Paint an Acrylic Accent Mirror

Frame a small mirror with a creatively painted Aspen tree scene.

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Painter Amy Stoner of Portland, Ore., demonstrates how to paint an acrylic nature scene she calls "Evening Aspen" to frame a small mirror.

Materials Needed:

  • 11-1/4" x 11-1/4" square of softwood board
  • approximately 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" lightweight mirror
  • strong adhesive glue
  • small adhesive felt dots
  • small saw tooth picture hanger
  • acrylic paints in assorted colors
  • gel medium (optional)
  • paintbrushes, assorted sizes
  • palette for paint
  • pencil with eraser
  • water-based varnish/sealer
  • wood-burning tool with assorted tips
  • spiral saw tool
  • power drill with drill bit
  • straight edge ruler
  • wood c-clamps
  • safety glasses
  • ear protection
  • sandpaper or sanding blocks
  • hammer
  • glass cleaner
  • soft cloth

Steps:

1. Measure and mark a 4-3/4" x 4-3/4" opening for the mirror in the softwood board. Wearing safety glasses, drill a pilot hole in one corner of the marked area for the mirror opening.

2. Clamp down a straight edge to the top of the mirror frame to help align the spiral saw tool while cutting, ensuring a straight line.

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3. Cut out all four sides of the 4-3/4" x 4-3/4" square with a spiral saw. Sand all the interior and exterior edges.

4. Draw the wood burn design onto the frame with a pencil.

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5. Heat the wood-burning tool and wood burn the design into the wood frame with a chisel tip and fine point tip.

6. Let it cool and prepare for painting.

7. Paint the frame with acrylic paints: Squeeze out a dime-sized amount of various acrylic paint colors onto a palette. Mix some of the colors with gel medium for a translucent look. Blend two shades of paint in an area, or wait until one color has dried and then add a very light, sheer glaze of an additional color. Let dry.

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8. Paint the outside sides and the sides of the middle opening black. Let dry.

9. Varnish the mirror frame to protect it with a water-based varnish. Paint the varnish on slowly to prevent air bubbles. Let dry.

10. Clean the 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" accent mirror with glass cleaner and a soft cloth. Place the mirror on the back of the frame and mark around it with pencil. Apply the glue to the front of the mirror and glue it face down to the back of the frame. Clamp the pieces together until dry or about 24 hours.

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11. Attach a picture hanger to the back of the acrylic accent mirror frame with a hammer.

12. Add a few self-adhesive felt dots to the back bottom of the painting to protect the walls from any scuffs.

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