Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Imperfect Wall Mirror

Have you ever thought to yourself, "That project looks pretty easy.  I could get that done today"?   That's what I said to myself after I saw the tutorial at Salvage Savy showing how to make an antiqued mirror that props up against the wall (despite the warning in the tutorial that this is not easy).  I thought I would get it done before Mr. Jones got home from work.  It has been 3 months since I started the project.  Not done yet.

I was going to blog about this project when I was done, but I saw that Nester is having an "It's Not Perfect But It's Beautiful" party, so I thought I would show you my mirror in all its imperfect glory (The other reason I'm doing this today is that I should be studying for a biology test.  Perfect day to blog).
I thought a mirror that goes above the sideboard would look better than 1 or 2 that stood against the wall, so that was my plan.  Let the problems begin:  Supplies at my Lowe's were more expensive than planned.  MDF board was way too heavy to hang on the wall, so the guy at Lowe's told me to get a thinner board despite me telling him it had to be strong enough to hold mirrors (The people at Lowe's "helping" me that day thought I was crazy and didn't try to hide that fact).  Turns out, the board he told me to get was not only too floppy to hold mirrors, but warped in light speed.  Mr. Jones told me we should just bolt the board to the wall, and then put the mirrors on the board.  The problem with that was that he would have to do something special to the board so the screws would go into the wood and the mirrors would be flush.  I absolutely did not want to glue the mirrors to the wall.  Add to all that, the fact that antiquing mirrors is a real pain in the butt.  There is a learning process, and it will not turn out exactly the way  you want.  Imperfect by nature.  Then tiles crack, chip and break because your kid threw a pillow on it (not because I left it on the living room floor for 3 months).
A week ago I was deciding whether to throw it all away or get it done.  I really want a mirror over the sideboard, so I chose the latter.  Then I had a great idea:  Hang foam board on the wall instead of the wood.  The screws just go right into it, so it's flat, and it is really light.  So I bought the foam board and screwed that sucker into the wall.  Then I tried to use the special mirror glue to start gluing the mirrors on.  I couldn't get it to come out of the bottle.  As I'm jamming on the stupid thing and trying to force it out, I keep seeing all these "WARNING: EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE" notices all over the bottle.  Just what I need to do is blow myself up trying to beat the glue out of a bottle.
So I grabbed some of those 3M tabs from my laundry room and put those on the mirror.  Purely by accident, they happened to be velcro.  This was truly incredible, because I can now pull the tiles off and stick them back on.  The first row of mirrors were a little crooked, so I ripped them off and stuck them on. 
This is what the back of a tile looks like.
There are some tiles I truly need to replace, but some of them have chips or scratches and I'm just going to use them anyway.  After all, they're antiqued, right?
Some tiles are a little too antiqued for me, but I'm still using them.  The one on the right is actually a little darker in the photo.  With the tiles that are too spotty for my liking, I sprayed the back with a silvery-gold spray paint instead of black so it looks a bit mellower.

If you are wondering why there is a towel jammed between the sideboard and the wall, I did that in case the 3M wasn't strong enough and the tiles fell off the wall.  I didn't want my dogs to get their heads chopped off while napping.

So that's it.  The project is almost finished because I have a few more tiles to fix up, but it's looking good.  We may even frame it some day.  But maybe not.
Here the link to Nester's party if you want to stop by there.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board of mirrors if you want to see that.
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