The other day, I was browsing at (where else?) Pottery Barn, looking for outdoor inspiration. I did get some good ideas that I will soon start working on, but my eye also caught this Mirror Mat Frame that I really liked. I’ve seen all kind of mats: of course colored cardboard, but also plain glass, linen or patterned fabric and many others. But not mirror. On my way back home I did think of a couple of ways to make my own frame with a mirror mat, but none seemed to be affordable solution. And then, I remembered this Mirror-Like Spray Paint that I had bought back in Christmas from the hardware store and which I didn’t have the chance to use.
I also bought a wooden frame with a glass for a lot less than I had even hoped for. It was in a rather bad condition, but for the price…I would make it work!
I turned the glass that came with the frame into a mirror, by just spray-painting it. However, before starting spraying, I had to cover a space in the center of the glass with painter’s tape. That part would remain clear glass and that was where my picture would go.
So, I placed a Post-it note that was 2 mm shorter than my picture on all sides, in the center of the glass (measuring is the fast way to get it in the exact center), turned the glass Post-it side down,
and applied painters’ tape on the opposite side, using the Post-it note as a guide. I was extra careful to make all four edges straight and all four corners sharp.
Then, I discarded the yellow note and spray-painted the whole surface with the Mirror Like Paint on the painters’ tape side. I did about six thin layers, with 20 minutes intervals in between (follow instructions). The mirror side of the glass is not what you spray, but the opposite side. So if you think that it’s not coming along, wait till you’re done with all layers.
After having sprayed the final layer, I removed the painters tape, let it dry completely and positioned my picture in the rectangular space that was left unsprayed, just like a regurlar mat.
To make a perfect rectangular, I could also have used the carton mat that was inside the frame. However, its opening for the picture was a little too big, leaving a smaller area for the mirror effect. I thought that more mirror and a smaller picture would be cooler! Without the carton mat or the Post-it note, it would have been really hard to apply the painters’s tape straight and centered, just by measuring.
I also spray painted the wooden frame in a glossy black to match my inspiration, and put the frame back together. I kept the carton mat that came with the frame for some other use.
Here you can see the mirror-like effect better!
And here, even better! The spray paint looks like a real mirror!
No need to make a trip to the store for a black and white picture. I already had a colored one that I like and just photocopied it at home. Who would know that my beautiful picture is only regular paper?
This picture takes me back a few years ago when my sister Irene with her family visited from overseas. Here, my niece, nephew and son at The Getty in Los Angeles, playing with umbrellas provided by the museum to protect ourselves from the unbearable heat!
The painted frame came out beautifully, too! Nice and shiny, and as it was not in a good condition to start with, it has that weathered look that I would pay a lot to get! The corners of the mat around the picture are nice and straight. I re-positioned my painter’s tape a couple of times to make sure that I had four perfect 90-degree angles.
Here are the ones I saw at Pottery Barn:
And here is mine:
The ones I saw at Pottery Barn cost from $39 to $49, depending on the size. To make mine, I spent $2 for the frame and $9,99 for the spray, but I have more than half the spray left to use for another project. I would assume that I used about $4 worth of spray, totaling to about $6 for the whole project. At that price, I wouldn’t even get a cardboard mat frame, but I now have a wooden frame with a mirror mat!
The wooden frame would also look nice if painted in any other color. White would also be a good alternative but how about a bright color, too? It can be placed either horizontally or vertically and looks just as nice on the wall with other like frames or on a table. The exterior glass/mirror part can be cleaned with a regular glass cleaner, as it’s not the side that was sprayed.