“Black Mirror!” Or, “Nursery Project: Refinishing a mirror”

One of the things that was bothering me for a long time while we were working on the nursery was this black-framed mirror:

We originally bought it for the office/guest room so that there was a place for guests to get ready and also to hang things up.  I liked that it was a mirror and hooks in one piece, and that it wasn’t super big and thus unobtrusive when the guest room was functioning as our office, (as it was 90% of the time).  Once we cleaned out the office to start making the nursery (read more about that here) this was one of thing things that became “homeless.”  I still liked it, but I didn’t see a need for it anywhere else in the house, so it was just hanging out in the nursery closet, being annoying and falling out at me when I tried to retrieve stuff from the closet.  This is the kind of thing I always tell people not to do, so in addition to always getting smacked by the mirror, I also felt as though it was calling me a hypocrite.  Darn mirror!!

What also bothered me was that, as you can see from the picture, one of the three knobs was missing.  This was a very unfortunate consequence of me trying to replace all three knobs with more exciting ones than that ones that it came with.  Sadly, what I thought would be a quick-change project that would take less than five minutes turned into an all-afternoon frustration-fest.  None of the screws I had for the knobs I wanted to use were short enough; they all stuck out really far in back so that if I had tried to hang it on the wall, it would have stuck out at the bottom really far.  Plus, I was trying to use knobs that had a decorative screw, which is to say that the head of the screw was smooth and was the center of the knob design.  Most knobs have the head of the screw in the back of the knob (if you don’t know what I mean, it might help to go look at the knobs on your kitchen cupboards).

Anyway,  I had originally purchased these extra-fancy knobs at Anthropologie for a different project but was no longer using them, so I but wanted to re-use them for this project.  I looked all over online to find some shorter decorative screws that I could order, but to no avail.  I finally broke down and emailed Anthropologie to ask if they knew where I could find some shorter screws that would work.  The response was not helpful: they suggested I just cut the screws down to size.  Um…what?  Cut the screw….with what?  I even went to a hardware store to try to get shorter screws, but apparently shorter decorative screws really do not exist.  I stopped short of asking someone how I could cut the screws down to size–mostly because I thought that sounded silly…and dangerous.  So my choices were:

a) use a screw with a flat-head or philips head that would show and look rather “industrial” rather than fancy

b) cut the screw down to size with some unknown device

c) cut and run

I chose option c, lest I go completely bald from all the hair-pulling-out I was doing over THREE STUPID KNOBS.  Not worth it, I decided.  So I went to put the original knobs back on only to discover that and I could only find two of them!  I looked everywhere, but the third knob, to this day, eludes me.  Ever since that terrible weekend, I’ve had this sad not-quite-complete guest room mirror that bugged me every time I saw it. It lived (sadly) on the wall until we cleared out the office to make way for baby, and that’s when into the closet it went.  And that’s where it stayed, annoying an judging me, for many many months.

Then, one day, when I thought I couldn’t stand one more attack by this damn mirror that was hanging out in the nursery closet, it dawned on me: I could use this in the nursery!  Not in its current state of course (a black-framed mirror seems like a strange choice for a nursery, after all) but I thought if I painted it white and attempted to replace the knobs again (vowing only to use knobs that did not require stupid specialty fancy screws ) that maybe I could gain some needed decoration for the nursery.  I had also been looking for a place to hang to-be-worn-next outfits for Sydney for when DH was getting her ready (we both take turns with diaper duty, but most of the time the outfit choice is up to me, which is pretty fun).  I had been hanging her outfit on one of the drawer pulls on the built-ins where we have the changing station:


But of course that made it difficult to use the drawer in the meantime!  So the mirror went from bane-of-of my-existence and constant-reminder-of-a-project-gone-South to new-project-that-I’m-super-excited-about-for the new nursery!  Isn’t it nice when that happens?  I’ll post a tutorial with pics soon!!

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2 thoughts on ““Black Mirror!” Or, “Nursery Project: Refinishing a mirror”

  1. Pingback: Refinishing a mirror: tutorial « the2bedroomblues

  2. Pingback: Nursery Finishing touches « the2bedroomblues

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