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Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover

Do you ever stumble upon a poor neglected something at the thrift store and think about those high school makeover chick flicks?

You know like the ones where the “nerd” of the school, after some eyeliner application and spectacle removal, ends up being the senior class hottie? (What was up with all of those back in the day? People seriously couldn’t see the already pretty girl behind the glasses?)

Well, meet our latest version of Rachael Leigh Cook from She’s All That.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart!

And also a silly faced selfie since what else are you supposed to do in a before shot of a mirror?

I felt a little stuck on this one, so after polling a bunch of y’all on Instagram, the wheels finally started turning just in time for our monthly Trash to Treasure Tuesday (which you can see other thrifty projects for at the end of this post).

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart!

As much as I liked the gold already, the finish was flaking off at the bottom and had seen better days. Plus, gold wasn’t really going to work in our living room.

So I sanded off the flakiness and gave the whole thing a distressed charcoal finish.

Supplies Used:  (Affiliate links are provided below. For more information, see my full disclosure here.)

I’ve used this method so many times before to give a distressed look to pieces without sanding, so if you’re ever working with furniture or a decor item that you want to give a distressed wood look that isn’t actually made of wood, the Vaseline trick is the best.

I used it on our DIY distressed hollow core doors and gallery wall frames and love how they all turned out.

I taped off the mirror first and gave the entire frame two coats of the Fusion Algonquin paint for my base color.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart!

When the Algonquin color was dry, I rubbed some Vaseline with my fingertips on all of the edges and details where a wooden frame would naturally be distressed. Don’t be afraid to lay it on moderately since a thin layer doesn’t always do enough.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

Right after applying the Vaseline, I painted on two coats of the Ash color paint.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

Then rubbed the Vaseline away with a rag after the paint was dry. The Algonquin color peeking through looks a lot like wood. It’s not my favorite color by itself, but there is so much you can do with it for distressing.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

So now our once blank mantel doesn’t look so lonely anymore!

 Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

I love all of the pretty details this method shows off on this mirror.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

If you saw this fireplace’s latest update the other week, then you probably already know this baby has come a long way.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

I’m so glad we don’t have a ginormous TV hanging out up here anymore. (Which I pinky swear you’ll be seeing soon if I can stop piddling around in our backyard and in our kitchen. Sheesh!)

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

And just for a before and after moment (because those are my favorite!) here is how far our living room has come in three years:

The before… back when I was still contemplating this faux fireplace situation.

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

And now…

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

(Not to mention the photography skills have improved a bit, but we won’t focus on that, right?)

So even though our Sandra Dee mirror was pretty before, I think she is rockin’ this sleek new look. What do you think?

You can pop over to my other Trash to Treasure Transformation friends’ blogs to see their high school chick flick worthy makeovers too:

t2t before

(Clockwise from top left):  Prodigal Pieces | Girl in the Garage |

Confessions of a Serial DIYer | Artsy Chicks Rule

If you ever want to reference this distressing method in the future, you can pin it here:

Distressed Charcoal Scroll Mirror Makeover | blesserhouse.com - How to distress non-wood materials without sanding using Vaseline. This is smart! The lazy girl's way to distress. ;)

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42 Comments

  1. Shared on Facebook. Everything you do is wonderful. Maybe if I win I can learn to paint a flawless finish as well as you.

  2. Mirror Mirror on the wall!!! next time I find one, it’s Lauren I’ll call. sorry I got carried away lol! Great job!! pulled everything together beautifully with the fireplace!!

  3. I absolutely love the two colors you used. I’ve been looking for a good combo of colors in the grey family to paint my headboard. I think my search is over. You did a great job!

  4. The distressed black was such a smart choice – it looks perfect on your mantel. The before and after of the room is also amazing. Nice job!

    1. Yes! It works on just about anything really. 🙂 Metal, plastic, resin, wood, laminate, all kinds of stuff.

    1. Thanks, Kristie! I picked them up for $10 each at Hobby Lobby when they had a big 50% off sale last week. 🙂

  5. Great update to your “fireplace”. I love a good mirror makeover. I see so many mirrors in thrift stores that could be so great with a little TLC. It’s hard for me not to buy them, but too many mirrors in a house is not a good thing ( I keep telling myself that). I don’t want people to walk in and think, “a narcissist must live here”. LOL. 🙂

    1. Haha! I know what you mean. I have hardly any mirrors downstairs except for this one. Definitely don’t feel like look at myself that often. Ha! Thanks, Nancy!

  6. This post couldn’t of come at a better time! I have been pinning black mirrors for a project I am planning and this is PERFECT!!! Thank you for sharing! I love every single project you share!

    1. Awesome! I hope you can put it to good use, Stacy! Are you planning a gallery wall with black mirrors? That would be really cool.

  7. Wow and wow. Love the “eyeliner” on this mirror, not to mention the overall evolution of the faux fireplace, and the mantle styling. Spot on. Cheers, Ardith

    1. Thanks, Megan! I got them for $10 each at Hobby Lobby last week when they had them marked down at 50% off.

    1. Thanks girl! It’s so funny to look back and think, “Wow! I used to think that was good?!” But I know we’re our own biggest critics. 🙂

  8. What a nice mirror!…i’d like to paint & give my hall tables a new look to brighten the shady area (they are a dark , cherry wood-i think a veneer from bombaycompany) I have light pine baseboards and wood trim around all of my doors and the stair case-think cabin. any recommendations for good colors that would complement and brighten? do you think sanding or vaseline would be best for distressing? I’m completely new at this. Thank u!

    1. Hmm… I’d probably have to see a picture to get a better idea, but for me, you can never go wrong with a white/wood combo. I love white painted furniture against wood for a bright rustic look. If you’re a beginner Fusion Mineral Paint and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint are both great since you don’t really have to do any prep work. It’s great for beginners. Since yours are veneer, I would try the Vaseline trick. If they were solid wood, I would say sand. Hope that helps!

    1. I mean… how else can we make this mirror exciting than comparing it to Sandra Dee? 😉 Thanks, love!

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