Saturday, May 15, 2010

Architectural Window Mirrors

My version of doing faux finishes on things like old window casings is a little different than most. The mirrors you see on the right used to be a dirty eggshell color. But, I am a nut for detail and wanted this pair to be just a little bit special.

The finish was done by first chipping off any old loose paint. You really need to do this, because a lot of these old windows were painted with lead based paint. Make sure you wear a mask and discard those paint chips properly.


I then used an oil based stain to darken the areas without paint.

The yellows, oranges and apricot colors came from playing with amber shellac. In some areas I used 3 coats, that I applied at random with a rag. In other areas I used only 1 or 2 coats.

I always cut my own mirror. For this project, I used reclaimed mirror from a 1950s vintage vanity. The vanity itself was long gone, but the mirror was still in good shape and it had some wonderful etching on it that I wanted to incorporate into these windows.




I use white silicone to hold the mirrors in place. My favorite way to apply it is with a caulking gun, and using at least twice as much caulking as what I need. I like the caulking to squeeze out around the glass a little bit to give it more of a rustic, handmade feel. The excess caulking sort of reminds me of the way they used to make old brick buildings, where the mortar would be allowed to squeeze out from the bricks.

I have done bunches of of mirrors like this, so if you have questions or comments be sure to post them. I would be glad to help you!


Please join my party, Modern Craftswoman Monday, and visit Link Party Directory ,to see who I am partying with this week. The directory lists over 100 parties!

30 comments:

Melissa said...

These would be cool with glass that is losing its silvering too...

Very neat...

Laura PARING DOWN said...

That's a great way to add some color without losing the great patina of vintage wood.

Cheers,
Laura

Gracefully Vintage said...

Rory- love that idea-

adds such depth to a space-
Karryann

Donna said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and your nice comments! I will have to check out all your link parties!

Donna said...

Thanks so much for visiting and becoming my newest follower! I am following you too! I've not seen Paula Deen's book, though I will have to check it out. Sounds neat! I am also going to check out all you link parties!

Rose said...

Love the look of the windows with the mirrors. I have one I bought over 15 years ago. Little did I know back then I would end up picking dozens of window up from the curb!
Rose

Liz said...

I can never find these! Very Cool! Love your blog....

~Liz

P.S. I would love to link up on Monday. I'll stop by on Sunday night.
See you then!

Alix said...

I absolutely LOVE it!
Thank you for sharing, now if I could only find some neat looking window frames!

I'm your newest follower and found my way to your blog from "Under The Table Dreaming."

Nikki said...

That is AWESOME!!!!! Love it!!! I'd love for you to link this up to gettin' crafty on hump day...
www.nikkisniftyknacks.blogspot.com

Kaysi said...

wow those are neat!

Stephanie Lynn said...

I love paint but do enjoy the natural wood too! The mirrors look fabtastic. I love the different shades of wood. Great job! Thanks again for joining the Sunday Showcase. ~ Stephanie Lynn

jen said...

these look great!

JHill said...

Very nice! I would be terrified to cut my own mirrors!

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

{All Thingz Related} said...

Nice! I am ALWAYS on the prowl for old windows! I have never thought about "mirroring" them though because I have NO idea how to cut glass! Looks GREAT! Thanks for helping us have another great Anything Related party!
~Bridgette

Leslie said...

Thanks for linking this project to Hoo's got talent!

Prior said...

LOVE these! You do a great job! Lezlee

Kim @ seven thirty three said...

Great idea!
Thanks for linking with Sugar & Spice.

LV said...

You are very good in redoing mirrors. These are very nice. Thanks for the ideas but I will have to pass on that type project.

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

WONDERFUL...your windows are great :)

Blessings!
Gail

Coloradolady said...

Beautiful mirror, I love using old things for the new, this is a wonderful project...I only need to find a little time! Have a great VTT!

Miri said...

Very nice! Love the color of the wood that you got!

Fawnda said...

Great job! It looks fabulous! : )

CC said...

How wonderful..the mirrors are simply gorgeous. Happy VTT, have a lovely weekend.

Sarah said...

Crafty! Thanks for sharing :)

Sarah

Remodelaholic said...

Rory,

If you want to do a tutorial on how to do this, i would love to feature it on my blog. let me know ( you can just reply to this comment!)

Lanie Ree said...

I love getting ideas for mirror projects! Thank you for linking this up to the Craft Therapy session,as well!

Lori said...

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday at Life As Lori. Please join me next week for another great party.

Laura said...

I love this idea!

I'm hosting a blog party tomorrow and I'd love it if you linked up!
http://www.iamalongfortheride.blogspot.com

simplydesigning.blogspot.com said...

So neat. I am really loving the rustic look...I went to my first architectural salvage store a couple of weeks ago while out of town (they don't have those stores in Cali...so sad but there isn't anything worth salvaging here...no offense)...ANYWAY...I am hoping one day I will be closer to a place where I can aquire old things like this to fix up!

I am enjoying your blog so much!

Thanks so much for linking up! Hope to see you next week!

~Ashley @ www.simplydesigning.blogspot.com

Room to Inspire said...

These are gorgeous - thanks for linking these up as well!

Chelsea