Yes, you read that title correctly “upcycled mirror frame using spackle.” I know this sounds crazy, but you get creative when you are avoiding spending money. Buying new mirrors is expensive, so I figured why not give my current mirror a makeover with scrap materials from previous projects.
The mirror that I upcycled was in good condition, but the frame was too bulky. I tried hanging this mirror in several different spaces, but I never liked the look of it. So, instead of getting rid of it, I figured why not try to give it a makeover because I couldn’t make it any worse.
Getting Creative with the Existing Mirror Frame
I only removed the large bulky sides of this mirror frame because wanted to keep to keep the hooks on the back attached. This is a heavy mirror, so I thought removing the hooks would make it difficult to hang onto the wall.
Since I left a small section of the frame attached around the mirror, I had to get creative with the final design because the edges were a bit rigid from removing the frame.
I debated on adding wood over top of this frame to clean it up a bit, but I thought it would look too bulky. Plus I was trying to spend as little money as possible for this project, so I decided use items that I already had in my basement.
I had plenty of spackle on hand that I wasn’t planning on using anytime soon, so I figured why not clean up the edges with the spackle. Spackle made the most sense because I could easily smooth it over rough edges, build up corners, and paint it after it was dried.
After applying the first coat of spackle, the frame will look hideous and you may want to scrap the project and lug it to the curb. Don’t worry it will get better after another coat of spackle.
DIY Spackle Mirror Frame
The spackle was the perfect option for this upcycled mirror frame because I was trying to clean and smooth out the rough edges of this existing frame.
Before I started with this project, I gathered my materials to putty the mirror frame and the prepped my work space. I used cardboard boxes to protect my work space, painters tape, spackle, and a putty knife.
I placed painter’s tape inside of the mirror frame to protect the actual mirror from spackle and paint. Then I dipped a putty knife into the spackle and started working my way down the first edge of the frame. I heavily applied the spackle then used my find and putty knife to remove the excess.
You want the edge to be as smooth as possible, so you have less sanding after the spackle dries. I found it helpful to wear gloves during this project to keep my hands clean and to use my finger to smooth edges.
If your corners are rough like mine, you may need to use more spackle to help build them up. It will take a couple coats of spackle to completely build up the corners.
Allow the spackle to totally dry before applying and optional second coat. Once the spackle has dried for several hours, good sanding with fine sandpaper.
If you notice some areas are not completely smooth after sanding, you may need to go back in with the putty and add another thin coat.
Then allow the spackle to dry and use find sandpaper to smooth out the remainder of the putty.
Once you are finished with the sanding, use a cloth to remove the sanding debris. Then prep the mirror frame and surrounding area for painting.
Your upcycled mirror won’t look perfect, but the paint will help disguise some of the imperfections, especially if you go with a dark paint color.
Painting the Upcycled Mirror
I used enamel paint for this project, but chalk paint or spray paint could also work well too. Before painting the upcycled mirror frame, make sure to prep the frame with painters tape and protective paper for the mirror itself.
If you are using spray paint for your frame, prep the frame and take it outdoors to work in a well-ventilated area.
To paint the mirror frame, place drop cloths below your work station and grab a brush and paint to finish the project. I applied a total of 2 coats of enamel paint, making sure to use light brush strokes in the same direction.
Enamel is very durable, so it does not require a clear coat as it can resist moisture, mildew, and hold up in high traffic areas.
If you have a mirror with a thick frame, you could try attaching fabric to the frame instead of removing it. This is a unique way to cover up the frame and you can avoid the mess of spackle and sanding.
After the paint dried, I hung my upcycled mirror onto the wall. Once the mirror was hung on the wall and I stepped back, I didn’t notice any imperfections.
After your upcycled mirror has dried completely and you are satisfied with the look, it is time hang it onto the wall to enjoy your hard work. I know spackling a mirror frame sounds crazy and there might be a better way to go about this project, but this was free!