Doll of a Wall Mirror

By Kate Riley July 5, 2009

I’ve got this thing for wall mirrors in sets of three.  Come to think of it, I try to display anything in sets of three.  To me, in décor, odd numbers reign, and trios are just more interesting than pairs. 

So I found this set of mirrors last week at the local Goodwill that called out my name.  “Kate, over here, over here !”   Alas, the poor downtrodden mirrors had been sitting in a corner all by themselves.  Apparently, from what history I could gather, these mirrors used to belong to a dresser, but sadly had been abandoned by their bigger mate.  But oh, the potential within !  You know I have a soft spot for hidden potential, so naturally I brought said mirrors home with me.   

What inspired me was the statement wall mirrors I’ve been observing for quite some time in décor mags and retail catalogs.  (Oh, Ballard Designs, you tempt me so!)  I had to have my own version, I just wasn’t prepared to pay so many pennies for making such a dramatic statement.  I’ve long been in love with these from Ballard, but at $199 dollars a pair, I wince.

ballard garden district wall mirrors

So for $25 dollars, I found this thrift store version.  Here’s a look BEFORE the makeover:

mirror before

And AFTER I glammed her up a bit:

mirror after

You like? 

Friends, here’s how I did it. 

Step One:  This took some advance preparation.  I removed the back wood panel, which was actually a piece of thick cardboard with a faux burled wood grain print on top.  I then took this faux panel to a local glass shop and asked them to make a mirror in the same shape.  I was inspired by Eddie’s secretary revamp, where he replaced his glass panels with mirror.  For $20 dollars, I had a new mirror made for the upper arch. 

Arch Before:

arch before

Arch After:

arch after

Step Two:  I gave the mirrors a quick sanding to remove any varnish.


Step Three:  I removed all the brackets, which was a hint tricky, because I had to carefully lift up the supports behind the mirror.  But as you know, CG is not easily deterred.  I then hammered down the mirror supports, then I patched the holes on the sides of the mirrors with wood filler.

remove brackets wood filler 

Step Four:  I primed the mirrors with two coats of spray primer, then allowed it to dry.  


Step Five:  I painted the mirrors with my ultimate favorite spray paint, Rustoleum’s ‘Heirloom White’.  I find that a spray finish is so much smoother than a brush finish, when applied properly.  So whenever possible, I opt for spray paint. 

heirloom white spray

Step Six:  I attached ‘D ring’ hangers to the rear of the mirrors.  Hey, it’s another opportunity to use power tools, which is always fun for me.  There’s just something about the roar of a power screwdriver that makes me want to grunt in a very unladylike fashion, just like Tim the Tool Man Taylor. 

D ring picture hangers

Step Seven:  I used silicone rubber sealant, leftover from this project, to adhere my new mirror to the paneled arch. 

silicone sealant

Viola !  A new trio of creamy white mirrors opposite the windows in my living room.  They pull tons of light into my space ! 

lots of light

Granted, my living room is a serious work in progress.  It is an extra space we acquired with the remodel from years back, but it has been half finished for quite some time.  It’s just one of those spaces that I keep looking at, but can’t quite perfect to my satisfaction.  A wad of cash would help.  But the mirrors will do for now.

I love how the new mirrors play off the existing white fireplace mantle, the crown moulding, and my white chair, that I revamped in this earlier post

Here’s a glance at the less than finished sitting area.  Please disregard the obvious missing lamp shade from the lamp I acquired here.  I am also playing around with turquoise blue and gold decor.

living room after

Ultimately, I am very pleased with this mirror’s transformation.  The total cost of the mirrors, the replacement arch mirror, the paint, and the hangers cost me about $55 dollars !  But it’s a heck of a lot less expensive than retail plus shipping ! 

white mirror after 

You see, there are hidden treasures out there.  So keep your eyes open !


  1. OH MY GOSH! I LOVE it! You are amazing! I've bee eyeing those same style of mirrors, but they are black and from anthropologie. I'm going to keep a look out for some old ones to re-do like you did. Thank you for the great inspiration. Your blog is always refreshing and enjoyable. Karli from

  2. Stunning!

    I 'bout gagged when you quoted the mirrors from Ballards. And I didn't even care for them. How's that for a double whammy?

    No comparison girl.

  3. It turned out fabulous! Such a great idea to take out the faux wood panel and replace it with glass instead of painting it. That step added so much to your finished project!

  4. How 'bout if I make you cry! You make ME cry! YOU ARE AMAZING! I'm weeping at the thought of that ginormous well of IDEAS that you drink from every day! But if that wasn't ENOUGH: there's the energy source…must.. have.. some… but……. I ..can't … find it….zzzzzzzzz

    Huh! WHAT! Ohhhhhhh, Centsational girl: YOU ALL THAT, BABY! YOU are the wind….. beneath my WINGS!

  5. That is a wonderful project.
    That mirror is an absolutely beautiful piece!!

    thanks for the tips on putting it together.

    barbara jean

  6. I have just recently found your blog and I have to say that you are amazing!!! I LOVE the mirrors. Makes me want to do some of my own, even though I haven't got a spot in my house to hang them if I did.
    Your ideas are so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love your mirror so much more than the one that Ballards has! Great transformation!

