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Create an antiqued finish on mirror tiles and add them to a simple framed backer. The result is an elegant, artistic decor piece.
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These instructions are for making a single mirror panel. To make the trio of panels shown, repeat each step two more times.
Cut the back (A) to size from a 1/4-inch-thick piece of cement backer (Project Diagram, Cutting List). To cut the material, make about five scoring passes with a utility knife using a straightedge to guide the blade. Flip the backer materiel over and snap at the score line.
Cut two 3/4-inch square dowels 12 inches long for the dividers (B). Without using adhesive, place the dividers between three mirror tiles and center the group on the cement backer. There should be about 2 inches of backer exposed around the perimeter of the mirrors and dividers (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Place painter’s tape over the joints between the mirror tiles and the dividers to hold the parts together before you install the trim.
Cut oversize sections of 2-1/4-inch-wide casing to the lengths indicated (Project Diagram, Cutting List) for the side trim (C) and the top/bottom trim (D). Cut a 45-degree miter on one end of a side trim and a mating miter on the top trim.
Tape the mitered corners of the trim together and rest the moulding on the cement backer with the edges snug against the mirrors and trim. At the ends of each part, mark the miter cut locations using the mirror corners as a guide.
Cut the remaining pieces of trim to length by first cutting a miter on the part. Place the miter against the ends cut in the previous step, mark the length, then miter-cut the part to size. Tape each new part in place to make sure the corners fit and to help you mark the next part.
Remove the pieces, apply construction adhesive to the backer with a caulk gun, and press the trim against the backer. Apply tape at the miters to hold the corners together while the adhesive cures.
Cut oversize sections of screen moulding to the lengths listed for the diagonal trim (E) and trim fillers (F) (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Place the diagonal trim on the dividers (B) and mark the angled cut with a pencil at each end. Cut the trim to length and set in position on the center mirror tile (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Place the trim fillers on the mirror, mark the cuts, and cut them to fit.
Remove the dividers (B), the diagonal trim (E), trim fillers (F), and the mirror tiles from the frame and sand the wood parts with 150-grit sandpaper.
The mirror tiles can be customized with an optional antiqued look. In a well-ventilated area, place each mirror tile face-down on a protected surface.
While wearing protective gloves and a ventilation mask, spray the backs of the mirrors with a multi-surface remover and let sit for 10 minutes. Lightly scrape the mirror backing off using a plastic scraper. Repeat spraying and scraping until all of the backing is removed and only the silver reflective coating remains. Rinse each tile with water and dry.
Use caution with the remover to avoid skin contact. Rinse skin with water immediately if this occurs.
Place the mirror tiles face down on the protected surface. With chemical-resistant gloves, ventilation mask, and eye protection, pour a small amount of muriatic acid into the spray bottle and reseal the muriatic acid container. Make sure the nozzle is on the spray setting and very lightly mist the mirror tiles.
Use muriatic acid with caution. Do not breathe fumes form the acid. Avoid skin contact, and rinse skin with water immediately if contact occurs.
Near the mirror edges and corners, mist more of a stream to create small puddles on the mirror. (Aged, antique mirrors tend to wear at the edges the most.) Let the muriatic acid sit for 20 to 30 minutes or until you can see transparent glass where the acid was placed.
After muriatic acid has turned portions of the mirror nearly transparent, individually rinse each mirror tile with water and dry. Place face down on protected surface. If you would like more transparency, repeat the muriatic acid treatment and rinse thoroughly.
On dry tiles, spray-paint the back surfaces with antique pewter gloss paint and let dry.
Apply oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to the wood parts following the instructions on the can.
Reinstall the mirror tiles and the dividers (B) (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Use mirror adhesive tape squares for the mirrors and construction adhesive for the wood dividers.
Apply a small bead of silicone adhesive to the back of the diagonal trim (E) and trim fillers (F) and press against the center mirror tile. Let dry before leaning the mirrors against a wall.