We created a DIY distressed mirror table top for an outdoor table that we got for free.
Based on our love of the outdoors, we have been inspired to create functional, comfortable and a tad bid whimsical/dreamy spaces outside on our back patio and our front porch where Brent and I can enjoy time outside together eating, reading or in Brent’s case, napping. We have a porch swing on one side of our front porch that is my absolute favorite to sit and swing during Houston rain storms.
On the other side we purchased two adirondack chairs to go with an outdoor coffee table that was give to us. The chairs match the table perfectly and the table is really nice, the only problem was that the glass top had broken and been removed (hence why the table was given to us free of charge).
For almost a year now we have had this table with no top. And a table with no top is not very useful. Which brings us to today’s project, a DIY distressed mirror table top.
We used a piece of left over mirror from our bathroom mirror cutting project as the top (to replace the glass) for our porch table. Brent distressed it to make the mirror appear worn and dull and it turned out so cool!
Here is how we received the table. It was in great condition and all it needed was a piece of glass. Score! That should be easy. Or so we thought. We could not find a piece of 1/4″ plate glass for less than a new table would cost.
Then, while Brent was working on framing the mirrors he had the genius idea to cut a piece of the left over mirror from the bathroom to use as the table top.
We decided to age the mirror because we thought a normal mirror might be a little too “glam” and not fit with the style of the frame of the table and distressing the mirror created a unique look that is be more unified with our other furniture on the porch.
- Paint Stripper (we used Tuff-Strip)
- Chemical resistant rubber gloves (for the muriatic acid)
- Muriatic Acid
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Paper Towels
- Scrap Wood
- Spray Paint (oil-rubbed bronze, gold, black)
How We Created Our DIY Distressed Mirror Table Top
1. We decided to use some scrap cardboard (old moving box) as our work surface for this messy project. It is thick enough to stop spills from quickly penetrating through to the surface below and cheap enough to recycle/throw away after.
2. The back of mirrors are coated with a layer of paint that protects the mirror finish. To age the mirror we first removed this paint to expose the mirror coating. To do this we liberally coated the surface with paint thinner and let it sit until the paint started to loosen and bubble.
**Brent almost learned an important lesson the hard way when the wind started to pick up and blow the paint stripper. He started the project 3 feet from his relatively new car. The paint stripper we used is unforgiving so we quickly moved somewhere more remote protected from the wind.
3. With gloves on, Brent was able to easily scrape off all the paint with a scrap piece of wood and expose the mirror finish. We learned why old mirrors turn shades of gold when they deteriorate. The back side of the mirror, hidden by paint, was reflective gold instead of silver.
4. With the back side of the mirror clean and dry, Brent put on chemical resistant gloves and loaded the spray bottle with muriatic acid.
NOTE: Always use extreme caution when working with muriatic acid! It can burn you and corrode/destroy a lot of materials. After about 10-20 seconds of sitting on the surface, the areas we sprayed became totally see through. It is easier to spray some areas and then wipe them clean and keep going more until you reach the desired finish.
You can always remove more mirror finish but you can’t put it back.
5. The mirror was now transparent where Brent sprayed the acid.
6. To create a more complex finish, Brent started coating the mirror with an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and wiped some areas away. We didn’t want the mirror to be gold where it wasn’t silver.
Most antique mirrors we have come seen have had various shades of black, gray, gold and silver. So Brent started with the oil-rubbed bronze and wiped areas clean that helped it have a more authentic look.
7. Once the oil-rubbed bronze had time to dry, Brent coated the entire mirror with gold spray paint. The gold paint is only visible in areas where he wiped away the oil-rubber bronze paint.
8. Finally, Brent coated the back of the mirror with black spray paint to protect the rear of the mirror like the original gray coating. After it dried, he used the existing clips to attach the mirror to the table.
One of my favorite things about our home is our front porch. When we were house shopping and walked up to this house and I saw our front porch for the first time I was pretty much sold on buying the house and I hadn’t even seen the inside yet. I just fell in love with the porch and all the potential I could see it had. This table with a DIY distressed mirror table top is the perfect addition to it.
I loved styling this little area of the patio by adding a rug and a new planter with hydrangeas, my favorite! I love how this space turned out. It makes for the best spot to sit and have long conversations analyzing the latest Survivor episode.
We used this distressed mirror for our table top but we imagine there are tons of applications for this. Have you distressed a mirror? We would love to know how you decorated with it. Please share your ideas in the comments section.
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