Amazing Acid Mirror

This is one of my favorite projects that I did for The Nate Show and I am so excited to be finally sharing it over here!

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You will need:

A framed mirror (make sure the mirror isn’t older than 1980’s, if you are unsure you can have them cut at any glass store for really cheap)

Paint Stripper

Muriatic Acid

Silhouette Premium Vinyl

Silhouette Transfer Sheet

Silhouette Hook Tool

Silhouette Scraper Tool

Spray Adhesive



Start with your framed mirror.  This is one that I found at the thrift store for $2.00.

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Take the backing off of your frame

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Carefully remove the mirror, take it outside and place it face down on a soft surface.  (I used a towel cause hello you can totally wash it!)

Put a big glob of stripper on the back of it and spread it around with a paint brush.

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Let it sit for about 15 min.  Every mirror that you do will be different.  On some the paint comes off really easiy and on others you have to scrape it off.  There is no way of knowing which its going to be…sorry!!  But its sort of like a secret birthday surprise finding out what happens!

On this particular mirror the underlayer of paint was red and it came off really easily.

See how the back side of the mirror is reflective?

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Hang on let me clean it off…..

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Much better!! Not all of the paint needs to come off and its alright.

Next I used Madonna my Silhouette to cut out my design. I used the moroccan pattern design.


Once I carefully peeled off the negatie space I used the greatest invention since sliced bread. The Hook Tool to get the rest of the negative space out. I kid you not this thing is awesome.


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Then I used the Transfer Paper and Scraper to transfer it onto the back side of the mirror. Take it outside…now its time for the fun part!


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Put on your neoprene gloves and very carefully spray some muriatic acid on the back of your mirror. (Muriatic acid is used to neutralize pool water and can be found at Home Depot or Lowes)Make sure that you have a hose on so that you can quickly rinse the acid off.

Depending on your mirror (once again they are all different) the acid will start to eat away the reflective coating.  Sometimes it works really fast and sometimes it works really slow. Rinse it off after 5 or so seconds and see if it is working. If it seems like nothing is happening put more on and wait until you can start to see where it is eating it. The dark spot in the picture below is what it looks like when it starts to work.

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Once your mirror looks the way that you want it to rinse it and dry it off. Peel off any loose pieces of vinyl.  Use your favorite kind of spray adhesive.  I love Krylon’s.


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After its been sprayed lay your fabric face down on the back of the mirror. That way you can see the fabric through the empty spots!

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Pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

The spray paint that I used is Coral Isle by Krylon.  It’s the PERFECT color.  I swear they are mind readers.

Love Your Guts


  • twelve30 27.04.2011 at 00:20

    Put my name in the hat for the giveaway…………pretty please? Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Denise at PinkPostcard. 27.04.2011 at 00:23

    this is perfect timing. I just got a cool thrift mirror, remembered your original tute, and was going to look it up, but you saved me the effort! :) thanks! looking forward to trying this out soon. I’ll let you know when I do!

  • Jen 27.04.2011 at 00:24

    What is the color of paint called that you painted the frame with? I’m in love with that color!
    I live in AZ and I have gone to the D.I., Craig’s list, and several Goodwills looking for frames or furniture to redo. St. George must have a better selection (lucky!!) because I can’t find a thing! I’m so ready to start some projects and can’t find a thing!
    Well I love your blog. Thanks for all of your inspiration!

  • Lyssa 27.04.2011 at 00:36

    Speaking of mind reading, I thought about doing that exact thing to one of my mirrors. I thought “Oh, how original it will be!” And you beat me to it! Good job with it, though, it looks amazing! I most likely would have never gotten around to it anyway!

  • About Me 27.04.2011 at 01:00

    Oh my gosh ….that is soooo cool !!!
    You are so cute !!

  • The Keith Family 27.04.2011 at 01:31

    I love that color by Krylon. I haven’t been able to find it where I live. Where did you purchase it?

  • Sarah 27.04.2011 at 01:48

    So pretty!

  • Bonnie 27.04.2011 at 02:07

    What?! No giveaway for the mirror? But I want it!!

  • Stephanie {Luxe Boulevard} 27.04.2011 at 16:29

    I’ve been dieing to do this since I saw it on the Nate Show. Now that I’m moved and slowly getting settled, it is on my list!

  • MamaMimi 29.04.2011 at 07:00

    This is a really cool technique…unfortunately I know my husband wouldn’t be a fan. =( I always have to sneak in anything distressed or acid-like…hehee! =)

  • Michele 29.04.2011 at 11:16

    wow, how cool! Love it!

  • Anonymous 30.04.2011 at 05:05

    Love this project!! But I’m lost on part of it. Where do I direct my “HELP,I don’t it” to? Keep your ideas coming… your fabulous.

  • Anonymous 30.04.2011 at 05:27

    Sorry, that last comment was missing a word. It should say Where do I direct my “HELP, I don’t understand it” to?

  • Alli Parry 02.05.2011 at 06:58

    i don’t like posting comments…(I’m the look,learn, marvel and love you silently type) but just had to tell you that I love your blog! I found you from born-again crafter. If I ever dare to do any of these projects, I will def give you credit. very inspired!!

  • Mars 04.05.2011 at 19:43

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Breezy 09.05.2011 at 14:03

    Mandi-I don’t have a silhouette. Any suggestions? Would stickers do the trick or should I stencil myself onto som transfer paper, cut out my shapes and try it that way? I have little pieces to do in a set of three; they’re just 4.5″ squared so I don’t need a large pattern area anyhow. . . Thanks!

  • Anonymous 31.05.2011 at 21:00

    Love this idea!!!!! Do you have a youtube video of this?

  • tracy 09.07.2011 at 15:02

    Triple love mirror projects – for the “etching” part (removing the silver), regular household bleach totally works too, and obv way less caustic and environmentally unfriendly.
    Looks awesome to spray the bleach on with a spray bottle – creates an aged, mottled vibe.
    Just found you – lovin’ it here!

  • Jessie Baity 13.07.2011 at 21:11

    Amazing! I love your stuff and I am trying to all. You rock!

  • enJOY EVERY day 15.07.2011 at 14:32

    Loved your guest spot on Nate! Just found your blog in attempt to answer my question about mirror/fabric backing technique. 1) WHY should I not attempt on mirror older than 80’s? 2) Any comment to the bleach vs. acid etch idea? (I have that on hand.) Thank you for the inspiration and enJOY your day!

  • jill reiter 19.08.2011 at 02:39

    What did you use to paint the teal frames on the Nate Show? I love that color. Are you antiquing it? How? This is so cool. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Susan 29.09.2011 at 19:40

    I love this idea! So cool! I love that you can fake that antique-y style for super cheap.

  • Elel 27.02.2012 at 17:51

    I’m pretty sure you are my Miss America. Your site is the happiest I’ve been at a computer maybe ever. Thank you!!

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