How to paint a metal mirror frame

Paint is without a doubt the most versatile tool in your home decorating toolbox. Advances in paint formulations make it possible to paint almost anything with great results. Spray paint in particular will transform your home accessories in no time. Spray paint gives a good finish and is easy to apply. If you have a metal mirror frame that you want to transform you can have a new mirror in a couple of hours.

Clean the metal frame with a sponge and mild soap and water. Completely remove all soap residue with a clean sponge and clean water. Allow the mirror frame to dry completely.

Take the mirror outside and lay it flat on a dust sheet. Avoid using spray paint inside because of the fumes, and also because spray paint can easily travel to nearby walls and floors causing a mess.

Sand the mirror frame using medium-grit sandpaper. Sanding slick surfaces before priming and painting creates texture that gives the primer and paint something to grab onto, and it decreases peeling and scratching on the finished product. Be careful not to scratch the mirror while sanding the frame.

Use clean, damp rags to wipe any sanding dust from the surface of the mirror frame.

Unfold newspaper to fit inside the frame. Tape it carefully to cover all parts of the mirror. Check to make sure there aren't any gaps in the newspaper that will allow spray paint to filter through.

Spray primer on the mirror frame in a slow, sweeping motion. Using a steady, even stream of primer will help to avoid drip marks. Choose a primer formulated for slick surfaces. Rustoleum and Krylon make good primers for this application. Allow primer to dry completely. If you can still see the original finish through the primer, apply an additional coat.

Paint your mirror frame using the same spraying technique you used for the primer. Apply two or three light coats of paint, allowing each to dry completely before applying another.


You may end up with drip marks while spraying your mirror frame. Allow them to dry and sand them off with fine-grit sandpaper. Touch up the paint with a quick spray of paint.


Wear protective mask and safety glasses.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap and water
  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Low-tack tape
  • Newspaper
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint
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About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.