Saturday, December 31, 2011

I fixed a 100 year old broken mirror. Does that give me seven years good luck?

Here is another first for me.  I saw this beautiful broken mirror in the basement of my boyfriend's parents home.  When I was told they had it appraised and it lost its value now that it fell and was broken, I asked to take a chance at repairing it enough so that it could be hung again.   As you can see the fall left it a little damaged with pieces broken off.   After I warned them that the eagle head might come back looking more like a Halloween mask (I was half joking), we scooped up the mirror, the pieces and placed it in my car. 

One of the hardest parts of this project was figuring out and deciding which way I should place the wires for the eagles head.  They were a bit out of skew from the fall and I wanted to make sure the new head would sit just right.

Even though I was given a container of broken pieces, some were too small to work with or find where they actually belonged so I decided to rebuild the missing areas with wood putty.  I used a product that I could mold, sculpt and sand.  On smaller frame projects I have used spackle, but this project needed a product that would adhere to the old wood and also act like a glue for some of the smaller pieces. 

You can see the container of small pieces I was working with. Many did not even get used.  I gave them back in a small plastic bag.

Before I repainted the mirror, I decided to have the mirror glass replaced at Peabody Glass in case another fragile piece broke off and I would have time to fix it and paint it all at one time.  Once I got the mirror back home with the new glass, I proceeded to paint it.  Since it was almost a 100 year old piece the color variations were a challenge to match in just spots, so I lightly went over the decorative pieces with 3 different colors and then used a dry brush technique for the "mahogany gold" color I created to match the old gold finish.

I should mention that I took the mirror during the summer with the intent of giving it as a Christmas present.  After having it that long, I think they assumed I was unable to fix it and gave up.  I love being sneaky and it was a very exciting gift to give since it is a special family heirloom.

Here is the finished item.  Hanging proudly where it once did many years ago.