  8. That turned out fabulous! You did an awesome job!

  9. I have just discovered you and I'm like a kid in a candy store! I read through a ton of your posts the other day. So many ideas! So much creativity! My problem is I want to move somewhere because I have absolutely no wall space left for my projects. These mirrors are gorgeous!

  10. Love it! I never would have seen the potential in that mirror ~ you have much better eyes than I do.

    How do you spray your items and keep an even coverage without any running? Thanks!


  11. What a transformation … the mirror looks amazing!


  12. Kate! I love it. I am also very jealous you can actually find Rustoleum's Heirloom White spray paint and don't have to resort to Amazon's crazy prices for it.

  13. Um, if I say it's triple freaking awesome, I hope you don't find me too rude!!!! WOW! Love it!

    m ^..^

  14. Love them! You would never know in a million years what they looked like before. :)

  15. What a great project, I think I'm now officially addicted to your blog! You've inspired me to do some serious redecorating and remodeling around here.

    Have a great week!

  16. I LOVE how you added the mirror to the top – that makes an amazing difference! But… THAT LAMP – I'm in love with that!!!!!

  17. EEK! I love it. :) You have such a gift for seeing POTENTIAL! Now invite me over for coffee so I can hang out in your fabulous room and oo and aah over your mirror. ;)

  18. the mirror looks great. I wish I had good luck at our good will like you do. Do you go everyday? or a couple times a week?

  19. Hi Kate!

    I really like your creativity, and especially how you leveraged an idea from Eddie Ross. Great job!! I also am adoring your creative use for your cupboard doors-so much so, that I was browsing around some craft sites this morning, and saw this project and thought you might like to see it.
    Tell me whatcha think, because I know you can rock this out in *your own style.* Also, have you been to The Lettered Cottage blogspot for your daily dose of inspiration yet?? Layla's projects, beautiful photos, designs on a dime and overall exceptional design sense will knock your socks off.
    I especially like her skills at placement of furniture and art/accessories in a room with regards to *scale and balance.* Her designs always make sure that color, and weight (and height) are properly distributed around a room, ensuring that one side is not heavier or more dense than another in the space. She is a megatalented diyer like yourself, so I know you will like it there.
    Congrats again on another incredible rehab-keep it up girl, cuz your blog is my eye candy!
    ~Holisticgal Jen

  20. OH My Gosh! This is a great transformation. And seems to fit your room perfectly. Good eye!

  21. Wow. I say, who needs Ballard and Pottern Barn, when we've got thrift stores and Heirloom White? Fabulous.

  22. As usual, it's beautiful. Your step-by-steps are fantastic. You, my friend are a tutorial rock star!

  23. Great job on the mirror! I am amazed as always! I really don't know how you do so many of these transformations though- I have been working on one for about two weeks!!

  24. I was looking at my thrift store/ garage sale try-and-find list and half of it is full of Centsational Girl-inspired items. I love it here! I'll be linking.

  25. Okay … seriously … I WANT that brown couch under your new FAB mirrors!! I continue to be amazed by your talent. Thank you AGAIN for sharing it all with us!!

  26. LOVE the way the mirrors turned out! You are seriously the queen of thrifty redos…and my hero. Oh, and p.s….I think your version is so much better than the Ballard ones.


  27. Fab-u-lous!! And, if I remember right, I passed something similar to this at thrift store on my way home today. Hope it's there tomorrow!!

  28. Girl, you have seriously got a great eye for the bargains! I love how this turned out and I, too have lusted after those Ballards mirrors. Yours turned out great & way to go on adding the mirror to the top. That totally takes it up a notch!

  29. Oops, typo!
    Love it so much. You gave Ballards a run for their money!

  30. Amazing. I've just been getting lost in your blog for oh the last hour or so. I've been totally swamped this last couple of weeks so I was really behind on reading my favorite blogs!

    Then I log on to my blog and see that you left me another sweet comment. My dear you are the queen of DIY!!!! Thank you for the high compliement,but you are totally the Queen and I will be happy as a Princess!

  31. Oh, I love what you did to the mirror – not that I did¨nt like it before the make-over, but you have made it new, fresh and even better looking.

    Awsome blog you have, I have put your blog on my list, if you don´t mind?

  32. I love that you made it your own by adding the mirror into the arch! Turned out wonderful!

  33. AUGGGHHHH!!!! Love love love LOVE this! I've been wanting decorative mirrors to hang over a table in my entryway and this is so PERFECT! You come up with the best ideas! I never would've looked at those mirrors and thought they could look like the transformed version. Great job Kate! And now I'm off to hunt down some mirrors…..

  34. This project really turned out well. It also fits really well with the decor of the room.

  35. This is definitely one of my favorite projects of yours. I like it way more than the Ballards mirror set. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!

  36. I love your mirror transformation! And my goodness your living room looks fabulous. So bright and cheery!

  37. Oh gosh, I bought the real Ballard mirrors before seeing this post!! They are gorgeous on the wall but guess what…they are not wood! The catalog describes them as hand rubbed…they are resin.

  38. Brilliant. Love them! I am so addicted to this site! Every time I get to visit – another amazing transformation! So cool!

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