May 14, 2014

DIY Sunburst Mirror Follow-up

I have been getting several questions about the DIY Sunburst Mirror post from earlier this week so I decided to do a quick follow up.


This image above is a basic step by step to make a sunburst mirror like the one I made at the bottom of the picture.  Here are some of the things I learned in the process. Using wooden shims as the basic structure allows you to make a mirror that is as large as you want. Shims come in two sizes, at least at Home Depot, and I used the smaller ones.  I was able to create a mirror that was almost 36" in diameter.  However it is very heavy. I used wood glue to form the bundles of 6-10 shims. But to fully hold it together I had to use a hot glue gun. I tried several types of adhesive but the glue gun was the only one that made it a solid structure.

The shims are rather rough and unfinished. They must be primed or sealed or you will go through several cans of spray paint. I can't imagine trying to paint this with a brush. On the second one I made I used gold leaf over the gold spray paint and the result was a more textured surface with aged gold patina.

I spent some time studying different styles of sunburst mirrors before making this one. Most of the ones I was drawn to had two or more smaller layers mounted on top of each other and a definite border framing the mirror.


This can be done by securing a smaller sunburst mirror, a round mirror, a round picture frame, or as I did here, a sunburst clock frame. For some reason sunburst clocks don't seem to be as popular as their mirror counterparts and are usually much less expensive.  They can be found on Ebay, in thrift stores, and at flea markets. Remove the clock and install a round or convex mirror of the same diameter.


A small round photo frame can also be used to secure the convex mirror to a larger base. Convex mirrors are available in several sizes and it is easier to find a mirror that fits the opening of the frame than the other way around.


These are just few ways to create your own or modify an existing, but less than perfect sunburst mirror.  Tomorrow, I'll return to colors and painting.