Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DIY Tutorial: Broken Mirror to Chalkboard

This might be the busiest/most exciting year of my life so far.  As I've mentioned in posts previously, Chris and I have moved and we're also planning our wedding that's in less than a year.  Balancing house and wedding priorities is a really great way to completely stress yourself out.  At the moment I've tried to alternate house/wedding/house/wedding...but sometimes the house projects are way more fun.  The best case scenario is when a house project doubles as a wedding project!

Craigslist is my bff and also a big point of contention between Chris and I.  Why would I want to drive all the way out to east jabip to pick up a piece of junk....WHY WOULDN'T I?  Those are the two viewpoints.  When I found a fabulous, HUGE, valuable yet cheap vintage art deco mirror on the Craig for $25 I had to have it, so with heavy feet Chris accompanied me...because hello?  Craigslist Killers.

When the mirror was presented it had a slight flaw that wasn't in its posting pictures.  It had a teeny 4 inch crack in the glass starting from the bottom.  I thought I could fix it with a glass repair kit so I still agreed to take it for a discount.  And it was offered for free!  I couldn't turn down free but my other half saw it as me taking home trash.  As we packed it into the car the crack made its way all the way through the mirror.  Needless to say it wasn't the most pleasant ride home, or the most pleasant Friday night, or the most pleasant Saturday morning.

But hey, stuff happens.  People get angry.  Instead of letting the huge broken in two mirror loom over us for the weekend and instead of that Friday night going to waste, I attempted to turn the mirror into something else completely.  I had seen the same scenario on Little Green Notebook where their gorgeous scroll mirror got damaged in their move to Phoenix.  With some modifications, I adapted their salvage techniques and turned my broken mirror into a fabulous chalkboard.

There she is - my fractured mirror.  I removed the glass very carefully and realized that the backing I expected to be my future chalkboard didn't exist.  Behind the mirror was an open frame.  Quick on my feet I decided to use the glass as a stencil on plywood to create my own chalkboard base.

If you look really closely, you'll see that I'm using two pieces of plywood underneath the mirror.  Having a 4 door sedan means I can't lug home huge products...which is a total bummer because I think this prevents me from getting all the Craigslist things I I had to improvise.  I traced my mirror and then used a jigsaw to cut out the curvy corners.

Voila!  Using another piece of plywood behind the front, I was able to get the two pieces in line with each other by gluing it to the back with wood glue.  Now I had the issue of a gap in the surface of my chalkboard.  And I also have the issue of losing the pics of the next two steps!  So I'll summarize...

I used joint compound aka sheetrock aka spackle all over the surface of the plywood so that the crease was covered and an even surface was made over the entire piece.  Once it dried I sanded it with a sanding block to an even level.

Then, I painted with chalkboard paint on the spackled surface.  After two coats and allowing it to cure overnight I was able to "prime" it with chalk..aka write all over it and erase to leave that chalky base.

The mirror was supposed to live in our entry way being a grand focal point as you entered and left our home.  After it went through trauma, we re purposed it as a chalkboard menu and gave it a home in the kitchen above our table.  (Also I totally realize I left the O out of Chalkboard.  Butttt Harry looks so cute in front of it I couldn't not show this!).

Here's the final product put to good use in our kitchen!  I love how it's both beautiful and functional.  The black and gold pop against the freshly painted Frost white walls.  Just goes to show that you can turn a bad situation around and still create something beautiful.  Now the bad memory of retrieving and breaking the mirror isn't so bad after all!  And did I mention this was FREE?!  To go back to the brief point about wedding and house projects being two stones, we're planning on using this board as signage for the reception likely as a list of the menu.  Love it when my projects serve dual purposes!

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