March 29, 2012

Faux Zinc Mirror [Laminate Mirror Makeover]


Good morning dear friends. I've been blogging for awhile now- so there's really no good excuse for the terrible, awful thing I've done. But let me tell you what it is- and then try to explain myself, then, and only then, I hope you can forgive me.
The story begins, before I started blogging, and before I decided what my style was. I lived in a very brown house, with very brown furniture and very brown decor. One of those brown items- a laminate mirror with scrolling flowers on it. I bought it back in 2004 when the hubs and I moved into our first real apartment. Since then I've had it stored- you know, until I could figure out something to do with it.
Then, late one night, Z was meeting with his editor and I was hiding out in our room. So I used what was in there to keep me busy. 
Some Rub-n-Buff, an old toothbrush, and this mirror.

Now, how in the world was I to know this mirror would start to look awesome!?! When I figured it out- I grabbed the camera and took a pic of the last but of brown, flowery-ness.
There you have the truth. Can you forgive me? 

UPDATE: I found a before pic! However, since I didn't really know how to take pics then, the detail on the mirror isn't very prominent. But you get the idea.

Now my problem is, how are you going to understand the amazing before and after transformation?! You won't. Bummer, guess you'll just have to take my word for it. I've used the Rub n Buff for zillions of things in the past. But never on a whole mirror and never with results this cool!
 

I used a toothbrush cause that stuff can soak through cloth and even rubber gloves!! This way, your hands stay clean. 
If you look on the left side of the frame, where the toothbrush is, you'll see a light coating of Rub n Buff. You can see the original texture showing through. 
But if you look on the right side of the frame, you can see where I built the Rub n Buff up higher in some places. It made the finish uneven and mottled looking.
Then, an amazing thing happened, it really started looking like zinc!! An incredible stroke of luck!

 If you don't "Buff" the Rub n Buff, it will come off on your hands. I used the toothbrush to polish it- then some cheese cloth to give it one last once over. It makes the mirror safe to touch- and look at how reflective the finish is. 

I used a little black glaze to darken some of the areas and catch in some of the grooves. If you rub too hard it WILL take off some of the silver finish. So use it sparingly with a light touch. You can see in the pic above, the mirror's a little darker in places. 

I found this listing for a real zinc mirror- selling on Amazon- and I think it looks so similar!! Can you believe it? Restoration Hardware- you know, my favorite store- sells zinc mirrors and they charge an arm and a leg for them. Their version is a darker gray zinc, though.


I totally cannot believe this mirror turned out well! Like I thought I would salvage the mirror but that it would need a whole new frame. For a 2 dollar bottle of silver finish I replicated the look of a $90 mirror!

I don't think paint could have transformed it the same way, it would have either left the same flowers or there would have been a plain silver finish. This way I have the textural look of one of my favorite metals!

I just love when you can salvage something that you saw as garbage. But I still wish I had a before pic. Just trust me, it's better now! ;-)
{Psst: If you're interested- I made the giant B from cardboard and paper mache, tutorial is here- and the French Bee Lamp tutorial is here.}
 


47 comments:

  1. that mirror looks awesome! i love rub n buff so much i might need a shrine to it. or maybe pay a visit to the plant so i can shake hands with all the people who make it.

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  2. and i just noticed the bookends! i have those in the shop! i might need to go take them back and keep them.

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  3. I have a mirror I could totally do this to! Thanks for the tutorial! I enjoy every single piece of decor you make!

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  4. Amazing!! I've never heard of that stuff. I love this project :)

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  5. So cute! Great job on the restyled mirror and love the letter too!

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  6. You have created some truly beautiful things, and have a delightful home! I hope you don't mind but I've linked to your site and used one or two of your photos on my blog...don't worry, I'm only saying lovely things about you.
    If it's a problem, please let me know and I'll take down the photos and link immediately.
    (dormouse.wibsite.com)

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  7. I'm sure you and I must be design twins separated at birth, because I freakin' love everything I've seen you do! Beautiful job. I have an old mirror I was going to sell off too, but now you've got the marbles rolling in my head....

    evie @ brown paper packages

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  8. That is really quite the transformation! I'm loving the finish on it and it doesn't hurt that you can save a little money!

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  9. Becca,
    That looks amazing.I am going to have to try this myself.
    Anne

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  10. Looks great. I love it when things happen like that- so unexpected but perfect :)

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  11. I totally forgive you for not having a better "before" pic, the after is amazing all on it's own!

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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  12. I have a lot of that stuff, all colors, too. I will try it with a toothbrush. I have used a wire brush before, but not on wood. It looks great!

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  13. The mirror looks terrific! I have never used rub-n-buff for such a large project--maybe because even on the small ones, I end up *wearing* it for several days after ;-) I'll have to try the toothbrush technique!

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  14. may i ask about the lamp shade did you make and how?

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  15. Your mirror turned great! Thanks for the links to the letter and the lamp.I was going to ask you about that lamp but you beat me to it!

