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DIY Painted Mirror Project
I was working on creating a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall in my apartment — already a large project — when I realized that my current collection was not going to be enough to fill up the space. I had a number of pieces of framed art and even included a couple of photographs of my family, but even all of that together didn’t fill up the wall space that I had allotted. So, with nothing else to throw at it, I began my search for additional artwork ideas that would help complete my project.
With colors already dancing in mind I began visiting design blogs, Pinterest and Google Images to see if I could find anything that would make my heart soar. As luck would have it, I came across an artist by the name of Chad Wys. Something about his art fascinated me and I found myself poring through his collections. I was captivated by his use of modern, geometric patterns juxtaposed against very traditional artwork. I've always enjoyed the mix of modern and vintage in my home (as well as in my closet) which is probably why Wys’ work struck a chord with me so quickly. I ordered one of his prints online, but I still wasn’t quite done. Something about this artwork inspired me and pretty soon I had the urge to do a little creating of my own.
[All project images by Krystle DeSantos]Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Usually, the need to find a creative solution to a situation is enough inspiration to get me into the DIY spirit, and typically, finding something that meets that need is enough to keep me from going off the DIY deep end, but in this case a few extra steps were required. Before I could gather up my supplies and begin I needed to chose a piece of artwork for inspiration. This piece by Chad Wys stood out to me, not only for its bright color palette and bold stripes, but because the artist’s message in the piece is up for so much interpretation that it’s an instant conversation starter.
I wanted to create something similar that paired a traditional art frame with bright, colorful stripes. I didn’t have any finely painted portraits to paint over, but I realized that I didn’t necessarily need to use a painting — just something with a frame. I remembered a mirror that my best friend had given me and thought to myself, “why not use the mirror as art and simply paint over it?” This is what I love so much about DIY projects. The opportunity to turn inspiration and improvisation into something beautiful. Best of all, I now had my own take on Wys’ artistic statement, as anyone who stood in front of my mirror would instantly take the place of the person in the painting. Full of excitement, I pulled out my mirror and paint and began my artist-inspired project.
Continue reading to see how you can create this whimsical, colorful, Chad Wys-inspired mirror artwork for your home.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Gather Your Supplies
This project has a fair number of steps in it, but they’re all pretty straightforward. To complete it you’ll need the following:
* Ornate framed mirror
* Craft paint
* Small paint brush
* Painter’s tape
* Mirror cleaner
* Washi TapeContinue to 4 of 12 below.
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Clean Your Mirror
This might seem a little obvious, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to begin by thoroughly cleaning your mirror. There are two reasons why this is a vital first step. To begin with, this will remove any dust particles that can create unsightly lumps or imperfections in your work of art. Just as importantly, it will ensure the paint adheres well to the surface of the mirror and frame. Both will help make sure that you get the polished, professional look that you’re after and keep you from having to start all over with a new frame.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Measure Your Frame
Using your ruler, measure the length of the frame and decide how wide you’d like your stripes to be. My framed measured 10 inches across. I wanted to be able to place 5 stripes on the mirror and frame so I made each stripe 1 inch wide.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Tape Your Frame
Once you’ve determined the perfect width for your stripes, it’s time to mark out your space. Since the stripes will be side by side, you’ll want to tape your frame off in the same manner as pictured above, leaving each alternating stripe open for painting.Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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Choose Your Colors & Begin Painting
Before the painting can actually begin, you’ll want to decide on which colors you’d like to use, and in what order. Once you know how your color story will flow together on the pieces you can begin painting each open stripe with it’s respective color. Remember that the covered pieces will be stripes as well.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Leave Stripes To Dry
While the paint is still wet, remove your tape and leave the stripes to dry. Be sure to clean up any smudges or runs with a damp cotton swab or napkin. You don’t want to let any imperfections dry in place as they can be much harder to remove and run the risk of diminishing the look of the finished piece.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Once your first set of stripes are fully dry, it’s time for round 2. Cover the newly dried stripes with painter's tape and proceed to paint the areas that were previously covered, making sure to match the stripes with the colors you decided on. Once again, you’ll need to remove the tape while the paint is still dry and clean any smudges as we did previously. Now that you’re all done with the painting, set your piece aside to dry completely.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Design Element (Optional)
This part of the process is strictly optional but if you choose to include it, it can add a great design factor to your mirror. I came up with this step because I wanted to break up the flow of my colorful stripes and allow a bit of the mirror to peek through before the final stripe. I didn’t want this “mirror stripe” to be as large as the others, so I used some washi tape as my new stripe size.
To create the full pattern and prep for painting the final stripe, I alternated between washi tape and regular 1 inch painter’s tape, sandwiching the painter’s tape between two strips of washi tape.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Design Element (Continued)
Once the previous step is done, it’s time to remove your painter’s tape, leaving your two strips of washi tape behind so that you can paint that section with your final color. Then remove both strips of washi tape while the paint is still wet and set to dry.
Again, steps 11 & 12 are completely optional, so you can feel free to try this design twist or keep the project as originally planned with all of the stripes next to each other.Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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Clean Up & Enjoy!
Now that you’re done, your mirror may still have a few smudges so feel free to spray a bit of cleaner on a small cotton ball or napkin and carefully wipe the glass section of the mirror. Once that’s complete, stand back and admire your unique and totally unexpected new piece of art!