DIY Home Garden


Distressed Mirror Project with Peel-Tek 150

I’ve been away from my workshop for a few weeks, and I was itching to do an easy project last week. I had an ugly 1960-ish old mirror that I had a vision for. I wanted to create a distressed, antique look with a vintage look and feel to it.

I’ve shared vintage mirror makeovers before. In fact, I have advocated taking the mirror completely apart to protect the glass from needing to have paint scraped away after completion. This time, I decided to do something a little bit different.

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Introducing the Peel-Tek 150

A company called Peel-Tek 150 had reached out to me and offered me a sample of their product. It’s a replacement for painter’s tape that I had read about. The info I had seen claimed that you brush it on, paint, then peel it away leaving the area you had covered clean.

Full Disclosure: Peel-Tek 150 supplied me with their product to try in exchange for a review of the product or featured project on my blog.  However, my opinions and observations of the product are fully my own. I will not recommend a product that I don’t love!

This could be a game-changer for my DIY projects, so I decided to give this product a go. Restoring this mirror was a perfect project as it was a short, inexpensive project and if it didn’t work, I would be able to purchase another mirror to insert or re-purpose the frame. No big loss if it was a mess.

Here’s how I went about it.

By the way y’all, I went way out of my comfort zone to make this video intro. However, I put on my big gal panties and gave you the video content you’ve asked for!

Distressed Mirror Makeover

Cleaned the mirror

This mirror was a mess. I grabbed it from a friend’s trash pile when she was cleaning out an old shed. It had years of grime. I started by using a mixture of white vinegar and water to wipe away years and years of dirt. I even used a screwdriver to get into the corner to pull out an old spider nest. Yuck!

distressed mirror makeover
After years of being stored in a shed, and then tossed in a trash pile, this mirror was covered in filth!
Peel Tek
Cleaned up and ready for treatment!

Applied the Peel-Tek 150

This is what the Peel Tek package looks like.

Following the instructions (which I do read occasionally but admit to normally just winging it!), I used a disposable foam craft brush to apply a good coating of Peel-Tek 150. The directions stated to let it cure fully to ensure proper protection. I waited about 30 minutes and it looked pretty good to go. I really liked that it was blue as it made it easy to see while I was applying it to the glass.

Peel-Tek 150
Peel-Tek 150 goes on a bright aqua color so it is easy to see that the project is protected.

Spray painted the frame

Initially, I’d planned to chalk paint the mirror frame and use an antiquing glaze. However, I decided to really put the Peel-Tek 150 to the test and use spray paint instead. The brown wood was actually in decent shape considering the years of neglect, no gouges or large scrapes.

I selected a primer + spray paint all in one product in a matte black finish.  Because I felt like the matte finish would add to the aged look instead of a new and glossy look.  Then I spray painted with abandon, not worrying about the mirror under the Peel-Tek as I put it to the spray paint test.

It took two coats of black spray paint, each one about 15 minutes apart. Then I let the paint dry for several hours.

Peel Tek
I won’t lie. I was certain that the spray paint was going to seep through!

Removed the Peel-Tek 150

Did you ever use rubber cement in elementary school? Removing this product took me back to those fun days of art class! I used a scraper to “break the seal” of the Peel-Tek 150 and pulled away most of it into two large pieces.

  • One caveat!

I did this project on a day that with a heat index of over 100 degrees and about 85% humidity. The top of the product was cured, but underneath it was still a little bit sticky. Nevertheless, the few little wet bits of product rolled off with minimal effort using my fingers. If you do this project in a drier climate, I don’t believe you will experience this issue. After all, the instructions did say to let it fully cure. However, nothing seems to cure to a dry finish in summer in NC.

When I was done peeling away the masking product, I was amazed, to say the least!

Even after intentionally messy spray painting, the mirror was perfectly paint-free. Not a sign of black paint anywhere on the mirror itself!

Distressed the frame with the orbital sander

I used an orbital sander to give the frame a distressed look. Then I randomly but intentionally created some swirl marks and chipped back the paint to expose the brown wood under the black paint. I really wanted a randomized look to the distressing.

distressed mirror
A few minutes of time with the orbital sander gave me the distressed and aged look that I wanted.

Coated the mirror’s frame with clear wax

I applied a clear furniture sealing wax to protect the frame. I applied the wax with a soft cloth, waited about 10 minutes, then buffed it out. It left a nice and smooth finish to the frame that will protect it for years to come.

Final clean up

I went over the glass of the mirror with the vinegar and water cleaner one more time to remove any sanding grit or leftover specks of the Peel-Tek. It shined up beautifully!

distressed mirror makeover
The distressed mirror makeover–complete!

The Takeaway

I now have a gorgeous distressed mirror project completed. Over the next few months, DIY Home & Garden will be moving out of my spare bedroom and into an office space…in a specially designed barn in my backyard. I plan to use the mirror as decor in my new office space whenever it’s ready.
The final consensus on the performance of the Peel-Tek 150? I give it two thumbs up and DIY Home & Garden readers will see it used on another future project very soon! I hope y’all will give it a try.
Have a happy DIY day!

Distressed Mirror makeover pin
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