In case I haven’t mentioned it a million times over the past few weeks, it FINALLY feels like spring in New Jersey! This means long walks, bike rides, open windows, and best of all: outdoor projects! Now that Dan’s hand is mostly healed, he’s gotten back into woodworking shape, which is very exciting. Not only that, but the great weather has provided me with the opportunity to work on my projects outside and alongside him! I just love it. Over the past couple of weekends, I’ve been working on a project that’s been almost a year in the making: a windowpane mirror accent piece for our bedroom wall!
Let’s start at the very beginning… an empty bedroom wall. This wall has been looking mighty lonely since we first painted it Palladian Blue a year and a half ago, and I’m not totally sold on the Target lamp we bought way back when we moved into our first apartment FOUR years ago. We needed a change.
For us, change comes in very small increments. In fact, I hardly ever find a decor item that I want when I’m actually looking for it, and this project was no different. This one goes all the way back to September, when Dan and I were traversing Morris County on our weekly garage sale hunt. Let me just say that garage sale searching is a super fun hobby – we really enjoy shopping on a budget, spending time together, being outside, and hunting for treasure. We hit the lottery at a beautiful Victorian home, finding a window pane mirror for just $10. I immediately thought it would be perfect for the bedroom, but I wasn’t really feeling the gray/green trim. I envisioned how fun and fresh this would look if it were painted all white like this or this one from Pinterest. Enter the dragon, a Wagner Control Spray Max paint sprayer:
I told you this was a process. The mirror saga continued from September all the way into December, when the man of my dreams (also known as my husband, Dan) bought me an industrial paint sprayer for Christmas. Now that’s the key to my DIY heart. As much as I was itching to get to work, the paint sprayer stayed locked and loaded in the basement until spring arrived just a few weeks ago. The mirror project was my first chance to break out my spraying skills. Before I painted, of course, I spent quite a bit of time prepping the mirror.
As you can see, I tore out six sheets of wax paper and taped them down inside each window pane. I didn’t measure too precisely, but I did make sure that the painter’s tape covered every single edge of the pane before I even started thinking about spray painting. It was also important for me to ensure that the edges of the frame were completely uncovered, so they would get a full coating of spray paint.
To prep the paint sprayer, we had to identify our paint of choice (actually, just Benjamin Moore’s flat white ceiling paint) and determine its viscosity. To do this, we added water to the paint mixture and mixed it together in the white paint bucket on the bottom of the gun. Also, please note that safety always comes first when spray painting! This means putting on my special painting pants (they’re splattered from the bathroom paint job in December), goggles, and a mask. After a thorough reading of instructions, I set the sprayer on medium intensity, plugged it in, and turned it on.
I moved the paint sprayer across each row from side to side (horizontally) and kept it moving at all times to prevent drips. It was much easier to use the paint sprayer on a flat surface than it was to use a simple can of spray paint on the round lamp base from a few weeks ago. The hardest part of the paint job was making sure that the inside wood frames were coated in paint, so I had to go over them a few times.
After just one coat of paint and a few minutes of waiting for the paint to dry, I noticed a few unfinished spots. We also had a little bit of difficulty peeling off the wax paper and painter’s tape, leaving some marks on the window pane frame.
All I did to fix those marks was break out a tiny craft paintbrush and some white acrylic paint. I painted over the bigger spots with a few coats. I also scraped the white paint remnants off the mirror with my fingernails (no fancy touch-up tools needed here!). After that, it was finally time to hang the window on our big empty wall. Dan brought out the big guns for this part of the project.
Behold, the prized picture hanging kit. This toolbox contains everything that we could possibly need to hang art, photos, or other decorative pieces around the house. Before we used any of these tools, though, we used painter’s tape and measured out two spots on the wall at the same height so the mirror could hang evenly.
Here you’ll see the marking on the painter’s tape in the top corner. We actually had to attach special hooks onto the back of the mirror, so that’s why you see a line drawn down the tape – it marks the place where the hook will go.
In order to attach the hooks to the back of the mirror, Dan drilled a hole into the frame at the exact spot where we wanted the hooks to hang. Since the mirror frame was not as thick as the drill bit, we taped the bit so it would safely go through the frame without doing any damage to it.
Next, we screwed the hook into the frame using a screwdriver. Simple enough! These hooks were about $3 and we snagged them at our local Ace Hardware store. We bought two, to hang one on the right and one on the left.
Lastly, all we needed was a level to make sure the frame was even, and up it went! Part 1 of decorating the empty bedroom wall is complete, and Part 2 will be even more fun, so stay tuned.
Also, don’t forget to enter the $50 Minted credit giveaway from last week’s post! The last day to enter is Sunday, May 17!