This glass painted mirror project is quite simple from the design aspect. It certainly isn’t as “busy” as my normal glass painting and personally I think understated design is rather nice.
Obviously not everyone will like this design or my colour choice and your mirror will most probably be a different size to mine. The idea of this project is to show techniques which you can use when designing your own mirror project. Working with adhesive lead is very different from working with liquid lead/outliner but it does give a really nice and professional finish.
Glass Painted Mirror Project. Materials and Equipment.
- A Mirror! (sized to suit).
- 4.5mm and 9mm lead strip. (3mm could probably replace the 4.5mm and you could use one wider than 9mm for the edging but no thinner). This comes in different colours. We have used the natural lead colour.
- Glass Paints. (Colours according to you choice).
- A boning tool (or other plastic object) to press the lead down and smooth it.
- Craft Knife.
- Paint Brush.
- Cotton Buds.
- Cardboard Templates to suit.
Glass Painted Mirror Project. Technique.
When using adhesive lead the most important thing to remember is PLANNING. You need to work out which piece of lead will go over or under which other piece. Which ends will be tucked away neatly under another piece. Thinking about all this should enable you work out which piece of lead to lay in which order.
There isn’t really much to say in the way of instructions for this project which is strange as it’s quite a long video.
- Work out you design. I like to print off a full sized copy as it enable me to roughly bend the lead to shape on it, cut lead to size on it and take rough measurements as I go along.
- Make any templates you can to help you lay the lead. This is particularly important with long straight lines as it will look very obvious if you get it wrong and for designs where you have elements which need to be exactly the same.
- Lay the lead. Normally you would start with the inner bits and finish with the edges (as they will tuck away a lot of lose ends). Remember to press the lead down really well especially around areas you intend to paint. Any gaps will allow the paint to seep out. As you will be pressing quite hard ensure the mirror is laying completely flat on a flat surface (nothing trapped underneath). If you don’t do this you could crack the mirror.
- Use the scissors to cut the lead to size and the craft knife to cut away any little stray bits which are poking out where the shouldn’t.
- Most of the work is done with the thinner lead. The thicker oneis used at the edge and bent round.
- If you find working with the lead difficult you can WARM it up so it becomes more pliable. Careful though, it can get VERY hot quite quickly as it retains heat well.
- The painting is quite easy especially if you have a simple design like mine. Keep in mind that this adhesive lead (depending on the colour) is a lot less tolerant of getting paint on it than liquid lead/outliner. Keep a cotton bud or two handy to wipe off any misplaced drips.
And that really is all there is to it! As will many of the projects on this site these are the techniques and we hope you will use them to create your own designs .
We haven’t released any designs to go with this project but if you click on the template image above it should open a fullsized version which you can righ click and save onto your computer.
N.B. I was taught these techniques by two friends, Jim and Carolyn from Mirror Art. Although neither is still with us I think it only right to acknowledge their contribution. They produced the best designs and mirrors I have ever seen. I will shortly do an article on their work.