I’M SHARING 5 TIPS THAT WILL MAKE PAINTING YOUR FRAMED MIRRORS NICE AND EASY… AND YOU’LL GET PROFESSIONAL RESULTS EVERY TIME!
Over the years, I’ve painted countless framed mirrors. Vanity mirrors, mantel mirrors, dresser mirrors and stand up mirrors… and they all have one thing in common. The MIRROR makes them a challenge to paint!
I used to think the only way to get a professional result was to take the mirror out of the frame. This method works amazing (#4 on the list!) but can be annoying and time-consuming when working with older mirrors held in by hundreds of old school nails.
Today I’m sharing this full-length dressing mirror makeover along with my FAVORITE TOOL that makes painting frames with mirrors SUPER EASY!
If you use these simple tips, I guarantee you’ll get professional results every time! 🙂
Here’s what I started with. A full-length swivel dressing mirror.
Here’s the finished look…
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Dressing Mirror – SALVAGED
- Paint Brushes
- In The Navy
- WoodUBend Scrolls
- Razor Scraper Tool
- Painters Tape
HOW TO PAINT A MIRROR FRAME
Here are 5 easy tips to get professional results every time!
1. PAINTERS TAPE
Painters Tape is probably the most commonly used masking tool when painting mirror frames. The tape can be used on its own or if you’re feeling extra messy 😉 newspaper can also be added and taped down to cover more area or even the full mirror.
A painters tape trick is to lay down a piece of tape and slightly overlap it onto the frame. Using a craft knife or razor, cut off the excess tape using the frame as your guide. You will get a PERFECT masking every time.
Remove the excess cut portion of the tape and you’re ready to paint!
2. MASKING FLUID
I haven’t used masking fluid for mirrors but I’ve heard good things and it does work. It’s a fluid you brush on the mirror beside the frame. Once it dries, it creates a thin film that paint can’t penetrate. When you’re finished, it peels up like a piece of skin. Artists often use it on their canvas when they want the paint to resist and the white of the paper to show.
3. RAZOR SCRAPER ( My number one choice! )
Nick introduced me to this fabulous tool… a razor scraper! It’s what all his painting trades use to paint window frames, french doors, glass kitchen cabinets, etc. It’s a HUGE time saver because they don’t have time to mask off all the windows in every house they paint! It’s really easy to use but RAZOR SHARP… so use with care!
I paint the frame and right onto the mirror.
Once I’m finished painting, I take this razor scraper and scrape off the paint on the mirror. The paint comes off in ribbons (very easy!) and leaves a perfectly clean and professional look.
Here are a few other mirrors I’ve used the same technique on.
4. REMOVE MIRROR
Depending on how the mirror and frame are constructed and put together, removing the mirror works really well. I did this for many years. You can go crazy painting the frame and not have to worry about the mirror at all.
5. PETROLEUM JELLY RESIST
This is the exact same idea as I did with this distressing technique on this dresser back in 2015. You apply a little petroleum jelly onto the mirror right around the edge of the frame making sure not to get any on the frame. Paint and the petroleum jelly will resist the paint. This isn’t my favorite method because I find it messy to clean off the mirror afterward.
A few other questions I often get asked about is the prep and finishing of framed mirrors.
Prepping your framed mirror for paint is the same as when prepping your furniture for paint. Clean to remove dirt, dust, and oils. Sand lightly and/or add any appliques or adornments. If the mirror is going to bleedthrough, a coat of primer will be required.
Top coating / Sealing – Mirrors are low traffic items. It’s usually hang – forget – reflect. 😉 That said, when a framed mirror is attached to a dresser, I always topcoat with the same finish as the piece it’s attached to. If it’s a hanging mirror and you use a paint such as DB or Fusion ( a paint durable enough that doesn’t need a topcoat) you don’t need to worry about it.
- Mask it off with painters tape and/or newspaper
- Use a non-adhesive masking fluid
- Use a razor scraper
- Remove Mirror from the frame
- Apply petroleum jelly as a resist
I’d love to hear any tips you may have when painting framed mirrors!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR PAINTED MIRROR MAKEOVERS? I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU SO FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN. 🙂
Happy furniture painting my friends!
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PIN AND SHARE!
T. Barber says
Well my DIY mirror project is a fail and I wish I had arrived here before I painted the frame instead of after looking for a solution. The frame was white and I taped it and painted it a dark gray. I could see the paint seeping down below the tape in places at the bottom but husband said it should be ok. It’s not. I can see a reflection of the white backside of the frame and the reflection of the areas where it seeped. I think I might need to paint the mirror without the tape maybe to help with that situation. I hope that the fix other than tearing the whole mirror off the wall.
I love the Navy color you used on that mirror. Do you remember the color and brand? Thanks!
I sure do. It’s called “In The Navy” by Dixie Belle. 🙂
I have a lovely old scrolly mirror that I could not figure out how to get out of the frame. It was wood stain color. Masking it off was quite a project. Painted the mirror and removed the tape, looks great, but you can see the brown from the bottom (underside) of the frame. The mirror reflects it. The mirror really is covered nicely except under the fram next to the glass and this shows in the reflection in the mirror. Have you ever experienced this before and is there a work around? I often take all sorts of frames and furniture apart but can’t figure how to on this one. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Kathleen O’Neill says
Hello, I have a beautiful mirror that I believe is made with resin. I would like to change the color . Can it be spray painted ?
It sure can!
Jessica fullerton says
I use the tape overlay also but first I put newspaper over the mirror which is held in place by the tape. Then I spray paint with two thin coats. Very quick and easy.
