Mistake #2: I should have just used one coat of paint and then wet distressed. It would have been a much easier process. But since I did not do to that and left it a day after painting and the wood was still porous, it wouldn't even hand sand off! I had already carefully scraped the paint off the mirror before discovering that I could not hand sand the frame.
Mistake #3: I pulled out my mouse sander and . . . . yup, I didn't remove the mirror first. Why? One reason was because the back had that nice brown paper backing that looked so professional and I didn't want to remove it, and secondly I was working late at night when I was really too tired. I had to use pressure to sand this down and doing that in the insides of the frame heavily scratched the mirror. I know, I know! Totally stupid of me!!!
So, I decided that I wanted to antique the mirror anyway so thats no biggie. I removed that nice professional backing and took the mirror outside and set it on two sawhorses and applied Citristrip heavily. Went back out about 20 minutes later and began scraping. I've used Citristrip quite a bit and its always lifted whatever finish very well. Not this mirror! It did absolutely nothing! I then decided to try something I had read and recoated it with the Citristrip and applied plastic wrap (supposedly to keep the stripper wet) and it instantly melted. LOL
Since Citristrip wasn't working on this at all, I got out my Circa 1850 heavy duty stripper and poured that on and let it set. I was able to scrape off A LITTLE bit so I used what little I had left and recoated the mirror and left it longer this time . . . and was able to scrape off a little bit more. Folks, this was HARD work for such little gain! I figured I would be working on this for days and so I decided to not invest in buying more stripper and gave that idea up and just cleaned up all the residue.
So, I ditched the idea of using the decoupage back and decided to try something else on the front of the mirror. I was just blindly going at it this time without a real plan in mind and began painting the HTP French Vanilla on the front and after I was painting, I realized how stupid that was and immediately grabbed a clean damp microfibre towel and began washing it off. It created a milky swirl that gave me an idea! While the milky swirl was still wet, I laid the microfibre cloth out flat on the surface, patting it down all over before carefully lifting it back off. It was beautiful!! So, I finished doing that to the whole mirror!
So, I washed it all off and went to town and bought Krylon Looking Glass spray. I decided it was time to try another tutorial I had read about antiquing. I followed that process exactly. I cleaned the mirror front, then sprayed a half & half mix of water & vinegar to the mirror before spraying the Looking Glass all over. You then within a few seconds blot the mirror with a clean dry rag. I was so done with this whole thing!
I left it in the hot sun to cure for a full day and then went to place it in the frame. One little staple was in the way so I lifted the mirror back out and set it up against my couch to fix the staple and suddenly the mirror broke! YES! You read that right. It broke!!! After all those times of taking the mirror outside and back in. All those times of having to move it from place to place while I tried different things and it never broke and this time I gently set it and it breaks!!! After almost two full weeks of working on that mirror and stressing over all the failures, it BROKE! I was too frustrated to cry.
I bought a wire 18" floral ring at Michaels and my Mom (while I was working on other DIY projects) strung my greenery garland from Hobby Lobby around it (also available on Amazon). She is amazing like that. I added the black and white gingham ribbon I had on hand and we hung the wreath on the no-mirror frame. When I am able to find wider ribbon, I will replace it.
Yes, this mirror itself had the last laugh . . . but I still have beautiful decor in the end. AND I love how it looks!