How to Frog Tape and Etch a Round Mirror

September 16, 2013

Have you ever had a great project in mind, but it just didn't turn out to be as easy as you thought it would be?  
Happens to me all the time. Case in point: one round mirror.  I picked it up at Goodwill for $1.99 thinking it would make an awesome chalkboard.  A little Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the frame, a little chalkboard spray paint on the mirror, and it'd be golden.  Not so fast, though.  When I went to take the mirror out of the frame (as I always do when I'm going to make a chalkboard) I found out that it had actually been g-l-u-e-d to the the frame.  Glued, for pete's sake!  Has that ever happened to you?
Since I couldn't get the mirror out of the frame prior to painting either one, I scrapped the idea of using the chalkboard spray paint. 
Time to try Plan B. 
My alternate idea was to use glass etching cream to create a design on the mirror with a stencil. 

I used Martha Stewart Crafts Frost Etching Effect from Michael's.  You're supposed to pounce it on like paint with a stencil brush, but I found that a regular old watercolor paintbrush from my kids' painting stash worked better for me.  The creme is more liquid than creme, so I found that the little brush smoothed it out a bit better than a pouncer. 
TIP:  The beauty of stenciling onto glass is that if you accidentally spread the etching cream underneath the stencil and it bleeds over the lines, you can always carefully scrape the excess dried cream off later with a carpenter's knife.  Just be careful not to scratch the glass in the process.
As for the stencils, I got mine from my friend Peggy's Etsy shop, Artistic Stencils. 

After stenciling I still had to paint the frame, which requires taping off the mirror so as not to accidentally get paint on it.  But it was round!  Taping off a mirror inside a square or even rectangular frame is relatively easy.  But when it's round you can't expect to be able to tape it the same way.

Enter frog tape.  I call it frog tape but I guess it's technically what they call painter's tape.  It's a blue tape you can find at any hardware store, or even the Dollar Store or Dollar General.  (Frog Tape, which is green, is a registered trademark or something so ssshhhh, I didn't even say those words, now did I?)

Due to the arc of the frame, you'll need to rip many small pieces of tape over and over and keep applying them to the mirror right inside the frame, all the way around.

It's a bit tedious at first, but once you get going it can go pretty fast until you end up with this.

Just keep layering until the whole mirror is taped.


And there you go.  She's all ready for painting.  And here's the finished work.

Not bad for a Plan B, huh?

This was for sale at my show last weekend, but it ended up coming home with me.
I think I like it just where it is.
And yes, those pesky old hydrangeas keep cropping up in my photos as they are still growing like weeds around here! Happy dance, happy dance.
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Leave a Comment!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Very clever! You made lemonade out of a real lemon.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh I know, taping a round or oval mirror...Pain in the butt! I have not tried the etching yet, thank you for the great idea. I think your mirror is adorable!!


Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great idea - thanks for sharing! Daughter is working on a mirror project now - may need to pass this info along to her.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word, I totally love this, how fabulous. Thanks for the tutorial. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

Jemma said...

Very, very nice! Really like the lettering on the mirror!
Warm Hugs,

Betsy@ coastal-colors said...

So pretty! I haven't tried the etching cream yet, but want too. I love your mirror! Thanks for all the great tips! I love your Hydrangeas; mine are gone now, so it's nice to see your's!

Toodie said...

That is super cute! Love the etching.

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