May 11, 2009
Last week I found a beveled glass mirror at the local thrift store for $8. It was the perfect size for my daughter’s bedroom. The only problem was that it was oak. All it took to transform it was just some sanding, a bit of primer, and some white spray paint.
Here’s the Before and After:
There are two schools of thought on painting oak. The first opinion is that painted oak never looks good. I happen to subscribe to the second opinion. Painted oak can look good, if you follow through with several labor intensive steps.
Clean and remove all dirt and grime from the surface. Then sand off any varnish to get to the raw wood. For big projects like kitchen or bathroom cabinets, you’re better off using a power tool sander rather than sanding by hand. In my case, since my project was small, I used a medium grade sandpaper to remove the small amount of varnish on the mirror. Be sure to wipe after sanding to remove all dust.
I taped off the beveled mirror with painter’s tape and newspaper.
Prime with an oil based primer. Sometimes you must apply two coats, especially if you want to minimize the grainy nature of oak. In bigger projects, allow to dry 24 hours. In my case, I used a fast drying spray paint primer. The first coat was dry after 30 minutes, so then I applied a second coat. It is a good idea to apply two coats of primer since oak is a very grainy wood and the primer helps to fill in some of those grains.
When your primer is dry, apply at least two coats of paint, preferably with a sprayer rather than a brush to avoid brush strokes. In my case, I applied three coats of spray paint since the coats are thinner when you spray versus using a brush.
I didn’t bother painting the back since no one would see it anyway. The mirror had no hooks on the back, so I purchased these from a local craft store:
Since the mirror is hanging in my daughter’s room, I also stapled a simple sew sash to the back to glam up the look of the mirror.
Here is the final looking glass in her room.
What are your thoughts on transforming oak ?