How to Paint a Mirror Frame: Breathe New Life into an Old Mirror

Bob Thomas


As a qualified painter and decorator, I have come across many projects where a simple touch-up can make a significant impact.

One such project is painting a mirror frame.

A freshly painted mirror frame can bring new life to an old mirror and update the look of any room.

Here's a detailed guide on how to paint a mirror frame like a pro.

Quick Summary

In this article, we'll cover the step-by-step process of painting a mirror frame, including the materials needed, preparation, painting techniques, and finishing touches.

Follow these steps to give your old mirror a fresh, new look.

Materials and Tools You'll Need


Drop cloth

To protect the work area

Painter's tape

To mask the mirror's surface

Sandpaper (120 grit)

To sand and smooth the frame


To prepare the frame for painting

Paintbrush or roller

To apply primer and paint


To give the frame a new appearance

Clear sealer

To protect the painted frame

Step-by-Step Guide on Painting a Mirror Frame

  1. Prepare the work area: Lay down a drop cloth to protect your workspace from paint spills and debris.
  2. Remove the mirror (if possible): If you can remove the mirror from the frame, do so carefully to avoid breaking it. If not, move on to the next step.
  3. Tape off the mirror: Use painter's tape to cover the mirror's surface, ensuring no paint gets on the glass.
  4. Sand the frame: Sand the frame with 120-grit sandpaper to remove any old paint or varnish and create a smooth surface for painting. Remember to wipe the frame clean with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris.
  5. Prime the frame: Apply a coat of primer to the frame using a paintbrush or roller. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth, professional finish. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Paint the frame: Once the primer is dry, apply the paint of your choice. Use a paintbrush or roller to achieve a smooth, even coat. You may need multiple coats for complete coverage. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.
  7. Apply a clear sealer: To protect the painted frame and ensure longevity, apply a clear sealer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  8. Remove the painter's tape: Carefully remove the painter's tape from the mirror's surface. If you removed the mirror earlier, reinstall it into the frame.
  9. Inspect your work: Take a step back and admire your newly painted mirror frame. You've successfully updated an old mirror and given it a fresh, new look!

Last year, I decided to update an old mirror in my bedroom. I chose a bright, bold color for the frame, and it truly transformed the entire room.

The whole process was simple and cost-effective, yet the results were stunning.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Painting a Mirror Frame

Now that you've learned the basic steps for painting a mirror frame, let's explore some additional tips and tricks to make your project even more successful.

  1. Choose the right paint: Consider using a high-quality, water-based paint with a semi-gloss or gloss finish. This type of paint is durable and easy to clean, making it perfect for mirror frames. Additionally, the sheen adds a touch of elegance to the finished product.
  2. Use a high-quality paintbrush: Invest in a good quality paintbrush or roller to ensure a smooth, even application of paint. A high-quality brush will also help minimize visible brush strokes, giving your frame a more professional finish.
  3. Try different painting techniques: Experiment with different painting techniques to create a unique look for your mirror frame. For example, you could use a dry brush technique, where you apply paint to the frame with a brush that has very little paint on it, creating a distressed look. Another option is to use a sponge to apply paint, which can give the frame a textured appearance.
  4. Add decorative elements: Once you've painted your mirror frame, consider adding decorative elements like stencils, gold leaf, or even small embellishments like beads or rhinestones. These can add a touch of personalization and flair to your finished project.
  5. Be patient: Remember that patience is key when painting a mirror frame. Allow ample time for each coat of primer and paint to dry before applying the next coat. Rushing the process can lead to an uneven or streaky finish.
  6. Safety first: Always paint in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask if necessary, especially when using spray paint or strong-smelling paints.

A friend of mine recently transformed her bathroom by painting her mirror frame.

She chose a metallic gold paint, which added a touch of glamour to the space.

The results were stunning and completely changed the room's atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Can I paint a mirror frame that's made of plastic or metal?

  A: Yes, you can paint mirror frames made of various materials, including plastic and metal.

However, make sure to use a primer specifically designed for the material you're working with.

For plastic frames, choose a plastic primer, while metal frames will require a metal primer.

Q. Can I use spray paint instead of brush-on paint for my mirror frame?

  A: Absolutely! Spray paint can be a quick and convenient alternative to brush-on paint, offering a smoother finish with less visible brush strokes.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and work in a well-ventilated area.

Q. What if I want to paint a design or pattern on my mirror frame?

  A: Painting a design or pattern on your mirror frame can add a unique touch.

You can use painter's tape to create geometric patterns or stencils for more intricate designs.

Be sure to let each color of paint dry thoroughly before applying another color or removing the tape/stencil.

Q. How do I repair minor damages on my mirror frame before painting?

  A: For wooden frames with small cracks, gouges, or holes, use wood filler or putty to fill in the damaged areas.

Once the filler has dried, sand the area smooth to ensure a seamless surface for painting.

For metal or plastic frames, use an appropriate filler or epoxy designed for the specific material.

Q. How can I ensure the paint on my mirror frame lasts for a long time?

  A: To extend the life of your painted mirror frame, consider applying a clear protective topcoat or sealer after the paint has dried.

This will provide an extra layer of protection against scratches, moisture, and UV damage.

Q. How do I clean a painted mirror frame?

  A: To clean a painted mirror frame, use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe away dust and dirt.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too hard, as this may damage the paint.

If your frame has a protective topcoat, it should be more resistant to scuffs and stains.


Remember, when painting a mirror frame, it's essential to follow these steps carefully and take your time to ensure a professional result.

With a little patience and creativity, you can give your old mirror a new lease on life!

Suggested Products:

  1. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint: This versatile, fast-drying paint is perfect for painting mirror frames, as it provides excellent coverage and durability. It comes in a wide range of colors and finishes, ensuring your mirror frame will look fantastic and match your decor.
  2. KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior/Exterior Primer: This premium primer is designed to provide excellent adhesion to various surfaces, including mirror frames made of wood, metal, and plastic. It creates a strong foundation for your chosen paint and ensures a long-lasting, professional-looking finish.
  3. ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter's Tape: Ideal for creating sharp, clean lines when painting patterns or designs on mirror frames, this painter's tape can be easily removed without damaging your paintwork or leaving residue behind.
  4. Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler: This high-quality wood filler is perfect for repairing minor damages on wooden mirror frames before painting. It dries quickly and can be easily sanded for a smooth, seamless surface.
  5. Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish: To protect your painted mirror frame and ensure its longevity, this clear, water-based topcoat is an excellent choice. It dries quickly, is easy to apply, and provides a durable, scratch-resistant finish.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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