First, I sent out this wonderful picture of a chippy window on September 2nd.
Remember when I posted about Fun Fore All? Missed that? Here you go. Well, that was an hour away. We didn't go all that way to play with balls. We went to pick up this window from someone from Craigslist.
Then this past Saturday, we went to my favorite place in the whole world: Ikea. Truly, it is. Girls love it there, too. Our Ikea happens to be across the street from our closest Hobby Lobby. I've never been there before. We usually go on Sundays, and they're closed then. So when we saw the Starbucks drive-thru line to be about a mile long, Brian dropped me off at Hobby Lobby. So I can look around and buy this wonderful product I've heard so much about while he bought us all Starbucks.
What is this amazing, wonderful product I speak of? Why, it's nothing less than Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint. It is spray paint that "Transform clear glass into a highly-reflective, mirror-like surface". That description is taken straight from their site.
Eeek! I don't have to buy mirrors and hope it'll fit right. I can just paint them on!
And so I did. I was soo excited by the results that once it dried, I cleared off my weird mixed seasonal mantel display and propped that sucker up there and rearranged it just to take pictures for all of you lovely readers and Instagram followers. I couldn't contain myself, so I posted the final product early on Facebook and Instagram. I'm just so proud! And I have to take it down b/c it's totally not proportional to scale for this fireplace. It will go on the mantel I haven't built yet.
By the way, that paint is only 6oz and $12 at Hobby Lobby. Thankfully, I had a 40% coupon, making the price $7.69. Not bad at all.
Before I show you my finished product, here's what's selling out there:
All of those are near $100. The plainer/newer looking window mirror similar to mine is slightly (ok, a good bit) smaller, and $50. There were sales going on, but say I had a truckful of these windows at my disposal, I wouldn't be posting them on Craigslist, I'd be making them into mirrors and selling the bejeezus out of them. Especially at under $8 a can.
High horse dismounted, and here's a picture of mine:
Look at the reflection of the other wall! I aged the mirror some on purpose with the water droplets and wiping the paint off and stuff. I wanted it to look worn. Maybe it's me, but vintage, chippy looking framework would look out of place with perfect new glass and/or mirrors. I wanted it to look like it was made to be a mirror, not a window.
So how did I do this? Maybe I shouldn't tell you. Then you wouldn't buy any if I came across that truckload of free windows. Let's make a deal... if you find more than enough free windows for whatever project you're making, you hit me up with one? I'm kidding. Kind of. Really, I'll take free, pretty windows, though.
Step 1... The obvious... Buy your window and paint. Remember, I started with this:
(I don't feel like labeling each step, so just read in order)
Clean that sucker up. Most likely, it's been used. It's been hit with all the elements. And probably not cleaned very often. The other side of my window was actually prettier, more evenly chippy. But, i'm sure it was the outside window, because the wood was coming off in chunks. I didn't take pictures of the cleaning process, that's boring, but there were a LOT a small paint and wood pieces everywhere. I quickly vacuumed it up. I was afraid of lead paint.
Go outside for this. It's spray paint. They card you for a reason. I didn't have any special drop cloth or anything. This was just an extra, unused cheapy plastic table cloth leftover from a birthday party. Mother Nature must've known I was about to use spray paint, because she decided then was a good time to make some wind.
Notice the more evenly painted/chippy side is what you see? That's because you have to spray on the opposite side of what you want mirrored. It says it on the can, but just in case you want to try to mirror something not clear, it probably won't work. At least not as reflective.
Spray a lot of really thin and light layers. It will hardly look like you're doing anything. I wanted a more aged look, so I had a spray bottle on mist to wet it a little on the edges. That kept the paint from sticking. So after a spray of paint, I dabbed it up with paper towels. I did the dabbing randomly around the edges after the first few layers of paint to make it look worn.
You can see some of the more worn (ie. less paint) look on the edges in this picture. This is after about 3 coats.
This is after I finished the can. Most tutorials I've read, and even the can said 5 coats of paint. I kept lifting it up to see the other side, and it was still see through, so I kept adding paint to try to make it more opaque.
Pumpkin wanted to watch me paint. She was checking on it here. She informed me that "it smells like toe paint!" meaning nail polish. I had to agree with this, only much much stronger. I wouldn't do this in a house.
Takes an hour to dry. That's it! So easy and fast! When held up so light can pass through to the other side, you can see through it. So I'm going to just spray paint the back with some solid paint to sort of seal it in and keep light from coming through. That should keep the mirror paint from scratching easily as well. But doesn't it look amazing and perfect and... ok.. getting off that horse again.
You can tell mine's much bigger and more dimensional, for potentially a major fraction of the price. In case you couldn't tell, I'm very happy with the outcome. Now, I have to start work on my other mantel so I can display it properly. This has to come down before the hurricane children come bounding down the stairs in the morning.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!