Skip to content

DIY mirror painting

There are lots of creative ways to update a mirror that you already own. You can paint your own design with acrylic paint directly onto the glass surface. Another option is to simply spray paint the frame around the mirror to give an older piece a facelift. You could also do both! Regardless of the artistic approach you want to take, you only need a few basic art supplies and a nice flat surface to set up on.



1. Clean the mirror thoroughly with a dampened microfiber cloth. Mirror glass must be completely clean before you begin, otherwise the paint may not adhere to the surface well. Start by dampening a microfiber cloth with water and wiping the surface to remove any dust. Use a separate microfiber cloth to thoroughly dry the surface.

  • If your mirror is quite dirty, use a mild soap solution to wipe it down. Follow up with plain water, and then dry the surface with the cloth.
  • To get rid of fingerprints and greasy residue, dip the cloth in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and wipe down the surface.


2. Sketch your design onto the mirror with a water-soluble pencil. You don’t have to create a highly detailed sketch. Instead, use a white water-soluble pencil to outline the main design elements onto the mirror’s surface. This sketch helps you with placement and acts as a guide when you start painting.

  • Purchase water-soluble pencils at any art supply store.
  • It’s important to use a water-soluble pencil so you can easily remove any remaining lines once you finish your painting. You don’t have to use white, specifically, white shows up best on a mirrored surface.


3. Choose areas of your sketch that won’t be painted. One of the coolest things about painting on mirrors is that the areas you leave unpainted are just as important as the painted ones. The unpainted areas will remain reflective, acting as an ever-changing back drop to your painted piece.

  • For example, if you are painting koi onto a mirror, don’t paint the entire water backdrop blue. Leave a few unpainted areas in the water, which will create interesting effects once the painting is finished.
  • If you are painting a portrait, sketch in the form of the person, but leave the backdrop unpainted. Once the painting is complete, the background behind the portrait will be reflective and ever-changing.

Leave a Comment