A strategically-placed mirror can make a room look larger or add visual interest to any wall, whereas a plain or unattractive mirror frame might detract from your decorating theme. Spruce up a boring old mirror frame or a thrift shop find with a fresh coat of paint or some faux painting techniques.
Metallic Spray Paint
Give a wood or plastic mirror frame a gold, bronze or silver finish with metallic spray paints. A bronze or gold paint on an ornate, carved wooden mirror gives the mirror a warm and antique appearance, while silver paint on a simple square or round mirror frame creates a clean, modern look. If you are painting a plastic frame, look for spray paints specifically designed to adhere to a plastic surface. Of course, you aren't limited to metallic shades of spray paint. You can use bright primary colours, deep jewel tones or any colour you prefer.
Regardless of which paint colour you choose, protect your mirror from overspray with newspaper and painter's tape. Place the newspaper over the surface of the mirror, and tape the edges down just inside the frame to prevent the paint from covering the surface of the mirror. If you skip this step or some of the paint bleeds through the newspaper, you can remove it by gently scraping the paint away with a razor blade.
Faux Antique Paint
Add depth to a plain wood mirror frame or any painted mirror frame with wood stain and a clean rag. This process involves dipping a rag into a dark wood stain and gently rubbing the stain onto the mirror frame. If the frame has carved details, the stain will settle into the design to create shaded areas that give the frame an antique finish. You can also rub a thin layer of stain onto a smooth frame to soften the colour of the frame, which is a good option if you chose to paint the frame a bright colour, such as red or orange, but later determine the colour is too bold for your living space. When the stain is completely dry, add another layer to deepen the colour or paint the mirror frame a different shade.
If you want to give your mirror an aged and weathered appearance, use a crackle medium. The medium is applied over a solid base colour and allowed to dry. A second shade of paint is then applied on top of the crackle medium. As the paint dries, it forms cracks that allow the base coat to shine though. While crackle medium is as easy to apply as brushing on a coat of paint, crackle is difficult to remove. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your crackled mirror frame, you will need to sand away the paint and the crackle medium before applying a new coat of paint.