How To Make A New Bathroom Mirror Look Like An Antique

Posted on: 21 January 2015

Whether you're restoring an old house or just like the look of a beautiful antique mirror, sometimes your best option is to purchase a new bathroom mirror and make it look like an antique. Here are some tips for accomplishing a great antique look in your bathroom without the hassle of finding an authentic antique mirror.

Buy the Right Style

First, decide what era you're going for in your bathroom decor. You won't want to install a medicine cabinet in a bathroom you're hoping to make look a hundred years old, because mirrored medicine cabinets didn't come into vogue until well after the turn of the century. Mirrors that fit turn of the century style, which is really in right now, are often oval or rectangular with ornate frames, and were often mounted directly onto the wall above a sink (or a pitcher and ewer, if your home is really old). Some of these styles are still available today.

Protect Yourself

Muriatic acid is used to erode parts of the mirror so you can add antiqued finishes to it, but it is harmful if you inhale large amounts of it, if it splashes in your eyes, or if you get it on your skin. You'll need a ventilation mask, chemical resistant gloves, and splash proof goggles.

Strip the Mirror Down

The first step is to remove the glass from the frame. Use care, because breaking the mirror will mean you have to start all over.

The next thing you're stripping is the paint protecting the silvered finish on the back of the mirror. Spray aerosol pain stripper onto the back of the mirror and set it aside. Follow the manufacturer's directions for duration. The point is to remove all of the paint, exposing the finish. Scrape the paint away with a putty knife.

Start the Antiquing Process

Pour the muriatic acid into a plastic spray bottle by using a plastic funnel. Spray it on lightly around the edges of your mirror, which is where antique mirrors show the most wear. Leave it on for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a cotton rag.

Paint the Frame

The last step before reassembly is to paint the frame in an antique color. This is simple; just use a bottle of spray paint. You can usually find a color with the word "antique" in the color title, gold is often a good choice.


After everything is dry, slide the newly antiqued mirror back into the frame and mount it. You're done!

This simple process can add a lot of character to your home. Are you ready to get started?


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