Painting Metal

I don’t know why, but I can’t just focus on one room of the house then finish it and move to the next. I’m working on every single room of this house simultaneously, but I just keep getting ideas here and there and it’s easier to jump around then try to contain them all.

Today’s project is my favorite kind: f-r-double e FREE. I updated the bathroom mirror using materials I had already purchased for another project and it looks much much better.

I’ve been working on this bathroom steadily for a few months now. First, I repainted it to change it from dark dank brown to light airy cream, then I bought a new accessories and but frosted contact paper on the windows to further brighten it up. Now I’ve done just about all I can do until we figure out if we’re going to get rid of the tile.

This mirror was hanging when we bought the house…sort of. The previous owner actually tried to take it and I had to call the real estate agent to get it back. It was a weird situation. But either way, it fits perfectly in the space and buying a new mirror that size would cost too much money so luckily I’m a fan of working with what you’ve got!

The mirror isn’t awful, but in the interest of brightening up the room and getting as many things to match as possible I wanted it to be white- maybe with a cool stencil or pattern on it.

From a distance it looks fine, but up close you can see it’s got a lot of discoloring and dings and scratches. No good.

I took the mirror outside and placed it on a tarp because spray paint can make a big old mess. First I put painters tape all around the border, on the mirror, and then I put cut up paper bags on top of it to help prevent overspray from getting on the mirror. Now that I’ve done this, I suggest you use plastic and not paper. You’ll see why in a minute…

I used Kilz spray primer because regular paint would not adhere to the metal, but the spraypaint I had on hand was good for both wood and metal. Shake the spray paint bottle for a good couple of minutes then use thin, thin, thin even coats. I probably went around the frame three times, one right after another, lightly misting it over each time. This prevents it from getting a thick sandpapery texture and drips around the edge.

Immediately take off all the paint and paper/plastic guard because spray paint dries quickly. You can see it also managed to seep through the paper and get on the mirror. Ugh.

If spray paint does get on your mirror, just take a razor and lightly scrape it off. It won’t do any damage if you hold it at an angle. (Look mom, I did my nails again!)

This is the part where I had to make a decision: leave the mirror completely white or stencil a design on it. I really wanted just a little stencil on each corner to make it pop, but I tested out my stencil on a piece of paper first and it turns out I suck at stenciling, so that was not an option. Then I created this really super awful mock up of what it would look like if I just taped a random pattern on the mirror and painted in the empty spots:

I used a white Yankee Candle bag inside out and that blue is actually the new color of the half bath, which I have yet to show you. I wanted to make the stencil or pattern in the same color as the half bath so the two rooms would match, and they would also match the movie room (when it’s repainted) and the office.

I actually really like the idea of this, it’s quirky and different without being too much (in my opinion). However, the bathroom has a lot going on already so after talking it out with Matt we decided that I’d just paint a coat of glossy white paint over the primer and we’d live with it for a few days before we decide if we want to add a pattern to it.

Here she is up and about! What do you think? A big improvement? Does she need an abstract paint job?

I think it really helps the room to have as much as possible painted a light color, the cream walls, the lack of a curtain, and all the white make it look so much better.

And just for reference, here’s the other side of the bathroom:

So what would you do- leave it clean and simple? Deck it out with some blue paint? I honestly can’t decide, but I am so glad it’s not silver anymore.

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9 thoughts on “Painting Metal

  1. Pingback: You Can Paint Anything: 31 days | Sandpaper & Glue

  2. I absolutely LOVE the tile in that bathroom!!!! Both the walls and floor!!!! That is awesome! We had maroon marbley plastic tiles floor to ceiling and plastic tile in the tub area!! Eeek!! But, we had really cool rubbery feeling tile on the floor, Kev didnt want to keep it and that sucked, but we did wainscotting on the 1/4 wall and I painted faux spongie stuff and tile in the shower. Need to take pics of it and put it on my blog> I havent been on MY blog in forever! But, LEAVE THE TILE!!!! Just regrout in white or cream! That is what I am going to do in the shower. Good luck…love the bathroom!!!

    • oh don’t be fooled- it’s disgusting. it’s all cracked and permanently dirty 😦 we’re currently doing wainscoting in the half bath and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s done.

  3. Pingback: Spray Paint Projects | S & G

  4. I think I like it as-is! it ties in perfectly with the other white pieces in the room 🙂 and with the new cardigan/curtain from your next post, I think a stencil pattern would just be too much going on.

  5. I’d keep it simple. I’ve learned from experience, anytime I take that ONE extra teensy-weensy step to personalize something further, it ends up being too much. Just this weekend, I was just going to paint the top of my vintage end table turquoise to cover up some water damage. Then I got going and decided to paint the edge around the top and the sides and….well, now I’m looking at sort of a clownish end table and I wish I would have just stuck to my original plan! You can bring pattern into the bathroom with towels, or a rug, or artwork, or redo the little curtain on the vanity in a fun fabric, but that mirror will always match your décor and last forever in that room if you leave it a solid color.

    • I do that too– I just mean to make a little tweak then all of the sudden things have gone crazy! haha. I like the idea of getting new fabric for the curtain (when we bought the house that door was missing form the vanity)- I think I’m going to make a Jo-Ann fabric run next weekend!!

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