DIY Rub n' Buff Antique Gold Vintage Mirror Frame and a White Mantle Makeover

Hello friends,

It's been a while since my last post. I think it has something to do with Winter and not wanting to do much cause it's too cold. Or it might be because I mysteriously tore a cartilage in my knee and have been taking it easy. In any event, it's been very quiet on the DIY front around here. 

Until now. 

Unfortunately, today is the first day of another two week Sydney lockdown. 

It also coincides with the start of school holidays. We had booked to go skiing at Perisher, but that now has to be cancelled and we are all under stay at home orders. We're all pretty disappointed, but there will be other holidays and everyone's lives and staying safe and healthy is of course much more important. 

But what happens when I'm left too long looking at the walls, my mind starts thinking about changing anything and everything just to keep busy. 

It also means I'm blogging again! And that is definitely a great thing cause I love to blog!

And even though it is only day 1 of lockdown, I have been working for the past few days on a few things. Today I'm sharing a makeover of my vintage mantel mirror, and a new look to our mantle and fireplace surround.

This is how my thrifted vintage mirror used to look on my fireplace mantle. I love the size and shape of it so much, but I've also wanted a mirror with a gold border, similar to the ones you see in Anthropologie, that have the gorgeous scroll work and cost a fortune.   

 I have also been considering changing up some of my black hardware around my home with an antique gold colour. That is when I happened upon Rub n' Buff. I know this stuff is popular in the US, but here in Australia I'd never seen it before. But when I typed it in, Spotlight, my local craft store showed it in stock. So I had to grab me some. And after testing it on a few draw knobs I was pretty impressed.  And so I had the idea to try it out on my mirror.

The mirror already had a bevilled edge frame so I just wiped the Rub n' Buff on over this edge. I know this stuff is not really for mirrors, but it actually stuck relatively well! And no need to buff. 

The mirror is backed with a sheet of plywood, and I just applied the Rub n' Buff over this too. 

And over the clips holding the glass to the backing. I wasn't too neat as I wanted it to still looked a bit aged.

The glass already has beautiful age spots. And the new antique gold "faux" frame matched nicely. 

And this was the final result. From a distance it looks like a real frame! And given I won't be touching it too often I'm not too worried about it chipping off.

And it was so much cheaper than buying a whole new mirror. The cost of the Rub n' Buff was $15 and it is a super small tube, but a little goes a long way so I didn't use very much at all. 

And while I'm showing off my "new" mirror, I'll show you our new look mantel and fire place surround. It used to look like this when I added a faux wood beam mantle (which you can see here) and faux brick wallpaper (which you can see here). 

And now...
Why did I change this? When I applied the brick wallpaper it was Summer and we weren't using the fireplace. Since it is now Winter and we have been using the fireplace, I've noticed the wallpaper behind it was heating up and lifting and bubbling. Given the wallpaper was applied to MDF sheets that were screwed to the wall, I simply unscrewed the sheets and removed them, revealing the white wall behind. I can always reattach them when it gets warmer or for a different look at Christmas. 

I had also been considering adding more whites and lighter woods to the room, so after doing this, I decided to change up the mantle as well. I removed the extra pieces and painted the main shelf white. I love being able to see the shelf corbels again. 

I also patched up the wall and gave the wall a fresh coat of white paint too. I used a semi gloss so it would contrast to the flat white walls. 
And I'm loving the new bright fresh new look, and the bling from my new look mirror.


For my Aussie friends, I know a lot of states have now either gone into lockdowns or had restrictions imposed and I hope you all take care and stay safe. 
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  1. Hi Julie, If you like the look of brick, you could use "thin brick" instead of wallpaper. It would offer extra protection from the heat and look good all year. Just google "thin brick" to see some options. I expect you have something similar available in Australia. Nice job on the mirror. I'd never trade an old mirror for a new one either, especially not one that interesting!

    1. Hi Grace, thanks for the advice! I hadn't heard of thin brick but there are some places here with it! Thanks again! Julie

  2. So sorry to hear about your disappointment. You did a good job filling the void with this project!


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