Arched mirrors are hot right now, and they’re selling for a pretty penny! But if you have an old one in storage, it’s easy to make it wall-ready again!
Long before The Navage Patch had sprouted its first mewling little postling on my 43rd birthday in 2015, Handan was already filling our house with the castaway junk that would later fuel the as-yet-unborn blog. Every week we’d make a pilgrimage to the dump, whereupon we would engage in our Saturday ritual. I would drop Handan off at Put and Take and then drive up and park at the dumping area. From there, I would throw the garbage bags into the Mean Green Garbage-Eating Machine, dump the recyclables into the Pit of Second Chances and toss our corrugated cardboard into The Crusher. Having disgorged our weekly accumulation, I would drive back to Put and Take to pick up Handan and re-fill the car with other people’s discarded crap. Upon returning home, we would transfer the carload of other people’s crap (now technically our crap) to the basement.
It shouldn’t surprise you that our open and unfinished basement went from empty to bursting-at-the-seams in very short order.
There came a time back in those pre-blog days that I even imposed a moratorium on bringing crap back from the dump. Knowing this injunction would hardly keep Handan from exercising her God-given right to scavenge and hoard, I started sneaking to the dump on Wednesdays.
Remove the temptation, eliminate the problem.
On my very first solo dump run (I felt like I was cheating on her), I encountered a pair of smokin’ hot mirrors at Put and Take. Oh, I thought about leaving them there and just pretending that I never saw them.
But then I pictured Handan’s face and how happy she would have been had she seen those mirrors.
I sighed and swore under my breath. I picked up those arched mirrors and loaded them into the car.
I was breaking my own rules, not a week after I had imposed them!
Ah, well…the things we do for love, I guess.
But you know something?
It was so worth it.
You should have seen how happy those two stupid mirrors made Handan!
I’d rip out the Earth’s core for that woman’s smile.
Predictably, the arched mirrors went into the basement storage pit, and sure enough, they’ve been sitting there ever since.
As part of the Laundry Room Renovation, one of the little design elements that I wanted was to hang a large mirror in the entryway to the basement stairs. Before, that space belonged firmly to the basement stairs and, therefore, the basement.
But since we replaced the basement door with a pocket door and extended the laundry room floor into the landing, that little room at the top of the stairs has become an annex to the laundry room.
Anyway, I thought a mirror would look pretty good there. Of course, I thought we’d have to buy one, as I had completely forgotten about the two arched mirrors I brought home from the dump that fateful Wednesday of yore.
But Handan hadn’t forgotten.
She doesn’t forget nuthin’.
She suggested that I use one of those mirrors and give it a makeover. Better yet, she said, the mirrors were arched, and apparently arched mirrors are so hot right now.
Whatever. I don’t know from trendy, and I care even less.
If it looks good, go with it. That’s my credo. Anyone who disagrees can suck a goose egg through a garden hose.
Here’s one of the arched mirrors.
Oooh, check out the gams on that guy!
Fun fact: I’m going bald in my ankle region. Not kidding. Some guys have male pattern baldness of the head. I have it on my legs. I can blame that genetic jackpot on my father. His legs are balder and smoother than a 20-year-old supermodel’s. He’s the envy of all the old ladies at the golf club. I guess I will be too, one day, once nature has run its course and robbed me of all my manly leg hair.
The mirror was heavily scratched but structurally sound.
It had collected a film of dust over the years.
Oh, hello, mirror. Are you talking to little old me?
After cleaning off those cryptic dust messages, I put some blue painter’s tape around the edges of the mirror where it met with the wood. Since I’d be sanding off that old finish, I didn’t want to slip up and scratch the mirror. It’s definitely something I would do.
I started sanding by hand, which worked okay, for the most part. My goal wasn’t to strip off the old color entirely. I wanted to leave streaks of dark, here and there to give it a funky aged look.
But hand sanding wasn’t cutting it when it came to those gouges. Plus my hand was getting tired. So I switched to the mouse to breeze over the flat areas. I still had to sand all the little curves and nooks and crannies by hand though.
When it came to the ornate area up top, I knew that it would be almost impossible to properly sand, so I tried prying those pieces off. To my delight, I was able to pull them off with my bare hands.
Feeling like a macho man despite my rapidly dilapidating lower leg region, I tore off the ornates and carried on sanding.
Eventually I had the whole thing sanded to perfection.
But the color wasn’t right. It was too light and too yellow, and since the mirror was made of oak, I had to be careful with how I proceeded. Oak likes being yellowy-reddish, and it will show those colors through many types of stains.
I needed to go with a stain that didn’t have any red in it and that wouldn’t highlight the yellows. I chose Varathane’s English Chestnut.
It was a little darker than I wanted to go, so I applied it lightly and wiped it off immediately.
The resulting color was good, but there was still too much red for my (and Handan’s) taste. Handan suggested a light rubbing with Varathane Weathered Gray.
This was just what it needed.
With Handan’s help, we worked the gray into the frame. I applied it lightly, and Handan worked right behind me, wiping it off and working it into all the little crevices.
We both loved the new look and pronounced it ready. Handan peeled off the tape, and we carried it upstairs.
The arched mirror is perfect in its new home.
And now for what you’ve all been waiting for: a picture of my butt as I was taking some close-up shots – courtesy of Handan and with her blessing. Apparently she wants to share my “scrawny little butt” with the world.
And now I have a place to take those obligatory “photographer selfies.”
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