This Self-Proclaimed ‘DIY King’ Transformed a $50 IKEA Mirror into a Gilded Masterpiece

published Sep 5, 2020
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Donavan Harnage's DIY mirror

When it comes to sourcing ornate, extravagant, and luxe pieces for your home, “affordable” isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind. Gilded mirrors, for example, are show-stoppers and super popular on Instagram right now, but the price tag on most of these antique-looking finds usually gives me pause. That was the case for Charlotte, North Carolina, resident and Instagrammer Donavan Harnage, too. Not one to shy away from a style challenge though, Harnage, who (rightfully!) calls himself the “DIY King,” decided to make one of his own, and it’s a pretty amazing dupe for pricier models

“Growing up, my grandmother had these beautiful gold mirrors that I used to sit in front of and play with my toys,” shares Harnage. That nostalgia, coupled with his “love of making things beautiful,” inspired him to tackle this DIY. Of course, price played a factor, too. Some of the most popular gilt mirrors sell for hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars. “I was not ready for that type of purchase,” adds Harnage. “So I just had to roll up my sleeves and make it work.”

Harnage gathered his materials, beginning with a white NISSEDAL Mirror from IKEA, which retails for $49.99. He also picked up several wood appliques that he would later adhere to the edges and corners of the mirror, as well as a can of Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in Metallic Satin Bronze

He began by priming the appliques with white paint so the spray paint would adhere well to them. Once that paint dried, Harnage sprayed the front and back sides of the appliques, allowing one side to dry before painting the other. 

Next, Harnage prepped the mirror by lightly sanding the frame then used painter’s tape and newspaper to cover the reflective surface of the mirror. He sprayed all sides and edges of the mirror’s frame, again allowing the paint to dry in between coats. If you happen to get paint on the mirror during your process, don’t worry. Harnage says it comes off easily with a cloth and a bit of rubbing alcohol. 

Then it was time to put it all together! Harnage used his hot glue gun to attach the appliques to the frame—Gorilla Glue is not right for this project. When adding an applique to the bottom of the mirror, be sure to attach it in the same direction as the top-most applique—that way, the mirror can still rest on the floor, if that’s how you want to display it. 

Et voilà: a gilded mirror that comes in at under $70! As you can see in the image at the top of the page, Harnage styled his piece out in front of a burnt orange painted arch that pairs perfectly with the mirror’s gold tones. He framed out the vignette with a few plants as a finishing touch. If you want to take this project on and would like a video tutorial for a few extra pointers, Harnage saved his process in the “home projects” highlight on his Instagram page. For less than $100, you really can’t beat this big, vintage-look piece.