    I agree about the "too much brown" thing. I am in the same place you were and I am finding my new style (aka: NO BROWN). I say it looks like Mr. Potato Head threw up all over my living room!


    Helen
    www.pickedandpainted.blogspot.com

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  16. Rub n buff is seriously some good stuff. You would have never known which one is yours and Amazon's. I like yours so much better :)

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  17. Oh just found your blog via The Mustard Ceiling! Love it! Love the mirror and love me some Rub 'n Buff!!! I am your newest follower! Would love for you to come visit me. I am new to blogging and need some readers, follow if you like! Can't wait to see what you do next!!!

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  18. Love your mirror makeover Becca! This mirror is very chic now! Great decision to just go for it! Heather @ settingforfour.blogspot.com

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  19. I love it when I'm pleasantly surprised by an experimental transformation. This turned out awesome! I'm surprised that you rubbed off all the etching on the frame.

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  20. Beautiful!! LOVE it. I think projects like this...when the item really has no chance of revival, but turn out AWESOME...are my favorites. Free, already had, but a diamond in the rough. Great job, Becca!!

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  21. A-mazing transformation Becca! I've seen rub-n-buff many times at the craft store but never actually bought it. You've convinced me to pick up some. LOVE the zinc-y finish!!

    xo caroline @ c.w.frosting

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  22. This looks absolutely AMAZING Becca!!!! I have to try and do this!

    I would love it if you shared this a The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!
    http://thediydreamer.blogspot.ca/2012/03/from-dream-to-reality-linky-party-9.html

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  23. What a great result, I love those projects that unexpectedly turn out so much better than expected. Always better than the alternative, haha.

    Have a great weekend,
    Karah

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  24. Ha ha ha Becca, that makes me laugh out loud! I can totally see me hiding out/crafting in my master bedroom too! Love it!

    The mirror is simply gorgeous! I just snagged a H U G E on on Craigs that's a dark brown, which is pretty, but I want to add something more. Does the Rub 'n Buff work on ceramic? It's not a metal frame, unfortunately. How come I've never heard of this cool product before? I can't wait to try it on something now! Thanks girlie!

    XOXO

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  25. Love it and that adorable letter you DIY!! Super cute!

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  26. Love the mirror! Great DIY project, very innovating.

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  27. Beautiful mirror Becca! That rub and buff stuff sounds good! I've never heard of it before!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  28. The mirror is beautiful! Thanks for joining us for "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Come and join us again next week! -The Sisters

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  29. This is so cool. I need to dabble in furniture redos. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing at Handmade Tuesdays.

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  30. PS: Featuring you this weekend! LOVE that mirror!
    XOXO

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  31. I can TOTALLY relate to the brown everything story! I have been trying to change out my decor too! I love this idea, so gorgeous. Think of all the cheap thrift mirrors people pass up and we can snatch up to turn into this! Amazing, thanks for sharing!!

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  32. I've never thought to use rub & buff like that. Your mirror looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing this at Sunday Blog Love, this will be featured this weekend. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Happy Easter!

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  33. I love your ideas, Becca. This is a great one! I have a supply of Rub-n-Buff...must remember this one! {including a link back in this week's highlights.} Thanks, as always, for sharing your creativity!

    Roeshel

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  34. I love the mirror but also the cool lampshade (I learned to pronounce the French word for bee recently in French class) and I love the cool letter.

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  35. Thanks so much for using AMACO's Rub 'n Buff! Your mirror looks awesome and glad to read it was so easy for you to do. We do have 16 colors of Rub ' Buff that you can find on our website. If you'd like to try another color and blog about it let me know and I'll send you a sample. I'd like to post your project on our Facebook page if that's ok.

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  36. I have never heard of Rub n Buff before. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    Eldarose from http://RE-inventedstyle.blogspot.com

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  37. this looks fabulous! I love the grouping that you have placed the mirror with! I can TOTALLY connect with the O.D. of brown!
    Visiting from 52mantels party!

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  38. I'm sorry...visiting from The Shabby Creek Cottage Party...whoops...got 52mantels on the brain!! haha

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  39. Such a great technique Thank you for taking the time to show us how it's done. I'd love to try it. You did a fantastic job. And by the way, where did you get that incredible "B"? I'm lovin' that! I found your post at I Should Be Mopping the Floor.

    Liz

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  40. Oh Becca...Don't you know I already have pile of projects in my garage and really didn't need another one? I have never used the rub n buff and now I am excited to give it a whirl.
    Kim

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  41. Beautiful mirror, and I love the styling. Did you make the lampshade too? I love it! Tanya :)

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  42. This is awesome! Zinc products are so cool and so expensive! I love that you used what you had on hand to transform this beauty :)

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  43. I would love it if you would share this post on the Waste no Want Not Wednesday @ Pretty Shabby UK! I really think my readers will enjoy it!

    http://prettyshabbyuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/waste-not-want-not-wednesday-1.html


    Many Thanks

    Dawn @ Pretty Shabby Uk

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  44. Beautiful! I have some of this. Now what to transform? Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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