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Federal Convex Mirror

 Every now and then, if you hold your mouth just right when you hit the search button on ebay, you get lucky.

Federal Convex Mirror—enter!

These come in wide range of prices, the one below is on ebay (buy it now) for $1450.00.   It’s an antique and very beautiful!  Mine is not an antique, I got it on ebay but only paid $66.  It started out at $49, it kept creeping up, I kept bidding.  Then at about 30 seconds left, I placed my bid and waited for the screen to refresh.  WooHoo, I was the highest bidder, que the happy dance!

This is the antique, I did not get this one.

This is mine, after a little refreshing.

Here they are side by side:

My steps:


Tape off mirror:

Take it outside and spray paint:

Hang it on the wall and admire your work:

Take the paper off, try to take a pic without yourself in it and realize you forgot to paint the balls that represent the thirteen original colonies, and I did laugh out loud!

I just stood in front of it and painted them, it worked for me.

The search is over!

My champagne taste on a root beer budget:

I used Precious Metals paint in Titanium over the black to create the details. (I did blur myself out, it’s really a cool mirror but it reflects a lot of space!  As usual I paint in my pj’s and it’s not a pretty site.)

Shared at:

Not Just A Housewife Best DIY Contest

Under The Table Dreaming

DIY Showoff
Between Naps On The Porch

Mod Vintage Life

Coastal Charm

Savvy Southern Style

Home Stories of A to Z

Miss Mustard Seed


  1. Congratulations it’s beautiful. I have has a love affair w convex mirrors ever since I saw the famous painting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnolfini_Portrait ) by Jan van Eyck. I bought an inexpensive one at Hobby Lobby, I may have to try updating it like yo did… thanks!!

  2. I love what you did with the mirror! I have two made by Syroco and have been thinking about painting them. You’ve totally inspired me!

  3. You’ve done it again, Debbie!
    “Champagne taste on a root beer budget:.” LOVE IT!

    I would be thrilled if you would link this up at my first ever Feature Friday Free-for-All, going on right now (already over 200 links and growing! Soooo exciting! : )).

    ~Abbie (www.fivedaysfiveways.com)

  4. I love your mirror. I actually have a very large Federalist mirror and am afraid to paint it! I love the technique. But I am confused how you did the metallic paint. Was is a spray paint or did you brush it on?
    I was thinking of using silver rub n buff. Again, love this mirror!!!

  5. LOVE. It turned out fabulous. Great deal too.

  6. Congrats on your ebay score… and great job with the updates! It looks so much like your inspiration. Beautiful!

  7. I really love Federal mirrors and have one much like yours. Frankly, I love the style or yours and mine more than the antique one. I bought mine in a “junk” store many years ago. Paint (?) in a few places was missing, which showed the white showing underneath the gold. When I called a restoration company, the man wanted to come to my home to check it out. He was thinking he might restore it. Truth is that it does appear very old on the back. Please email me if you think yours might be quite old. I gladly share what info I have. You can see mine on my blog about my fireplace and mantle makeover. I’m a new follower from Kim’s “Wow Me”.

    • I have acquired a very old Federal Convex mirror with original mirror. It has been painted with a terrible aqua blue (someone tried to ‘shabby” it up a little) . Some plaster floras are missing. Does anyone know what the usual original finish was for these. I really don’t know anything about it.

  8. i linked over from nester~ super cool job on the mirror!! way to go & very inspiring for the rest of us on those root beer budgets!! 😉

  9. I really like what you did w/your federal mirror! I got one from an antique store for around $50 – you’re now making me rethink the paint job on it!!! BTW, thanks for your comment today on C&V!

  10. You did a great job….I love it when you find something you have wanted for a long time. I just found my mirror too, you can see it further down on Savvy Southern Style! or my blog.

  11. I just purchased one of these yesterday and was trying to figure out wether to leave it alone or paint it! I LOVE how your turned out!!

  12. You have a beautiful blog. This looks great. I would love for you to stop by My Dream Canvas. Take care Anu

  13. OMG! I have this same mirror and painted it the same way. (The bright gold was just hideous) The black toned it down and classed it up. Love your results. Who needs pricey when you have creativity on your side!
    Great job!

  14. I love this!!!!!! great job!

  15. I love your “refresh” of your Federal Convex mirror. I actually have bought 3 of them this summer at fabulous prices and love the idea of updating them! Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. The convex eagle mirror is on my long wish list. Love it!

  17. Debbie this is so amazing I adore your Mirror, great job!! Bravo. Can you find me one now?!!

    Art by Karena

  18. Gosh, you have good “vision” to see the beautiful black and titanium mirror in the gold version that you bought on ebay. I , also, did not know what the dots/bumps meant on the mirror. The bulls-eye mirror does really catch a lot ot the room (and whatever else is in it…I was trying to take a photo of a bull’s-eye mirror recently and it was impossible to not get myself in the reflection. ) Really wonderful job on your new “antique”.

  19. I like your mirror better than the antique one.

  20. what a pretty mirror – your refashion is beautiful and your story is just so funny! I used to work in the Washington DC area for a while and would stay at an historic bed & breakfast inn in Fairfax with lots of colonial decor. One of the guest rooms had a pretty mirror like this. Wonderful memories!

  21. It is perfect!!! I think I like yours better!! Well done!

  22. I love this! I’m going to have to keep my eye open for something similar to rehab for my home. Great job on the paint!

  23. My enjoyment of a piece is directly related to how good of a deal I got on it 😉 I like your version MUCH better!

  24. eBay is an amazing thing. Well done. I don’t have a trained eye but from here I can’t tell the difference between the two. Enjoy!

  25. Found you via Southern Hospitality and have become a follower. Love the mirror and great job painting. Pop over for a visit if you get time. Tootles, Kathryn http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com

  26. What a great find and great job painting! Found you via Southern Hospitality and have become a follower. Pop on over for a visit if you have time. Tootles, Kathryn http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com

  27. Hi Debbie,
    This is one of those makeovers that nobody would know unless you told them.
    So mum is the word… When they ask you about your newly acquired antique piece, just nod and smile when they shower you with complements.
    It looks awesome, Debbie!
    All the Best,

  28. Your mirror update looks fantastic!

  29. This looks wonderful and the price was right too! Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. it definitely looks as good as the much more expensive version, great job!

  31. Dare I say that I like yours even better than the antique? Great job, especially considering what it looked like before! I’ll be on the lookout now to find a similar one on eBay!

  32. I think I like your mirror better than the antique! You’re too funny! How did you blur the mirror?

  33. I love your paint treatment. Nice find. I have almost exactly the same mirror in my garage. It’s missing one of the colonies. I really need to do something with it.

  34. I love it and its just as beautiful as the pricier version. You did a great job on the redo.

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Debbie Westbrooks
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