How to Distress a Mirror

It's super easy to give a boring piece a romantic antique look, here's a quick and easy guide on how to distress a mirror.

How to Distress a Mirror
© Antiqued Wall Mirror by Mirrorcoop

From Garden and Home

This DIY mirror project makes it super easy to give a boring piece a romantic antique look. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to distress a mirror

What You'll Need

  • A framed mirror
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • A mask
  • Paint stripper (we used Duram Durastripp)
  • A paintbrush
  • A scraper
  • Cotton rags (strips of old T-shirt work well)
  • Pool acid (we used HTH Easy Acid)
  • A spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Black spray paint

How to Do It

  • Remove the back and frame from the mirror. Keep it aside; you’ll need to reattach this later.
  • First, remove the grey paint backing of the mirror. In a well-ventilated area and wearing your protective gear, brush a thick layer of paint stripper onto the back of the mirror. Leave the stripper on for a few hours, checking frequently. When the paint begins to bubble and peel, it’s time to remove it. Wipe the stripper off with a cotton rag, or rinse it off under running water. You may need to repeat this step until the silver backing is revealed. Be patient; this step can be time consuming.

TIP: If the paint is not coming off easily, you may have to lightly scrape it. Be gentle when doing this, as you don’t want to scratch the mirror’s surface.

  • Once the grey backing has been removed, and once again wearing your protective gear, pour the pool acid into a spray bottle and spray onto the mirror where you want antique spots. This will create a spattering effect. The more you spray, the more ‘antiqued’ your mirror will look, but rather spray a small amount at a time, as you can always go back and antique some more if necessary.

TIP: Mirrors naturally tend to age from the outside in, so keep that in mind for a more authentic look.

  • Leave the acid on for about a minute or until it removes the reflective surface. Keep an eye on the acid’s effect and wipe off a small spot at regular intervals until the acid has worn the silver from the mirror to your liking.
  • Use paper towels to blot the excess acid off the mirror and rinse it again with water. Dry with a cotton rag.
  • Finish by applying black spray paint to the back of mirror. Be sure to spray the entire surface, as this will protect the mirrored coating.
  • Once the paint has dried, reattach the backing and frame you removed in the first step.


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Lifestyle Magazine: How to Distress a Mirror
How to Distress a Mirror
It's super easy to give a boring piece a romantic antique look, here's a quick and easy guide on how to distress a mirror.
Lifestyle Magazine
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