Two Step Mirror Frame Refinishing

I was recently hand-me-downed a gorgeous mirror that I knew would look wonderful in our office/spare room once it’s finished, but there was one little hiccup…the particularly unwelcoming shade of gold it would be, sitting next to all of our brushed nickel finishings.

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Thing you’ll need:

  • Mirror or frame to revamp
  • Painter’s tape
  • Old newspapers/magazines
  • Spray paint

Step 1: Protect the mirror plate surface


Use the painter’s tape to first cover the mirror plate at the edges flush against the frame. It’s very important to be as precise as possible without leaving any mirror exposed or frame covered by tape, or you’ll end up with paint on the wrong spot, or not where you need it.

You’re better off with just a little too much tape at the frame edge than not enough. I used a ballpoint pen to tuck in the extra very easily:

Next, add newspaper to cover the rest of the mirror plate that is exposed, finishing the newspaper edges with more painters tape to ensure the frame is fully sealed off from the mirror plate (below).


Once everything was prepared I wiped down my frame with a very slightly damp wash cloth because it had been sitting around gathering dust and was in storage for who knows how long before that. Spray painting dust just for it to fall off and leave gold spots is ultimately a colossal waste of time but also leaves me uneasy knowing I possibly adhered dust permanently to a nice, ‘new’ piece of decor.

Step Two: Spray painting the frame

Time to make it your own! I suggest bringing the project outdoors; lots of newspapers, your mirror, and your spray paint of choice. Set up a work area where you can cover the surface with newspaper but not worry if the wind carries the paint (I recommend in the grass because it will get cut eventually, your driveway or sidewalk may be wearing that color for a while if it gets on the conrete).

I however, did not have time before the rain on the day I did this to set up shop downstairs (I live on the third floor and the mirror is pretty heavy) so I overly covered my deck with newspapers and it was fine. Still would always prefer and recommend the grass if possible though, with some sort of tarp/newspapers.

The Outcome? It took about 2 coats, plus some extra attention in certain areas, but it all covered just fine in the end.

Pro tip: The areas that are giving you trouble should dry completely before adding more spray paint or it will just move around the already not-sticking spray paint even more. Spraying from a longer distance as opposed to right on top of the frame really helped too, it goes on lighter and sticks better.

The finished product!


Noticeably not on a wall yet. That’ll happen once our office/spare room is done (one day).

I liked how the mirror turned out so much that I grabbed my bar cart mirror tray and taped it up quickly and sprayed that too in the same easy, two steps.
See a before and after of the re-finished bar cart look here.

Morale of the story- a can of spray paint can go a long way for your mismatched decor.

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