Rescue operation of a mishandled mirror – Read the true story behind the scenes

It was a cold and rainy autumn evening when we saw it for the first time. The air at the flea market felt dusty and stuffy. The lights were dim and everything was packed with different kinds of rummage. We heard some low murmuring voices of other treasure hunters around us. And suddenly there it was, under a pile of odd looking carpets: An old and abandoned, facet cut mirror with golden frames! We had to be quick and determined. One wrong move and the treasure would be lost.

We approached the target with strong determination but surreptitiously so that we would not raise the attention of other treasure hunters. Fortunately the other ones did not seem to notice the mirror and walked past it. Finally, the mirror was in our hands! The vision was devastating: The golden decoration of the frame was badly damaged and a thick layer of dust was covering it. But there was definitely potential here!  We would be able to rescue this mishandled mirror and give it a new life. To our relief, we did not bump into any financial problems either: The price tag said 10 euros. It was going to be ours!

How to fix a broken treasure?

When visiting flea markets, you quite often come across bargains which would be perfect for your decoration but their appearance is even too rustic (=they are broken). If the damage is not too bad, cheer up, there is often something that can be done.

Here we had an enchanting, oval shaped and facet ground old mirror that was just waiting for us to give it a home. As you can see from the “before” picture, the decorative frame was partly damaged. We scratched off all the loose material and renewed the frame with hobby paste. After we shaped the paste we let it dry for a few days so that it was totally dry. Next, we glued the new decorations onto the frame. Our next step was then to paint the paste decorations so that they matched well with the old frame. Actually, at this point you are free to change the original coloring of your treasure to better fit your taste. We painted the original white paste decorations with a mixture of burnt amber and sienna, and finished the whole frame with light stokes of gold color. What do you think about the end result?

See the pictures below that show the amazing transformation from trash to treasure 🙂


…And after a few hours of work! Looking better 🙂


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