Cecilia from Georgia says
Wow! I’m glad I read this after so many good tips were posted. I’ve never heard of liquid tape and when I clicked over to Amazon it was a bit pricey. Sounds great though. In response to the comments about scratching the mirror, I used your antiquing method to salvage a mirror. Good information from everyone!
I agree, it is a bit pricey! But supposedly works amazing. Glad you tried the antiquing method to salvage it… brilliant!
Mirrors are my favorite to paint and have done dozens of them literally. I have used all of your tips at one time or another. If there is a slight gap between the frame and mirror I just slide strips of newspaper under the frame protecting the mirror along with big pieces to cover the middle if I use spray paint. I also save plastic fruit containers & cut the flat parts into shapes to fit under the frame, they slide in & out easily & can be moved along as you paint with your brush. Really like your appliquées on the oval mirror.
I’ve seen some of your mirrors and they are GORGEOUS!… and I love your plastic fruit container tip! Have a great weekend my friend. XOXO
Peggi Rink Aitken says
Hi Denise, sorry I’m a week late in my post! I love the navy mirror with appliques and all the tips are great for my mirror project but I still have a couple questions. My mother in law gave us a large oval vintage mirror that she spray painted gold years ago. I’d like to bring back the gold but just as an accent using Dixie Belle gilding wax as I’ve seen you do.. I want to paint it in Fusion Raw Silk with minor distressing and brown wax. Do you recommend Citristrip first because of the spray paint? And if I use Citristrip first will it damage the mirror? Thanks for your help and all your beautiful inspirational pieces!
Hi Peggi! I would try giving it a light sanding and then applying the Fusion rather than stripping it down. You could always do a ‘test area’ on the back to make sure the Fusion is adhering properly before painting the entire frame. If you do strip off the existing gold, taking the mirror out of the frame is a good idea. 🙂
You do beautiful work! I truly enjoy your blog! I once didn’t have tape so I used Glad Press N Seal, used a x-acto knife to remove from sides. It worked, I’d do it again if I ran out of tape. Be well, Susie
I never thought of that…this is BRILLIANT Susie!
Mary Graves says
I have used Press N Seal on a few projects. One mirror took more time than I had intended and the Press N Seal left a honey comb sticky pattern. It was a little difficult to clean off. I would still use it but would caution not to leave it on too long.
What great tips! Wish I had read this 20 years ago…. I have this very mirror. 20 years back, I applied lace appliques to the top and bottom, just as you did with the WoodUBend, and then I painted it all a creamy white color. I still have it, but it could use a makeover – and now I know what to do to keep the paint off the mirror! Beautiful, Denise, as always!
A lot of people have this exact same mirror! I really like the sounds of what you did with yours. If you decide to restyle, have fun with it… I know it will look great. 🙂
Marie=Interior Frugalista says
Another stunning makeover my friend! I’m a painter’s tape girl and I’m definitely going to try your tape overlap and cut method. Thanks for the great tip! I’m like a bull in a china shop and have scratched a mirror or two with the scraper tool.
Thanks, Marie! The overlap and cut method works amazing… you’ll love it! 🙂
Hi Denise. Thank you for the tips on how to paint a mirror frame. I thought the only way to get a perfect finish was to completely remove the mirror from the frame. Next time I’ll try one of your tips/tricks:). Love how this standing mirror looks painted navy blue, and the WoodUBend accents really compliment the oval shape. Beautiful makeover as always.
Thanks so much, Monique! And if you give these tips a try, I’d love to hear how they work out for you. 🙂
Beautiful as always Denise! Thanks for your tips! – Nicki
My pleasure! Thanks Nicki! XOXO
Very helpful tips! If you were to spray paint the frame, does the razor trick work to remove that type of paint? Also, I have a mirror that has a metal frame with very intricate detail and I’ve been trying to figure out how to embellish it or change it up. Would it be possible to send you photos of it to get your advice, Denise? Thanks!!
It sure does! And you can always wet the glass before using the razor scraper if you’re worried about scratches. And for sure. Feel free to email me, Jeannie!:)
Great tip on cutting the tape and can be used for many projects like glass door hutches, entry doors and more. I will be painting a mirror shortly and will definitely be using this taping technique 🙂 Thanks once again for sharing your expertise, creativity and talents. They are always appreciated
Thanks, Sharon and have fun with your mirror project! 🙂
Playing cards tucked into the frame are a great trick when painting around glass nothing to scrape or tape the paint gets on the cards ! 🙂
Playing cards!!!!! Love this!
Kristy Lane says
I just refinished a mirror. To get the look I was wanting, I sanded the frame prior to painting. I taped it off with painters tape but somehow still ended up scratching the mirror in several places. Do you have any idea how to repair or lessen the appearance of the scratches without replacing the mirror all together?
Hmmm, great question Kristy. I remember working on a client’s mirror and scratched it up.😐 I had to replace the entire piece… so it happens and I get how frustrating it can be. I haven’t tried repairing or lessening the damage but I did find this article for youI did find this article for you. Hopefully, it’s helpful. If any of these tips work, I’d LOVE to hear back!
KRISTY LANE says
Thank you so much for the link. The toothpaste didn’t work but I’ll try the other suggestions. I’m thinking the best solution is to replace the mirror but, if I do that, I’m sure to make my “great” bargain find not so “great”.
My pleasure. Hopefully one of them will work for you. 🙂 To keep your great bargain great, is it possible to find a replacement mirror at a thrift store? I’ve cut mirrors to size with a glass cuttercut mirrors to size with a glass cutter. The tool is usually under $10usually under $10
Oh my goodness! Painting that mirror took the “cheap” away! Beautiful job as always!
…’took the cheap away’… love this…lol.