Mirror, Mirror…

mirror, mirror, mirror, mirrors on the wall.  Ever since we hung our big ‘ole painting of the Grecian (Italian?) shoreline up on the wall, I’ve been dreaming of flanking it with some mirrors.  I mean, we’re talking dreaming for awhile now considering it’s been on that particular wall for several months.  The living room is the darkest room in the house and recently it got a little darker thanks to a big something I’ll disclose a little later (hold your horses!), so we needed some major help in the light reflection area.  Enter these mirrors, perfect for bouncing light off the opposite french doors to lighten up the space:IMG_2628I found them at Dirt Cheap last month for $2.50 each, which I thought was a pretty darn good deal since the cheapest I’ve been able to find in all my searching over the past few months was $3.00 for some square mirrors.  They measure 8” x 10” so I only needed three on each side to line up with the frame and still have a little room for spacing.  As you can see in the picture above, I got them up onto the wall (using my handy-dandy picture hanger) but just so I could get the nails in the wall to make life easier on myself since I was planning on taking them back down to paint before we called anything ‘done’.

And paint them I did:IMG_7640

I also repainted the big painting’s frame too but I’ll get to that in a second.

Before painting and re-hanging though, I needed to remove the kickstands on the back so that they’d sit flush with the wall.  Basically I ripped them off carefully, wiggling them from side to side so that the metal at the top of the kickstand bent and eventually broke.  Then I just popped out the plugs/screws from the other side of the black backing.

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I took each frame off the wall one-by-one to remove the kickstand and paint so I could make sure I marked exactly where it went so I wouldn’t forget.  I just silver-sharpied a little map onto the back of each frame-backing like so:
IMG_2629Make sense?  So this one went in the bottom right corner…

First I primed them with some white Kilz primer I had on hand using a small, flat paintbrush.IMG_2630
I put on two coats because I was going to paint them with leftover wall paint from the living room, and if you remember correctly, the coverage on that was not the best.  So more primer = less bad paint.  The mirror on the left has one coat of primer on it; the mirror on the right has two:
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The primer dried quickly so I was able to paint them during the same nap time and then hang them back up later that night.

I’m not done with them quite yet though.  I was hoping to show you a final, finished picture but last week didn’t give me enough time to hash out a plan and execute.  I’m planning on adding some trellis detail to each one to liven them up a little using this pin and this pin as inspiration.  You know what to do, right?  #staytuned

Now, onto the big frame.  The distressed cream-color looks great with the painting itself (and on red walls), but on white walls, not so much.  It just looked dirty to me against the clean white.  Painting it would help fix that and then allow me to fix one of the corners that wasn’t cut exactly to size.  IMG_2652
All I had to do was fill that little gap in with some spackle, let it dry, wipe it smooth, and I was good to paint right over it.  Gap-no-more.

I ended up slapping more of the white living room paint onto the frame and then taking some sandpaper (plus the palm sander when I got lazy) to it.  I’m not really into distressed stuff that much but sometimes when you paint something with a lot of detailed edges one color, like this frame, it can look fake and plastic real quick like.  Distressing pulled the light wood out from underneath and also helps it stand out a little more against the wall behind it.

Here’s what it looked like post-paint and distress:
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Then, I got a little crazy and a little nervous by trying a little experiment – adding a thin coat of stain to the flat, recessed area on the inner part of the frame.  Anthony was already a little sad I was painting the frame so when I told him about this plan he gave me the whole eyebrow raise and “Oh man, I can’t watch” thing. 

I used a Minwax wood stain in Special Walnut.  I LOVE this color.  It’s not orange at all (I’m not a fan of orange-hued stains) and has a slight gray hue to it.  Perfect.IMG_2661

Using a paintbrush that was just as wide as the recess, I painted one thin coat inside that recess and that was it!  It took a few hours for the stain to fully dry since I didn’t wipe any excess off when I was done and I love the way it turned out…and so does Anthony, ha!  Because I distressed that area too, some of the stain fell onto the wood beneath creating a very imperfect effect.  No plastic or fake frame look here!IMG_2662

I can’t wait to add the trellis detail to the mirrors but so far, I’m loving how much the mirrors and new paint add to this whole space.

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This is what it looked like a few months ago:
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It’s coming along!  Did you notice we recovered the ottoman?  The rug never photographs well but the ottoman and the rug don’t fight so much with this green.  The same green is in the rug and I think once I get the cranberry off those chairs, it’ll meld in even more.

I know the loveseat looks a little awkward without one arm but right now, it’s there because having the sectional there just isn’t very functional as far as the kids easily getting to their little play corner.  So, there it sits for now.  I wish I could crop out those chairs too…the color is killing me.  I think I’ve just scooped up enough ambition I need to reupholster them myself though so, even thought it probably won’t happen until well after this baby girl is born, I can’t wait to slap some patterned fabric on them and even change up the look by adding square arms instead.  I’ll have more details on my thoughts later.

I could go on and on about plans but I’ll leave that to another post.

.           .           .

I hope you all have a wonderful (but not too wonderful) Lent.  It’s such a great season to groom ourselves; to toss out the bad and bring in more good.  This post from Jenny today was just what I needed to start off this time.  I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.  :)

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