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DIY: "zinc" mirror

There's something about crusty old zinc mirrors that stop me in my tracks.  The price tag, on the other hand, does not.  So I decided to try my hand at reinventing a wooden mirror I got at World Market a few years ago (to sit on my fireplace just until my wooden sunburst mirror from Ballard arrives!)  I'm thrilled with how it turned out:

To start, I used 100-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the wood, then brushed on a coat of this mighty primer:

Once it was completely dry, I lightly sanded again.  Next, I brushed on a coat of Martha Stewart's Metallic paint in Quayside.  I absolutely LOVE this color; I could have just stopped after this step, but I really wanted to get some dark and light color variations, so I bought some Folk Art's Glazing Medium (which I found at AC Moore):

To get the lighter variations, I mixed 1 part white paint (leftover from previous projects) with 1 part glazing medium.  I added a few drops of water to thin it out a bit.  Using a clean, white cloth, I wiped it onto the frame, blending it in in some spots and roughly smudging it onto other parts. 

For the darker variations, I did the same as the previous step, mixing 1 part black paint with 1 part glazing medium and a few drops of water.  Just like above, I wiped it all over in random spots. 

Last, but not least, I smudged plain white paint in random areas to really give it the "chalky" appearance that zinc gets over the years. Finally, I rubbed a little Minwax Paste Wax for protection.  I'm super pleased with how it looks:

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Reader Comments (6)


OH MY GOODNESS! Class, elegance, genuine taste head to baby toes! We must talk, I am taking over my townhouse this Summer and need your eyes and design. I especially l o v e this dining room table featured on the page. I have been a lil busy myself, can't wait to catch up and, as always, give that big strappin man a good 'ole girl NY hug for me.

Talk soon!


April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Potts

Your mirror looks awesome! Such a great finish. I love faux metal finishes. I've done a couple and I love the way they turn out. Here is a faux zinc one I did : Green Willow Pond

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

I stumbled across this article and was thrilled to see you mention a metallic paint. I needed a mirror for a new bathroom addition to our home and wanted to re-purpose one I had. I wanted a metallic silver to enhance a gold edged old "home interiors" mirror so I used the Martha Stewart Thundercloud color and left the inside and outside edges gold. I am so pleased and it looks so perfect for my white and gray bath with gold/brass accents. I could not be happier and had no idea where to look for metallic paint. Thanks so much for the idea!!!!!

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Mimi - your mirror sounds beautiful; I'm so excited to hear it turned out so well and that you were able to find a color you loved!

September 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterKelly Stivers

I love your paint treatment on this mirror but I had one that Home Depot doesn't carry Martha Stewart paint would
you have an matching base paint color in another brand? I think I want to try this combo on a piece this weekend! Thanks so much and I
always love your posts.

October 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

Thank you, Beth! I actually re-did this post to include completely different paint colors. It's under DIY; here is the link:

Best of luck, I hope you love it!

October 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterKelly Stivers

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