A common question facing most of us who rehab furniture is whether or not to keep an attached mirror with a piece. I’ve written about this a few times. A dresser can be so much more versatile without a mirror. It can become a TV stand, a buffet, a kitchen island, etc. Once you put the mirror back on, it becomes a piece that is really just suited for a bedroom. A vanity without its mirror can become a desk. If you have a large room, you can place it back to back with a sofa that floats in the room.
Sometimes the mirror is what gives a piece its personality, as was the case with the Prize Winner dresser I posted on Monday. But I often remove mirrors and separate them from their furniture when they aren’t very special. Last summer I removed the mirror from this vanity, turning it into a desk.
The mirror just didn’t work with the vanity. It felt too narrow to me. Also, it was not securely attached and I didn’t want to mess with it. And honestly, I thought the mirror was kind of unattractive.
The mirror sat out in the carriage house for a few months. Then last week one of the shops I sell in, Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, sent out a request for mirrors. I pulled this one out of storage, as well as another mirror I purchased at a garage sale last summer.
I have to laugh looking at these pictures. It looks as though I took these at the height of summer, but in reality I took them early last week. It was a bright sunny day, our grass was still green, and I happen to have a pear tree in the front yard. Pear trees are notorious for losing their leaves very late in the season, sometimes not until a heavy snow storm knocks them off. It no longer looks like this outside my windows since we got several inches of snow on Monday!
Anyway, back to the mirrors.
The former vanity mirror got a quick sanding and a wipe down with TSP substitute followed by two coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s Flow Blue. I expected a lot of chipping because the former finish was fairly shiny. But as per usual, milk paint surprised me and I got no chipping at all. Dang! I shouldn’t have sanded. Hindsight is always 20/20.
I ended up distressing the paint and finishing with a coat of hemp oil.
For my photo shoot I just placed it on top of a farmhouse style table and pulled my grandma’s chair up to it. This chair is the first thing I painted in Flow Blue, if you check back to that earlier post you’ll see that I didn’t much care for the color then. I have since changed my tune and I now absolutely love this color. I even used it on the hutch in my Q Branch.
A vast improvement for the mirror I think. I love the richness of this vibrant color. This would add a gorgeous pop of color to your foyer, or perhaps help reflect light in your hallway. Hang it over the sink in your bathroom, or above the dresser in your bedroom.
I just couldn’t pass up this next mirror at a garage sale last summer. It had such beautiful details. Unfortunately, part of the trim was broken off at the top. I also didn’t really love that cherry colored wood mixed with the gold. So this mirror was destined to be painted from the start.
First I removed the remainder of the damaged trim. That was easy to accomplish with my handy scraper. I just gently pried it off.
I followed my normal prep steps of a light sanding followed by some TSP substitute, then painted two coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s Schloss on this one. I always think the Schloss is going to be darker than it is based on the little color sticker on the package, but no, it is a fairly pale warm grey.
I used my tape trick to encourage chipping on this one (I did try that on the Flow Blue mirror, by the way, and it didn’t take any paint off), but the chipping is hard to see in these photos. You’ll just have to trust me that it’s there.
I added a simple stencil to the decorative oval at the top of the mirror.
You can see that I let some of the gold peek back through after painting it.
I love this detail at the bottom of the mirror.
I had some fun switching up the accessories to go along with the mirror change.
I moved the lemon cyprus topiary into a silver ice bucket, I switched out the chair, I swapped the cage over the baby tears plant for a glass cloche over some old letters and I switched from blue vintage books to a stack of Jeanne d’ Arc magazines. Did you notice?
So which look is your favorite?