See a “Blah” Brown Mirror Become a Stylish Statement Piece for Just $12

published Feb 8, 2024
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About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Furniture
Style
Maximalist
Modern
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
Yes

Sometimes home decor stays with you for years. However, after years — or even decades — of looking at the same coffee table, nightstand, lamp, or mirror, you might be ready to give that piece a makeover. Passionate DIYer Lindsey Mahoney (@buildingbluebird) gave her simple brown mirror a trendy checkerboard makeover.

“I purchased a full-length mirror when we purchased our first home 12 years ago, and it has been floating between our kids’ rooms and storage closets for years,” she says. “The mirror felt a little ‘blah,’ which was why I didn’t have it in our bedroom.”

Lindsey had been looking for the ideal mirror for her main bedroom wall for a while but didn’t have any luck finding a perfect fit that was in her price range, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. She says that upcycling home decor and furniture that she already owns is her favorite way to DIY and decorate on a budget, and for this project she knew she’d be able to get scrappy with the materials that she already owned. 

The project was done with leftover paint samples. 

“I have lots of leftover paint samples in my storage closet and decided to modernize the mirror by painting a two-toned checkered pattern on the mirror trim,” Lindsey explains. “I really like the color combination of green and blue, and because our walls are dark blue, I chose a dark and lighter green paint sample.”

The samples in question were a versatile green-gray (Sherwin-Williams’ Evergreen Fog) and a deep olive (Sherwin-Williams’ Shade-Grown). “If you have leftover paint in your home with two colors that work well together, use it!” Lindsey says. “If you need to purchase new paint, purchase the small sample containers to save money.” 

Tape and clear coats were important to the process.

After cleaning the mirror — here’s how to remove stickers from a mirror, if you find yourself doing a similar project — Lindsey used painter’s tape to protect the mirror and map out the design. She selected a fun checkered pattern — something she had experience painting onto a floor, but had never used on a scale this small.

“It was a fun challenge to figure out the best way to create straight lines across the mirror trim so that it looked symmetrical and balanced,” Lindsey says.

Lindsey applied a top coat following each layer of paint, which helped to stop the paint from coming away from the frame as she removed the tape. Once the design was complete, she added a final top coat to seal everything in and protect her work.

When it comes to the checkerboard trend, the lines don’t have to be perfect. 

Lindsey says this is a great DIY activity for beginners and experts alike. Her advice to those who want to take on a similar project? Go with the flow. “Don’t get too stressed about every line and square looking perfect,” she says. “Our mirror has small imperfections, but when you stand back, it is definitely not what you notice.”

What she notices is a trendy two-tone green checkered design that “feels fun and fresh in our bedroom,” as she puts it. Plus, on a practical note, she loves being able to see her full ‘fit when she gets ready in the morning. For more checkerboard paint projects, check out this living room console table and this cool dining room wall.