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Federal Convex Mirror

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 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

    39 thoughts on “Federal Convex Mirror”

    1. 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!

    2. 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)

    3. 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!!!

    4. 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.

    5. 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!

    6. 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.

    7. 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!

    8. 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”.

    9. 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!

    10. 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,

    11. 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.


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