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Flea Market Flip: A New Look for a Vintage Mirror

January 28th, 2014 11:17 am by Melissa Baskette

Flea Market Flip: A New Look for a Vintage Mirror

Flea markets are a treasure trove for do-it-yourselfers.  If you have a good eye (for spotting a diamond in the rough) and a little cash, you can turn inexpensive finds into high-style décor pieces.  

Periodically on this blog I will feature the theme “Flea Market Flip” to show you pieces I have done, and to offer ideas and tips on rescuing and recycling items to create beautiful one-of-a-kind designs. For future projects, I will have a before-and-after pic, but for today’s feature item, unfortunately I did not take a ‘before’ shot.

For the first flea market flip, I am featuring a mirror reminiscent of an Anthropologie design. It is to be used more for looks than function. I found this old framed beveled mirror at a garage sale for $2.  

Yep, that’s right.  Just two bucks.  

The frame was a dark wood and the mirror showed some aging.  Normally, I don’t like to paint over wood, especially if it has good grain that would benefit from sanding and staining, but this wood frame had no redeeming qualities.   Plus, that would not marry well with the imperfect mirror.  

So, I painted the frame and then distressed the edges with sandpaper.  You can remove the mirror before working on the frame, or place a piece of newspaper on it and tape around the edges with painter’s tape.  For the mirror, I wanted an even older appearance, so I removed some of the silvering here and there.  

There are a couple of different techniques for doing this.  These methods can be found online, but it does involve chemicals so you must wear protective covering of rubber gloves, mask and safety goggles.  

After removing enough silvering to my liking, I used a piece of vintage wallpaper as backing to show through.  You can use any paper or fabric, and it can be applied directly to the mirror, or apply it to the cardboard backing if you think you might like to change the design at a later date.   I applied my paper directly to the mirror with a light layer of Mod Podge.  

I hope you like this project.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more detail on technique.  

Contact Melissa at

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