Thursday, December 15, 2011

Restoring an Antique Mirror/Medicine Cabinet


I purchased this antique mirror/medicine cabinet from Craig's List--really it's a mirror with a cubby. It was exactly the right size for the master bath.

It will fit perfectly between the sconces.
The master bath is in the new part of the house. Eventually I hope to replace all the trim and finishes so the new part will look seamless with the old. That means anything "new" I purchase should be old, or at least a reproduction. I don't know the actual age of the mirror. The seller just said it was old, but the style seems to fit with my house even if it's not from the late twenties. If anyone recognizes the style or can pinpoint the age, let me know.

I'm po' so I can't afford nice antiques. The glass does show some signs of age, but it's still completely functional. I think it adds character. There were also a bunch of chips and gouges, but the price was right, so I bought it with the intent to restore it and paint it white.

Chip from the top corner. I need to sweep my deck.

Gouge in the lid and huge chip from the bottom corner.

I lightly sanded the whole piece and removed the screws and hinges attaching the lid to the cubby. I taped a piece of cardboard to the bottom with painters tape so I could build up the missing area on the bottom corner. I bought some wood filler and filled the gouges and chips.



Bottom corner.

Cubby lid.

Top corner.

After the putty dried, I sanded off the extra. The putty wasn't quite dry on the bottom corner and broke off the when I was sanding, so I put a smaller amount in, let it dry and repeated until the area was even with the wood.

The bottom corner viewed from below.

The bottom corner viewed from above.

The cubby lid.

The upper corner. Apologies for the blurry photo.

Then I put two coats of primer on the piece using a brush so I could get into the grooves. I decided to use white, high gloss spray paint instead of using a brush for the final coats because I didn't want brush strokes. But it's rained every day that I've actually had time to paint, so the mirror has been sitting on my living room floor for two weeks. The weather report shows rain all weekend, so it looks like it's going to be another week before this project is finished.

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