Making an outdoor mirror reflective?

alisonApril 23, 2007

A couple of years ago I found a beautiful old mirror with thick glass, bevelled edges -- and flaking silver. It wasn't something I wanted to put inside the house, but it looked lovely on a back fence in the yard, reflecting the light and looking like a window into a secret garden.

Over the years, more and more of the silver flaked off, and there really isn't much left. Over the weekend, as an experiemtn, I painted some vines and flowers on the back of the glass. I planned to spray paint the back silver or chrome, then add a coat of varnish and put it back in the yard.

But when I tried the chrome spray paint on a test piece of glass, it was just a flat grey, no sparkle or reflection at all. I didn't buy a can of silvr spray paint, but I'm not expecting that will be any different.

I'm thinking I might get some silver or aluminum leaf. I don't expect a real mirror finish (altho' that would be nice!) but I do want something that will catch an reflect the light.

Has anyone used the leafing for an outdoor project? Anything special I should know? Or is there something else I should use that could give me a reflective surface behind the paint?

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I don't know what it's called, but there is a spray or paint that makes mirror finishes. You might check in a craft store or hardware store.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:26AM
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Ask any mirror place in the yellow pgs about getting it 'resilvered'. It's a process like any other and is usually done professionally.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 4:58AM
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Having it re-silvered over the painted flowers seems overkill, especially since I want to keep it outside in the elements.

I asked at Jo-Ann's and the hardware store. The former couldn't think of anything, and the later just suggested the chrome spray paint.

What I may do is cut a length of acylic mirror and set that behind the painted glass, up agasint the fence.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 6:41PM
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Backing it with an acrylic mirror is a good idea. I never had a mirror resilvered - but I think it would be way too much to spend on yard art. I bet your project is really pretty ! Have fun with it !

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 5:04PM
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Alison, Krylon has a spray paint that makes glass into mirror. Check the link below. I've not used it before, but I'm never been unhappy with any Krylon product I've used.

Here is a link that might be useful: Krylon Looking Glass-Mirror like paint

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Cool! I'm off to the hardware store tonight!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:40PM
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That stuff looks like tons of fun. My glass objects and garden art will never be the same! Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Alison, please take some pics of it when it's done and in your yard. I would love to see how you use it. I love gazing globes, so I can see where the mirror idea would be great fun.

Best of luck with it,

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 1:10PM
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Ooohhh sounds fun!! Got pics??

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 11:27AM
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Yes please post as I have those 4 windows that I could do that on. Thanks Caroline

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Well I hate to say it but....... Im sure that you can find another old mirror with or without bevel and just replace it. This is definately the easiest and fastest. I see old mirrors every weekend at garage sales practically for free. For that matter frames as well and old windows are perfect.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:13AM
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