Room to Breathe

Something I’ve wanted to do since almost the first day we moved in here has been accomplished! I finally changed out the HUGE mirror above our fireplace for something more suitable. I just didn’t like how big it was. It made for a challenge in decorating the mantle. You don’t always want everything to be multiplied if you know what I’m sayin.

Plus, the (glue?) “stains” in the corners didn’t float my boat.

Now, this project could have happened much earlier if the wall behind the mirror was painted. But it was not. So, several steps had to happen:

1. Match paint. That took quite a while – 3 paint stores and a multitude of samples. It’s very close – so close you can’t tell that there is a smidge difference when the light is a certain way (I only know from some “patches” I tried earlier).
2. Find new mirror. Craiglist to the rescue!
3. Get rid of existing mirror. Craigslist to the rescue!
4. Repair and paint wall (including taping off the top white part – that’s “faux” molding. And, yes, I’m planning to repaint the entire room at some point).
5. Hang new mirror.
6. Do the happy dance!

Let’s just get to step 2, shall we? I found an 8-sided mirror on Craiglist. 10 bucks? Yeah, sold. The only issue was the brassy color.

I like a little brassy-ness, just not on my mirrors. Or hardware in general. It had a nice “texture” about it that was also appealing.

I also liked that it was akin to the bagua. For those of you who know Feng Shui, that is the map of the space we use. It has 8 sides, just like this lovely piece.

I decided to paint it one of my new fave colors – oil rubbed bronze. Reminiscent of this table. I started with sliding regular copy paper under the frame and on top of the mirror and taping it off (so paint wouldn’t “leak” on the mirror).

Then put other paper around it to cover up the entire surface.

Then I got my spray paint out and went to town.

Was very excited at this point.

The next step was getting rid of the mirror above the fireplace. Within 20 min of posting on Craigslist – for free – I had a taker. There is a nice Feng Shui connection here, too. We’re always encouraging people to release things they don’t like because someone else will be thrilled. That is exactly what happened here. Every day when I looked at it I had an inner sigh. But the person who picked it up thought it was “beautiful” (stains and all) and was more than excited to put it up in her living room. What a great feeling! It went to a loving home. The same happened with the mirror I bought – I was psyched and the seller was…not.

Behind the mirror was a faded green wall. I think that must have been 2 paint jobs ago? And there were some cracks to be filled, plus the holes from the last mirror. I also had to tape off the top part for the white faux molding. That was quite the exercise – taping, leveling, retaping, leveling, adjusting and finalizing 🙂

A little sanding, spackling, sanding and 2 coats of paint later, I had a wonderful “new” wall.

All that was left was measuring, leveling and putting her in place. I kept the same accessories, although I am thinking about changing them out too.


A couple of chips were incurred during the switch-a-roo. I didn’t want to take it off the wall, so I simply sprayed into a plastic cup and used a small brush to repair them. That worked out very well.

Here’s another set of before/after shots for you so you can really see the difference.

As Carole Hyder has said before, “sometimes there just needs to be room to breathe” referencing walls, artwork and furniture. That’s exactly how I feel about this project. The fireplace mirror finally has room to breathe. And is looking most lovely at that.

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