DIY Tutorials

Barn Window Mirror

Barn Window Mirror | Learn how to transform a barn window to an antique mirror using looking glass spray paint. This is a great idea for all of those old windows you may have lying around!

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Barn Window Mirror | Learn how to transform a barn window to an antique mirror using looking glass spray paint. This is a great idea for all of those old windows you may have lying around!

Barn Window Mirror

To continue the recent trend of clearing out my “crap room” (as Mack refers to my craft room/office) I am sharing another project from the considerable project pile I’ve accumulated!

I actually picked up this old window last spring, as I was driving down the road by my son’s preschool on trash collection day. Am I the only one who tries to keep one eye on the trash, one eye on the road, just in case? (HA!) No, no- I don’t actually do that, (safety first!)- but this window caught my eye.  It was propped up against the mailbox in front of an antique colonial farmhouse as if the owner knew there was a possibility someone may consider it a treasure.

Of course, I had to pull over! Two of the panes were broken, and as I carefully avoided the broken glass to put it in the back of the car, I noted that it actually came from the barn they were renovating, weathered gray barn wood and all. Score!

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I have done very little with it in the past nine months, other than carefully remove the shards of glass from the broken panes. It’s been in the back of my mind to do something with it, I just wasn’t quite sure what. So I tucked it into a corner of my craft room, and there it sat. I had visions of maybe transforming it into a chalkboard, or possibly a photo frame. I thought about filling in the empty panes with chicken wire, to create a message center. But none of those things were really what I was looking for.

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I have been wanting a window mirror for a while. As soon as the idea struck of transforming the window to a mirror, I immediately knew that’s what my barn window should become.

Before

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Barn Window Mirror Tutorial

I have been dying to try out Looking Glass Spray, so I already knew my method. It was the particulars related to this window that made the project a little more complex- but definitely not impossible.

This was actually an authentic glazed window, and the putty that held the panes in was chipping away.I was also reasonably sure that the chippy paint on the backside of the window was lead (I decided it was the back because of the pretty rusty antique hardware and the weathered gray wood on the other side). So I had to remove the glazing without disturbing the chippy paint, so I could replace the glass. Since the edge of the glazing was so close to the chippy paint, this made me very nervous!

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Zinsser Peel Stop turned out to be a perfect solution for this project. So before anything else, I sealed up the back of the frame with the Peel Stop, just in case. I was able to remove most of the glazing safely, without chipping off the paint. I left the glazing that had been painted.

The next step was replacing the glass in the two missing sections. I took my measurements and headed to Lowes for replacement glass. This was a bit tricky, as the remaining window glazing made it difficult to get a perfect measurement. I ended up having to take the glass back to have it recut- in retrospect I should have just hauled the window in there! Ultimately, I prevailed and was able to get pieces that could be slid under the glazing.

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I painted the two cut pieces before repairing the mirror. The Looking Glass Spray is very easy to use- just make sure you have proper ventilation! This stuff smells like nail polish multiplied. It also dries very quickly. Since my new pieces of glass were less rustic looking than the old glass in the window, I did some light distressing with a vinegar/water solution and a paper towel. The vinegar/water removes the mirror-like finish very easily, and I just dabbed with the paper towel to pick up the droplets. Then I added another coat of Looking Glass.

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I taped up the backside of the window mirror, using masking tape and masking paper. After all was prepped, I sprayed a coat of the looking glass paint. As soon as it started to dry, I went ahead and sprayed a second coat, then a third. These panes were already very aged and rustic looking, so none of the vinegar/water solution was needed- there were spots where the Looking Glass inexplicably beaded- I would assume there was something on the window that prevented it from curing. I just kept layering the finish until it was no longer possible to see the shadow of objects behind the glass. It is still slightly translucent, but I am okay with that!

After everything dried, I secured the two new panes with glazing clips. I had wanted to do this step last, so the clips didn’t show through. Now the paint hides the clips!

The Result

Barn Window Mirror | Learn how to transform a barn window to an antique mirror using looking glass spray paint. This is a great idea for all of those old windows you may have lying around!

I have to say, I am quite in love with this technique! The mirror looks like something I would lust after in my favorite catalogs, but for under twenty dollars (free window, $7.58 for replacement glass, 8.48 for the Krylon Looking Glass and $1.14 for the clips). The possibilities seem endless! One of the big eyesores in my office is a once-pretty built-in crammed with unused glassware… maybe it’s time to re-purpose some of those items with an antique glass finish! :)

20 Comments

  1. DesignedDecord Says

    This turned out so pretty! I love how the looking glass makes it look aged!

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Thank you so much! The Looking Glass worked out way better than I expected! :)

  2. sarah Says

    so very pretty! these would be beautiful in my garden :)

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Thank you Sarah :)

  3. TAMMY Says

    Love how this turned out… Very nice

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Thank you Tammy!

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Thank you so much Kristin!

  4. Holly Says

    I have several windows with glass still in them. I think I will try looking glass spray. Thank you!

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by! Just an FYI- I ended up finding the spray at Walmart- my local craft stores had discontinued it!

  5. Judi Reilly Says

    so dang cute..I’m making one of these…is it really a mirror then?

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      It’s “mirror-like”- but not completely a mirror. It looks like a very old and somewhat beaten-up mirror that you would find in an attic :)

  6. ALice Andrews Says

    I wonder if I spray my porch windows if the looking glass spray would keep the afternoon summer sun from blazing in on the porch??

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Hi Alice- it is not completely transparent- I’m not sure that it would really work for that. Krylon does make a frosted glass spray paint I think, although I’ve never used it myself.

  7. Teresa Price Hargis Says

    I am so excited with what you have done….I have several old windows that I also “picked up” and I need an embellishment in my laundry room and I am going to try this…..Thank you so much and Happy Valentines Day……. ♥

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Happy Valentine’s Day Teresa! I’m sure your window mirrors will be absolutely beautiful in your laundry room :)

  8. Stacy Says

    This is awesome! I’ve been working on my industrial dining room (with a bit of traditional mixed in) this weekend and need something for the wall opposite my feature wall. May give this a whirl!

  9. Lynn Says

    Hi, I’m a little behind, I just saw this post and it is exactly what I was looking for. Can you tell me how you applied the vinegar/water solution? Can you also tell me what the ratio of the solution is? THANKS, love is idea.

    1. Nina Says

      Post author

      Hi Lynn! I put a half vinegar, half water solution in a spray bottle (can be found for $1 in the Target travel bottle section). I hope it turns out great for you! :)

  10. Wendy Jamieson Says

    Hi Nina,

    I love this six pane window. I just printed out six botanical prints and they would look amazing using a window like this!