for their makeover! Enjoy your foot stool...sounds darling!

  3. I don't brake for trash, I don't have your creative abilities. But I love seeing what you do with it! The mirror turned out beautiful!

    1. Thanks Mari! I do enjoy the challenge of a good furniture flip.

  4. Turned out great, Kim! I think I would have gone straight to a custom mix of acrylic craft paint, then add some plaster-of-paris for homemade chalk paint, because it sticks to anything. Lol! I wonder if you can make chalk STAIN?? No custom color mixing required!
    It goes without saying I break for junk!

    1. That's interesting! I'll have to keep that one in the back of my head for next time...there's a lot of mirrors out there!! Haha!!

  5. I love how this turned out! I live in an apartment and the dumpster is close to my building. You would not believe the great stuff that people will put there. We have a 2 bedroom apartment so space is limited and it takes a great deal of self discipline to decide what gets in. - Briana from Texas

    1. Thanks Briana! Oh wow, that would be super tempting to walk by that and not stop to grab some of the goodies. I can only imagine what you see out there. People really do toss some amazing treasures!

  6. Kim, you did a great makeover for the mirror frame. I love the new color of the frame and it looks great on your pretty new walls.

    1. Thank you, Julie. I really like that mirror. It's so simple and I know I'd never find one like it if I went out shopping for one. At least not for $5.oo. Haha!!

  7. You KNOW I brake for trash! Great mirror sure did fight you, though!

    1. Thanks Ann!! You brake for great trash and then turn it into some really outstanding treasure...and yes, this one did put up a fight. Ah well, I guess there's always one in the bunch! 😉

  8. I am a curbside shopper as well when I see something I just can't resist! Haha! Wow, this mirror looks so amazing! Your ideas are always so awesome!

    1. Thanks Mandy! You're the sweetest and I'm glad to hear I'm not alone when it comes to curbside shopping!!

  9. You nailed it. The mirror looks like it has a wooden frame! :D

    1. Thanks Ricki! It was touch and go there for a while, but phew!!

  10. Kim,
    Perfect! No one would ever think it was a metal frame!! Over 20+ years ago, I did a faux wood treatment with a graining tool on the inside of our front door...What a task that was as it required 3 coats of stain. BUT it has held up for all these years and still looks like it is a wood door...Okay, I think I am now caught up with all your wonderful posts!!! I your week ahead is a good one!

    1. Wow, Deb, that sounds like a really big job, but one that was worth the time it took to complete. I bet it's beautiful!!

  11. Well done my friend. And as always you inspire me.
    xx oo

    1. Thank you, Carla! You know the feeling is mutual. Happy 4th my friend!

  12. I live vicariously through you when it comes to thrifting and crafting! I've mentioned before, I thinkit would be great to live next door to you!

    1. Christine you are always so kind! Thanks for the smile today!

  13. You are brave! That turned out really great! I love finding treasure along the roadside! I found a vintage screen door once, for free, that we are still using! It's held up better than our 'new' screen doors!

    1. Oh, the door sounds so charming!! They don't make things the way they used to, I bet it's solid and has great details...I'm jealous!

  14. As always you did a fabulous job, Kim. xo Laura

    1. Thanks Laura! Hope you’re feeling better and enjoying the 4th!!