#homeetc · interiors · mirror · renovation · upcycling

How to Make a Window Mirror – An Upcycling Tutorial

I *may* have mentioned before that I have a thing for salvaging furniture. A few weeks ago I think I reached a new low. It was pouring rain and I should have been driving directly to Kindergarten so as not to be late.  But it was Sperrmuell day on part of your route. Sperrmuell is the German term for the  annual rubbish collection of furniture, electronic appliances and other oversized items. Basically anything one might normally throw into a skip is left on the footbath to be collected by the bin men. In short, my idea of heaven.

On this particular morning, I was in a rush but needed my fix of salvaging, now that I’d seen what day it was. Unfortunately there wasn’t time for more than a quick glance. I spotted kitchen cabinets being dumped, stopped for a nosey and picked up this cabinet door. The glass was gone and it was soaked from the rain. But I thought I might be inspired to upcyce it into something. I love internal windows in houses. That was my starting point.

To cut a long story short, it became a mirror. You may have spotted it in last week’s hall renovation post. Here is how I went about it.

Clean the window frame and sand it, if necessary. Thankfully mine didn’t need sanding.
Paint with two coats of undercoat suitable for use on wood.
Paint with a top coat of the colour of your choice. I chose a pale cream in a satin finish.

Once I had the woodwork finished, I brough the frame to the DIY centre. I was between two minds as to how to proceed: mirror or photo frame. I tried it out with some passepartouts and it looked fine, but I preferred the idea of a mirror after I tried out both looks.

Luckily I was able to find a mirror in the correct size, but the DIY centre would have ordered one to the correct size if I had needed it. I used a special glass and mirror glue to fix the mirror to the frame.

The mirror now hangs in our hall and helps brighten the place up by reflecting the white of the stairs and wall opposite it. 

A couple of weeks after I had finished and hung my mirror I was shopping and spotted the mirror in the photo below. I couldn’t help myself and had to look at the price tag on the back. €99! Mine cost me around €20 for the mirror, glue and hanging fixture I needed. I had the paints and brush already from other projects. But best of all, I had a great time working on it and that is priceless.

Home Etc

22 thoughts on “How to Make a Window Mirror – An Upcycling Tutorial

  1. What a great idea! See if I would never even think to try something like this. There are lots of skips around the area where I live at the moment, maybe a rummage is in order. Your finished piece looks much prettier than the one you saw in the shop x #HomeEtc

  2. Aaah Fi — this is my fave post of yours EVER!! I was thinking of doing something similar for the garden with an old door but the mirror worked out to be fairly expensive in the end. Love it. Especially when you consider how much they charge in a shop for this kind of thing!! Can't believe that other one was £99!!! Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  3. Oh definitely – go and rummage away. You can find all sorts of stuff people are throwing out. From a pretty tile to re-use as a pot stand to chairs, windows, …. Look out for old hinges, door knobs, etc. that you can remove from broken furniture and re-use on other items to make them unique.

  4. Aw thanks Caro. What is your door like? If it has small indvidual frames maybe mirror tiles would work. They are quite reasonable. I was going to use them for this project but the only size I could get in my DIY shop was 2cm too short on one side. IKEA do, or used to anyway, a set of 4 mirror tiles in about 25cm square I think.
    Oh I'll be back next week. I still have that outdoor kitchen lingering at the back of my mind;)

  5. I think my previous comment has disappeared….but I just wanted to say how much I love this! I need a mirror for my hall and something like this would be perfect x #HomeEtc

  6. What a beautiful project and a wonderful idea! I loved reading about the collection day too, that sounds amazing! To be honest though I would see that as a good excuse for a clearout though would probably end up salvaging something too! #homeetc

  7. Hi Lizze, go for it. Come to think of it, it would even work with a new cabinet door if you can't get an old window. The wood wasn't anything special. If you've any questions, let me know.

  8. I usually try to do a bit of a trade off and put junk out as well as bring stuff home. The problem is, I can only leave stuff out when the collection is on in our street but I can salvage from anywhere.
    Thanks for your comment Julia.

  9. Oh thank you Cat! It is quite a low effort / high impact transformation and not too pricey either, especially if you have paint already like I did.

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