Painted Mirror~ Using Paint & Glaze to Enhance Details

Painted Mirror~ Using Paint & Glaze to Enhance Details
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I’ve framed the last mirror in my house! This will be (most likely, I promise…maybe…) my last post about framed mirrors! If you are new to my blog let me introduce you to my other simple tutorials on framed mirrors: How to Frame a Mirror & How to Decorate a Mirror with Tile. These posts give you easy step by step directions to make your own mirror frame. Today I’ll show you how to use paint and glaze to enhance the details on your frame. If you have a delicate touch and can blot off paint then this project is for you! Trust me,  it’s easier than it looks.

painted framed mirror closeup (1024x683)

Below is a before picture of the mirror. This mirror was 73 inches wide and 36 inches high.

Bead board bathroom before painted framed mirror (683x1024)

In the past I’ve used baseboard trim. But this time I had chosen pvc chair rail trim to use for the painted mirror frame.Next, I experimented with some possible paint color options, espresso with blue accents or blue with espresso accents. Then I let my daughters decide since this was going into their bathroom. The girls both chose the blue base with espresso accents. The newly painted cabinets are espresso also.

paint choices (1024x683)

The first step was painting the chair rail trim with my base coat. The blue color is Benjamin Moore’s Atmospheric.

Chair rail trim painted with Atmospheric  (1024x683)

Then you want to dip a wad of cheesecloth in some dark espresso paint, tap excess on a napkin, and lightly brush the cloth across the relief (raised surfaces).

Add detail with brown paint (1024x683)

With barely a whisper of a touch, brush the cheese cloth along all the sharp edges. Don’t worry about perfection, imperfection gives it character. Allow it to dry completely.

add distressed paint with light pressure (1024x683)

Once you’ve added your dark espresso paint, this is what your trim boards will look like.

painted trim with destressed look (1024x683)

The next step is smudging all the trim with brown glaze. Glaze is very translucent and stays workable (wet) for awhile. Again, I dipped another piece of cheesecloth into the glaze and lightly stroked the boards horizontally, in the direction of the imaginary wood grain. Remember we’re dealing with PVC, not real wood. Then with a clean piece of cheese cloth, gently wipe off the glaze. The harder you wipe, then the more glaze you’ll remove.  If you aren’t satisfied with the look, add more glaze and wipe again until you achieve the desire look. The results look like distressed and aged, painted woodwork.

wipe boards with decorative glaze  (1024x683)

Once everything has dried overnight, give the frame a light coat of a water based polyurethane sealer. Assemble the frame, gluing with pvc glue. Please refer to my instructions on assembly and how to mount the frame to the mirror by clicking here.

painted framed mirror (683x1024)

I was able to easily mount this painted mirror frame to the mirror totally by myself.  The reason why I tell you this is because I want you to understand how very light and easy the pvc chair rail is!

Bead board bathroom painted framed mirror after (683x1024)

Using paint and glaze to enhance the details of your mirror frame is a quick technique with beautiful results. My teenage daughters even gave the painted mirror their approval!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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  1. That bathroom is gorgeous! Love everything you’ve done!

  2. I LOVE IT Kim!! Great color choice. The whole bathroom looks beautiful! Martina

  3. Oooohh, very pretty! I have a framed mirror that I need to paint soon. This is very helpful!

    The…Late, Young Family

  4. Thanks for the great information. I have a frame that I have never been able to pull out the detail of. I paint and add a touch of contrasting paint to the detail but it was always lacking something…. the glaze!

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lovely! Such great impact. I have 4 bathroom mirrors with builder basic mirror and I’m itching to try this.

  6. I love your mirror! The color is gorgeous! I didn’t know they made PVC chair rail. Looks like something I’d like to try…..maybe…..??

    Great job!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is the mirror frame mounting tutorial link correct? It sent me to the painted cabinets tutorial.

  8. I need to try this. I have an ugllllly metal and mirror cheap unit over my sink that I want to pitch into the yard! I have to figure out the wiring thing first tho’..I may give this a go with a couple cute sconces!

  9. This is my FAVORITE DIY of yours!! Simply because it really does make a HUGE difference. I still have your post saved in my email from the framed mirror you did in your master bath. I keep telling Jeff we HAVE TO DO this, but we can’t bring ourselves to overcome that you’re gifted & we’re not mentality!! I might just have to fly you out here…ha ha

  10. Thanks to “Anonymous” for letting me know I had the wrong link! Really, thank you! All links should be correct now!

  11. That bathroom looks FABULOUS!!! Thanks for the great information!

  12. Kim, I love this project and am getting ready to copy it. 🙂 I had 2 questions: Where did you get this chair rail? I’ve been hunting for it and haven’t found it yet. Also, I’m new to the world of glazing. When you say use a dark glaze, does that mean you mix some glaze with dark paint or is there a dark glaze I could buy? Thanks for you help!

    • Hi Deidre, We bought the trim at Home Depot (it’s not specifically chair rail though, but it’s in that molding section). The glaze was a glaze I already had on hand from refinishing some bathroom cabinets, but you can buy brown glaze at any craft store, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, etc. It comes in small bottles in the paint sections. You can even purchase “tintable glaze” which is basically clear and you add brown paint to it and mix. Hope that helps! Let me know if have any other questions. 🙂
      ~ KIM

  13. Anonymous says:

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If you were going to the opposite…the brown frame with the blue color would you glaze that or would you?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much!! I love your blog and all of your creative ideas! Wish I was half as creative. 🙂

  16. Hello am Garen i send this enquiry in regards to Order some (Painted Mirror) well can i have some types,prices and do you take credit card payment


  1. […] To embellish your mirror in other ways, check out these posts “How to Decorate a Mirror With Tile” and Painted Custom Mirror Frame Using Paint and Glaze […]