Saturday, December 22, 2012

Making lemonade

I got a wild hair this holiday season and decided I needed to have a dining room again (more on that later). In the midst of the rearranging and decorating, I had a need for something to cover a paint splotch on the wall. I tested a shade of green on the wall a few years back, and hated it, then never got around to repainting. I don't want to repaint now, so I decided to find something to cover that spot.

While thinking about that, I went stash diving for a Christmas project and went through the same process I've gone through for the last year: open closet, move ugly dusty mirror, pull out yarn bin, dig, put yarn bin back, replace ugly dusty mir... Oh. Huh. I wonder if there's a way to make this mirror not ugly? Maybe if we put a design on the mirror, refinish the could be pretty, maybe?

U. G. L. Y. You ain't got no alibi, you UGLY.

I looked up glass etching and found this page, looked at some pre-made stencils online, and thought that I could totally make my own. I asked GF what he thought might work, and he suggested leaves. I pulled out my sketch pad and started drawing some ideas. Once I was happy with what I had drawn, I was off the Michaels for contact paper, an Exacto knife, and some etching cream. I dismantled the mirror (with some help) and cleaned it with a mixture of rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and water (awesome glass cleaner).

 The cool thing about the contact paper is that it was clear, so I could trace my drawings onto it. I cut a piece the size of the mirror, and - using my drawings as stencils - figured out the layout. Then I cut out the stencil and stuck a solid piece of contact paper over the cut outs to stabilize the design. Then I peeled the backing off the cut outs and placed them on the mirror.

 Next, I peeled the solid pieces of contact paper off the front of the stencil and applied the cream. I crossed my fingers, spun around three times, and cleaned the kitchen while I waited. When the proper amount of time had passed, I washed the mirror off in the sink (no easy feat, that), and cleaned it again with the glass cleaner.

Last, the frame needed some help. Originally, I was thinking it could just be refinished and made about the same color. But then I went a little crazy and decided I wanted the frame to be green. Off to Lowes for some nice green wood stain, then back home to hand the refinishing off the my spouse. I'm told there was a lot of sanding and pre-treating and sanding and staining and sanding and varnishing and sanding... I know there was much dust and smell involved.

This morning, we put the whole thing back together with hanging hardware and put it on the wall. I'm ridiculously pleased with the end result.

No comments: