How to Create an Antique Renaissance Mirror

Transform an ordinary mirror into a renaissance art piece using decoupage and reproduction artwork.


Materials and Tools:

picture frame
artwork reproduction
aluminum, brass and pale gold bronzing powders
chip paintbrushes
craft paper
decoupage medium
glass bowl
latex gloves
muriatic acid
paint stripper
painter's mask
paper towels
plastic scraper
black spray paint


  1. Turn the mirror face down on craft paper and apply paint stripper to the mirror back with a chip brush to remove protective coating. When the product has loosened the coating, scrape it off with a plastic scraper. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry.
  2. Wearing a mask and latex gloves, pour muriatic acid into a glass bowl. Crumple up a paper towel, dip into acid, and rub over the entire mirror back. This will cause the acid to streak and bead up in areas. Wait five minutes.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the silvering begins to rub off. The silvering will not begin to disappear until the acid is rubbed against it. Once this happens, rub off small amounts all over the mirror, then immediately wash the mirror with water. Dry with a paper towel to prevent further deterioration. Do not remove all of the silvering.
  4. Tear the edges of the artwork reproduction into a few smaller pieces.
  5. Select a spot on the mirror that has more of the silvering removed and determine if this is a good area to permanently position the artwork.
  6. Paint a coat of decoupage medium onto the front of the artwork reproduction and apply to the mirror back. Paint a coat of decoupage medium onto the back of the artwork as well, repeating this process until the desired composition is achieved. Allow to dry.
  7. Paint a coat of sizing over the entire mirror back. Allow to dry until tacky, for approximately 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle bronzing powder over the sizing. Then sprinkle aluminum powder and finish up with the gold powder. Spread the powders over the back of the entire mirror with a clean dry paintbrush. Brush off any excess powder.
  9. Spray the back of the mirror with black paint. Let dry.
  10. Mount the decoupage renaissance antiqued mirror in a picture frame.

Suzy Eaton, North Ogden, Utah

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