How to Turn Ordinary Glass into an Antique Mirror

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

I have a thing about doors.  If you’ve been around very long, you know that already.  It’s weird.

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I love doors, I hate doors.  I’ve taken them down.  I’ve put them up.  I’ve even collected a random assortment of them for decoration purposes.

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But today, I want to tell you about one door in particular.

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

I bought this door three years ago from a local “junk store” that I frequent.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but when I saw it, I had to have it.  I actually bought another one just like it a few weeks after that, but that’s another door story for another day.

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So I got it home and it sat in my garage for a while while I decided its fate.

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I thought about having a large mirror cut to replace the glass panel in this old door to make it a floor mirror.  But I hated to throw perfectly good glass away, so I did some research and found a way to turn regular glass into a mirror simply with spray paint.  I was skeptical, but it worked awesome!  And it was SO EASY.  I’ll show you how 🙂

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I have to tell you that I completed this project YEARS ago, so I don’t have pictures of me actually painting the door.  But I have “reenacted” the EXACT same process on some small glass picture frames.  The process is exactly the same.  You can do this on picture frame glass, old doors with glass, old windows with glass, and even glass jars.

You will need:

Glass you want to turn into a mirror (for this example, I used picture frames with glass inserts)

Glass cleaner (I used Windex) and rag

Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

1. Clean the glass

I removed the glass panels from the frames and cleaned them with Windex.  For my door mirror, I did NOT remove the glass panel, but just cleaned it in its place. I put the glass jar in here because I was going to spray it, then changed my mind.  Just ignore that.

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

2. Spray paint the glass

I really don’t know how much simpler it gets.  You literally spray paint the glass and that’s it.  The only thing you have to remember here is that you MUST SPRAY THE BACK SIDE OF THE GLASS.  For my frame glass, it doesn’t matter because both sides are the same, but if you are spraying a door and you didn’t remove the glass panel, make sure to spray paint the BACK SIDE, not the front.  Once the paint is on, it’s the reverse side that is actually mirrored.

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

The can says it will take 5 coats.  When I did my door mirror, I could still see through it after 5 coats.  I went with 7-8 coats.  I used a little over two cans for the door.

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You will get MUCH better results if you let each coat dry well before recoating.  If you still see splotches like the picture above, don’t recoat yet–I mean, you CAN, but it won’t look as good.

3. Admire your new mirror

Once you have all your coats done and it’s dry, flip it over and check it out!  It won’t be a perfect mirror (you probably wouldn’t want to do this for a bathroom mirror or anything), but it’s surprisingly really good for spray paint.  It actually looks like an antique mirror, which is even better!

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I placed my glass back in the frame and took a picture to show you the mirror effect.

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

But here is a much nicer picture of the door mirror:

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

I used this same method on an old window years ago after I finished this door.  Yes that’s me and my camera in the mirror….

How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

I am sorry that I don’t have actual pictures of when I did my door mirror, but that was at least a year before I even knew what a blog was!  But whatever you are turning into a mirror, the process is so easy and is the same whether it’s a huge door, or a tiny picture frame glass.

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Such an easy project 🙂  What do you guys think?  Will you try it?

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How to turn ordinary glass into an antique mirror!

Stay tuned for a fun build coming next week, but until then, happy DIYing!

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    Christina in FL
    January 6, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Shara, this is completely ah-MAZ-ing! I love how you have given this door (and window) new life!! It looks great and I am SO glad you didn’t paint either the door or the window. Total character blitz! :)))
    Thanks for your tips!!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Reply
    Cecilia
    January 6, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I like it! And yes, I think I will try it. I like the antique effect. Very cool!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Awesome! Glad you liked it!

  3. Reply
    I, J, K and Noel
    January 6, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Yea! This is great! One question: can you see thru the back to front?

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thanks! And no, once you get several coats on it, you can’t really see through it from either direction. But, I do recommend using more coats than the can says (I used 7-8, but the can said 5) because I could still see through it a little bit after just 5 coats.

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