Mirror Makeover Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

How to make over a thrift store mirror with chalk paint and fix the damaged veneer before painting so the finish would look brand new.

Recently at my favorite thrift store I found a mirror to use in my foyer, but first I had to add my style to it using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


The mirror had a layer of damaged veneer on the upper and lower left hand side of the frame?  I knew I could fix those areas and then paint the frame so it would look as good as new.


How to Fix Damaged Veneer on Wood Furniture

When I see a piece of wood furniture that has damage like this mirror, I knew that I could fix it with wood filler or Spackle.

  • When the damaged area is small (top photo) I fill it with wood filler. Any brand will work. I use a Spackle knife to apply it over the damage and form it into a mound.
  • On larger areas of damage, (bottom photo) wood filler doesn’t work as well as Spackle. I find if I add thin layers and let each dry before applying the next, it will bond better.
  • After the wood filler or last coat of Spackle is dry, I sand over the area to smooth and level it with medium grit sandpaper.

How to Paint with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan

How to prepare dark wood furniture before painting

Optional: I used shellac to seal the wood before painting.  I have found that furniture that is old and has a dark finish on it usually has more wood tannins that can seep into the paint and change the color.

To make sure that would not happen, I applied one thin coat of clear shellac over the frame and let it dry.   It dries in 30 minutes.


I used Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in the color Louis Blue.

I figured I would go for a more aged look and used Dark Soft Wax over the dried paint.


1. After the shellac was dry, I applied  2 coats of paint, letting the first one dry, before applying the second.


2. Once the paint was dry, I used medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block to distress the edges.  

NOTE:  This step can be done before or after waxing.  I like the distressing to look smooth where the newly exposed distressed areas are sealed with the wax. If you prefer a more rustic look, distress after you wax so the distressed wood will be rough and unwaxed.


3. To distress detailed areas, fold sandpaper and use the corners or edges to get into the crevices and grooves.


Mirror Painting Tip:

When painting mirrors, I usually remove them from their frames before painting so I can paint the edge of the underside that is reflected in the mirror.  

The mirror would not budge from the frame and I didn’t want to break it, so I painted it in place. I used a small stiff paint brush to push the paint under the edge where the mirror meets the frame.

How to Apply Annie Sloan Dark Wax For a More Pronounced Aged Look


1. So that you can move the dark color of wax all over the surface and push it where you want it, apply clear wax first.

This provides a buffer so the dark wax does not appear uneven.   I use old lint free t-shirts to apply and buff the wax, but you can use brushes.

Apply one thin layer of clear wax and buff.  Then apply the dark wax using a separate cloth.  Use circular motions doing one section at a time. Buff with a clean cloth to bring up the shine.

If you get too much dark wax in one area, it can be removed by rubbing clear wax over it.


I painted the mirror in my basement where the lighting is not the best for taking photos, but you can still see the difference between how dark wax and clear wax look over the dried paint.

Notice the damaged area I fixed?  Since I used white Spackle, I won’t sand the edge to distress this area. If I did, a white layer would show up.  I can use dark wax over it though.


To add wax over detailed areas, use a small stiff paint brush to push it into the grooves.  Twist one corner of your cloth to a point and use is to buff the wax in the hard to get to areas.


To clean up the paint on the mirror I used a razor blade scraper and lots of glass cleaner.


I hung the mirror in my foyer. It looks nice against the stenciled wall.


I love the patina wax gives the paint. The dark wax really adds to the aged look of the finish.


If you have a piece of furniture that you love, but is pretty beat up, painting and distressing the finish can bring it back to life.

The imperfections will become part of the painted patina – perfectly imperfect.

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  1. Patricia Quarles Patterson says:

    Beautiful job! I love the stenciled walls too!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. You did a fabulous job..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Doris. :-)

  3. Shia Simone says:

    Your posts are always AMAZING. I have been away for a while so I have a bit of catching up to do!

  4. Beautiful! Love the pic with the reflection of your staircase… gorgeous!

  5. This was very informative since I have never attempted this way of painting. Have to “pin” this to my Pinterest board so I have it for future reference.

    Looks great!

  6. Deb D'Luna says:

    Love it! Excellent job, as usual. Your work is inspirational. Thank you for sharing your know-how.

  7. Patty Lucas says:

    I just bought a mirror that is almost like the one you featured for $5.00 because it was missing parts. Thanks to this information, I know exactly what I will do to this mirror. Thank you!

  8. I like your new welcome picture Diane! My daughter and I watch Jess and Monica all the time. WOW, I did not know they were local…in Bucks County. Love love what you did to the mirror. For a moment there I thought you were going to post about being on their show or something. :)

  9. You have a kind heart and your donated mirror will surely bring in a bunch of money for the fundraiser. Thanks for mentioning the shellac beforehand…a lot of people don’t know about this and I am here to say that I have a vanity that is turning pink because I skipped this step. Now I will have to go back and redo it!

  10. Michelle James says:

    Hi Diane. I was just over at another blog that used chalk paint for a project although it was not a wood piece and am wondering how you like the Annie Sloan compared to others you have used. I think you have made your own before too, right? Which do you like better? I am really liking the look of this project with the Annie Sloan chalk paint. You did a wonderful job as always!

  11. vee_evans says:

    Beautiful job! I love the color.

  12. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    I love how you did tasteful distressing. I’ve seen so many pieces that are IMHO so overly distressed, that I wonder why they painted them in the first place ;-) This mirror is gorgeous. I’m not usually drawn to blue, but I love this color. Great job as always.

  13. Linda Weeks says:

    A wonderful job you did! I wish I’d known earlier about the varnish you used before starting the paint! I wanted to paint an old cupboard and kept applying white chalk paint but the reddish stain kept coming through the white… so I didn’t even attempt to sell it, after like 4 coats… it is now iin the basement, where nobody can see it!
    Diane, you do everything so well!
    P.S., love your new photo!

  14. Beth Coburn says:

    Turned out great! Love it. Great tips for using spackling and wood filler. Thanks!

  15. Thanks for this tutorial. I never really could figure out how/what to do with the wax.

  16. You do such a great job on every project and this is no exception. I look forward to all your posts!

  17. LOVE!! I wish I was in the area so I could buy it myself! Great job Dianne!

  18. Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods says:

    Oh I love this mirror! The color and the details pop thanks to your awesome painting techniques. Thanks so much for all the tips. Goodness knows I always need them!

    Pinning and sharing everywhere!
    ~ Ashley

  19. Christina in Cleveland says:

    Thank you for all the tips on painting! The mirror looks amazing, wow, what a great job. You have to be thrilled with the end result. Thanks also for showing the difference between dark and clear wax on this piece!

  20. Anne Boykin says:

    Diane, beautiful job! What a makeover from drab to fabulous. Thank you for your lovely blog.