Hand painted mirror: Using your own hand

Hand painted mirrors can add a very human touch to the room, and are very simple to make in your spare time. Working on a project like this can be fun time for the whole family and could be the very thing you need to bond with your kids or your spouse. As projects go, this one is relatively inexpensive, and the materials are freely available or sometimes available for free. Your first choice should be to see what you have lying around the house that you can use to do your mirror project with: an old mirror with a damaged frame, or even a large mirror that's got a crack along the edge but will still yield a smaller-sized mirror, some primer that may be left over from your birdhouse project last summer, and maybe some bright paints from the garage and some scrap wood for a fresh frame, and you're about set to start work.

Hand painted mirror: Made in your own image

If you're using a part of a broken mirror, take it down to the local mirror store and have it cut to the size you want. They'll even put a safety back on it to make it shatterproof if you want. Once you've got the right size, get your materials together and clear a space on the worktable in the garage – this project requires some precision cutting and some room to paint. Once you've got the frame ready, prime it and then put the paint on after marking out the design pattern for the hand painted mirror frame with a pencil. Make sure you're wearing a nose and mouth mask when painting, and leave a window open so the fumes don't get to you. If you like, before that you can get your family to sign their names to the frame, in remembrance of the project that they were a part of. When the paint is dry and you're happy with how it looks, you can get to work framing the mirror. Remember to use the proper tools and observe safety measures at all times, especially if the kids are in on the project.

Putting on the final few touches

Once you've framed your hand painted mirror, get it all cleaned up and use a streak-free glass cleaner to shine it to a sparkling finish. In fact, you can even use a mixture of water, vinegar and lemon juice to prevent it from forming mildew or getting spotty with water – it's a great recipe for all the mirrors in your home and it costs next to nothing to make. Next step is to hang the mirror up. Get the right kinds of screws and anchors so you don't damage the wall more than is necessary hang the mirror. Always use a screw and anchor set that will take at least 3 times the weight of the mirror – this is very important. Before you drill the holes, mark the wall at the appropriate height: you'll want the mirror to show about an inch of background over your head when you're about 5 feet away, but that depends on the mirror size.

The home hand painted mirror factory

If all goes well, you should have a brand new personalized hand painted mirror installed and ready to use in a couple days tops. The whole exercise should have cost you about the price of screws, and pizza and sodas for the project members at the lower end, and maybe $30 at the upper. These projects are so much fun that after your first one, you might develop a liking for making hand painted mirrors at home – your house could be covered in them in a matter of weeks, making it a vibrantly colorful home; one that you can be proud of.