What To Do?

I could have sworn I blogged this already but apparently I have not. I need to eat more blueberries. My memory is lacking. But you have to eat over a cup a day, or something like that, for the benefit. I would be like that chick from Willy Wonka.

Anyway, I picked up this mirror at an estate sale a week or so ago. It was sitting near the check out and I spotted it at the last minute. I know, it’s a mess.


The silver is peeling off but the frame alone was worth it to me. I was actually looking for a larger frame to go around my canvas print. This isn’t big enough for that but I still had to grab it.


So, any ideas how I can help this old girl out? The mirror, not me. I sort of like the old worn mirrored finish but I don’t know how to treat the backing. Maybe I should have cleaned it off before I showed you. This is how I bought it. After I rip off all that brown paper then what should I do? What should I back it with so that it peaks out where the mirror has worn off? I’d love some ideas on this one.


I could always chuck the mirror and just use the frame but thought I’d give it a go first and see how it turns out.  Am I crazy? Should I just scrape it all off? Should I try to save some of that old mirror finish? I'm afraid once I remove the paper that all of it will just flake off anyway.


Okay, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Don’t be shy. I’ll take any and all ideas.

see ya,



  1. Anita, First of all I would be very careful around this flaking mirror. It is obviously very old and may contain mercury or lead. The fact that it is flaking is what makes this tricky.
    Rather that take a chance I would discard the mirror, very carefully, and replace it with another mirror or subject matter. I think new mirror is available that has that old mottled look.
    Don't mean to scare, just want to you safe.
    Hugs, Ginger

  2. Anita, If it was my mirror I would leave it alone--I love everything chippy and shabby! Check with web sites, other bloggers and even paint stores to see how to seal the flaking without discoloring it. Backing the mirror with a black paper liner (or paint for mirror backs) will keep your final backing from showing through. I think it is stunning the way it is and the only thing I would change is maybe paint (heirloom white) and then age the frame with glaze or stain. Good luck and please show us what you end up doing with it! I am anxious to see...

  3. Hi Anita... I love the chippy look too though I think I would try to scrape off all the peely stuff, maybe with a credit card... Then there is this spray paint by Krylon that is called Looking Glass, it does look like an old mirror when you're finished. Maybe if you left on some of the old and sprayed the rest with the spray paint you'd get a cool old look
    without the peely stuff. That's what I'd do :) Susan @ homeroad
    Good Luck!

  4. Hi Anita~ I love the mirror as it is too- but it all depends on the look you love. As far as cleaning it off, I have no idea how to fix it or if you should scrape it off or anything either- maybe just replace it. It might be easier than messing with it. I love the frame too- how gorgeous!! :)

  5. I am currently looking for a gorgeous frame to make a pinboard for my office. So I am going to suggest you chuck the mirror, spray the frame, and *send it to me*. Or you could keep it if you really want :)
    It really is a gorgeous frame!

    Suzy xxx

  6. Hey Anita....!

    I HOPE youre Hubby managed to make a decent pot this morning.... :o) !!

    Your frame is GORGEOUS....My way of thinking is that there's a line between gentle decay & beyond repair....I reckon the mirror will continue to flake & may as Ginger noted, contain some 'nasties'....!

    I'd be inclined to ditch the mirror & either use the frame for another purpose or if you have another vintage mirror, have it cut to size to fit....??

    Can't wait to see what you end up doing....!!

    Cheers for now Lovey,
    Tamarah :o)

  7. Morning!

    My vote would be to get rid of the mirror. It looks like it might chip/ peel even more down the road. I've heard of "Looking Glass" mirrored spray by Krylon but I don't think it would work on this...probably end up with a big mess. Don't mean to sound negative but just my opinion. I think it's a gorgeous frame. I think you could do a lot with it. Paint/glaze it and use it open. Make a chalkboard or replace the mirror with another one.
    Good luck! Can't wait to see what you do!
    Have a nice Sunday!
    Michelle :)

  8. The first thing I see is the frame. No mirrow. Painted white and the little beading(?) painted dark blue. And those 4 corner thingy's painted gold. Don't ask, I just see it in my head.

  9. Oh I love it just the way it is. I would put a black backing on it and let the mirror part shine through. Hugs, marty

  10. Ask Linda over on Facebook....she just did a mirror collage that came out great...I'll have her send you a friend link...she deals with antiques all the time and knows a lot. Maybe you know her already. She doesn't have a blog but reads all of ours!! LOL! She's a gem. Also, she has an antique shop, too!

    Good luck. At the very least you have a gorgeous frame!!!


  11. I think the frame is beautiful and that decayed mirror look is quite popular and gorgeous.

  12. What a gorgeous find, Anita! That frame is beautiful! You could always decoupage pages from old vintage sheet music or old books. That would look neat. Or, you could get rid of the mirror all together and turn it into a chalkboard! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  13. I would decoupage vintage music or other ephemera to the back and then seal it to add dimension

  14. Maybe try some looking glass paint on some of it? I think some fabric showing through parts would look great, too. I'd just lightly spray some of it and go a little heavier in other parts, then put some fabric behind it and see how it looks. It's a great old mirror!

  15. Provence (color) Chalk Paint... that color would look wonderful on this frame. Then put on a wax... very distressed. love it!
    Good luck

  16. You have some wonderful suggestions here! I agree, even though I love the look of the flakey mirror, you just don't know what it is made of and looks a bit beyond repair. I love the looking glass paint ALOT!!! I can't wait to see what you do with this gorgeous frame!!

  17. If you can get enough silvering to stick to the mirror papering the back with aged sheet music or old letters (in french if possible) would be really cool.
    Love your new piece, mirror or not, I know you will make it look beautiful!

  18. i was going to say exactly what whytney said- decoupage something to the back of it in the open spots, like old letters, sheet music, or old newspaper... anything like that!

  19. Wow, that's a tough one.. on the one hand, the distressed-look mirror definitely has potential, but as some of the other posts mentioned I might be a little nervous of what material it could be made from. On the other hand, the frame is a sure thing! I know I'd personally hate to scrap the mirror, but it might be the safest route. :(

  20. Hi Anita, Check out what Courtney does with mirrors like this one on Vintage Revival. She had some of them on her appearance on the Nate Berkus show. She puts beautiful fabrics in behind and it looks amazing!


  21. I agree with Kolein... ask Linda... they work with old mirrors all the time!! Love the worn look and if I'm thinking right about what you were saying... your piece peeking through the worn mirror? would look great!!


  22. Anita... just checked out Vintage Revival from Sandra's comment... wow... gorgeous!!

  23. Hi Anita...this is incredible. I would leave the frame just the way it is and perhaps replace the mirror. I know old, or should I say vintage, things are really popular but this looks a little dangerous! Can't wait to see what you finally do with it. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm following you now...~Ann

  24. If it would be safe, Anita, maybe you could find copies of historical documents that are important to you and have them peeking through those spots...

  25. Mandi over at Vintage Revivals has an entire tutorial on just this! She actually takes the silver off the back on purpose (step 1, already done for you!) and then adheres fabric so that you can see the print through the spaces...it's really so beautiful...then she hangs it more like art instead of like a mirror...I think that's what you should do...;) Ooops! Just saw that someone else posted the same idea! Well, great minds, I guess...;)

  26. I've been looking at all the suggestions and wonder if there is anything you need to be cautious of with the chipping areas. I think I'd contact a professional for advice on this one.

    That frame is really beautiful, I love the finish and can't wait to see what becomes of it.

  27. I don't have any ideas for this but many others do, I see. You asked about my frames in my blog and I have bought them
    there is very nice templates you can buy:)


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