Image for article titled How to Make a Cheap Mirror Look Like an Expensive Antique

Photo: Yury Asotov (Shutterstock)

Mirrors are a timeless piece of home decor, and for good reason. Not only can they make smaller rooms appear larger and enhance the natural light in a room, they also fit seamlessly into almost any interior design style.

However, mirrors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patinas. And while a brand new mirror from a big store may work in your modern mid-century guest room, you might want one that looks like it lived a little bit for your boho Victorian living room.

But try too, you can’t find a mirror in your local thrift stores that looks old enough. However, there are plenty of newer mirrors available at very affordable prices. Instead of continuing your search, grab one of these (or even a mirrorless picture frame) and turn it into the vintage mirror of your dreams. Here’s how to do it.

How to make a new mirror look old

When it comes to making a new mirror look like an expensive antique, there are two components to consider: the mirror itself and the frame. It all depends on personal preference. You might want a very neat antique mirror where the mirrored surface looks basically new but the frame looks old.

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Or maybe you don’t care what the frame looks like but want the mirror to look like it has been in a basement or barn for decades, showing its age. Or maybe you haven’t found a mirror at all, but you found a picture frame that you think would make a great antique mirror.

Well, regardless of your preferences and what you work with, you’ve come to the right place. You can find complete step-by-step instructions for each process here.

How to make the frame look old

There are enough of techniques to the aging Frame. But if you’re looking for the classic antique gold frame look, Trisha Sprouse at Hunker suggests painting the frame with gold gilding wax. To make it look even older, you can add a light layer. Instruct dark wax polish on top of the gold wax and make sure you get into the corners, cracks and crevices.

How to make the mirror look old

Aging the mirror itself is a little more complicated, however this post on The Navage Patch guides you through each step (including helpful photos). Warning: these are chemicals. They also share a technique of painting the frame, but the end result doesn’t really look old or does not match the new (old) patina of the mirror.

How to turn a picture frame into an old looking mirror

Let’s say you’ve found the perfect antique frame, but it’s a picture frame, not a mirror. This is not a problem. By doing same post on Hunker, Sprouse walks you through the process of turning any picture frame – with a glass or plastic front – into a mirror that looks like a family heirloom. She demonstrates how to do this using an IKEA picture frame with a plastic front.