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How To Spray Paint A Trumeau Mirror And Change The Photo Insert

It’s easy to spray paint a Trumeau mirror and even easier to change out the old photo. If you don’t know what a Trumeau mirror is I can tell you thanks to one of my faithful readers!

Spray paint a framed mirror with black spray paint
Spray paint a framed mirror with black spray paint

When I posted about buying the vintage mirror at an auction and I that I didn’t know what to call this type of mirror Connie commented with the correct term, Trumeau. See I do read all of your comments and I appreciate every one. Thanks Connie!

A little history...The trumeau is a mirror (pronounced troo-mo) set into tall wooden frames with a large section of painted or carved sculptural decoration at the top. Almost always the trumeau is rectangular in size. The word trumeau was used to describe the mirror that would be placed in the thin section of wall between two doors or windows. (source)

mirror before painting

This is what the mirror looked like before I painted it and changed out the photo. I was going for a modern look with the makeover and I think I achieved my goal. Today is Thrift Store Decor Day so be sure and check out all of the makeovers after you read my mirror tutorial.

scrapbook paper for project

The first item of business was to find a piece of scrapbook paper, photo, or something similar to replace the existing photo in the frame. I was thinking of colorful paper with a lot of gold highlights or gold metallic veins running through it but then I spotted the pink and orange flower paper.

replacing a photo in a mirror

The design is printed on heavy cardboard and is one of several pieces I bought at IKEA ages ago. Never did find a good use for them until now. The colors in the design decided the spray paint choice for me….black.

removing the back from a mirror

The mirror and glass had to be removed from the frame before I could spray paint the wood. I used a pair of pliers to remove the nails holding the pieces in the frame.

glue repair on wood

I noticed the little piece of wood separating the mirror from the top glass was split and kept sliding out of place. A bit of glue took care of that problem.

selecting spray paint color

Now to decide on the black spray paint color. You know they are all different! I had black primer, hammered black, and metallic oil rubbed bronze on my paint shelf. (Find Rust-Oleum Spray Paints on Amazon here)

spray the back of a frame with paint first

The first paint choice was easy. Black primer for the front and back of the frame. I always try to paint the back first being sure to coat the inside area where the mirror and glass sit. Often times you might see these areas when the project is put back together.

black spray paint primer (2)

The photo above shows the flat black primer coating the frame. I first thought I might leave the frame just primed but the finish was too dull.

Rustoleum Spray Paints

Next I had to decide between the Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze or the Matte Hammered Black, both Rust-Oleum spray paints.

Rustoleum Hammered Black spray paint

The Matte Hammered Black actually had a little sheen to it and you can see the difference in the flat black primer and the hammered black in the photo above. The hammered black is sprayed on the lower right side of the frame. Just a tad bit of difference in the paints.

cut scrapbook paper to fit mirror

While the spray paint was drying I laid the glass over the paper trying to pick the part of the floral design that would look the best. Then I just drew around the mirror with a pencil and cut it out.

wire hanger for wall mirror

I put everything back together and added a new wire hanger. The old one was a mess.

How To Spray Paint A Trumeau Mirror And Change The Photo Insert
How To Spray Paint A Trumeau Mirror And Change The Photo Insert

And now the mirror looks so modern! I love the paper insert with the floral design but then again I love orange and pink. You could also use a family photo in this space or a child’s drawing or something else. The options are endless. In the photo above the Trumeau Mirror is hanging in the dining room area. These mirrors are perfect for tall vertical spaces.

How To Spray Paint A Trumeau Mirror

No distressing on the paint. Can you believe that? I really didn’t want the original dull gold finish showing through.

How To Spray Paint A Thrift Store Mirror
How To Spray Paint A Thrift Store Mirror

Above the mirror is hanging in Miss Sofi’s bedroom at the house. You know we have all kinds of color in that bedroom. Hope you liked this makeover.

The photo above shows my favorite spray paint project. See what I painted here….Metallic Spray Paint: Make Succulent Containers Using Recycled Cans

Leave a note if you have the time then head on the Thrift Store Decor Tour by clicking the text links below the “before” makeovers photo…….

Thrift Store Decor Makeover Projects Before photos may 2022
Thrift Store Decor Tour….
DIY Frosted Seaglass Vase – Domestically Speaking
Farmhouse Bar Stool – My Repurposed Life
Spray Paint a Trumeau Mirror – Petticoat Junktion
How To Strip And Bleach Wood Furniture – Our Southern Home
DIY Welcome Porch Sign – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Making Boho Vases From Clear Glass Vases – Sadie Seasongoods
DIY Nautical Farmhouse Planter – House Of Hawthornes
Rounded Wood Box Sunflower Table – Organized Clutter
Lampshade Makeover Idea For A Front Porch – Reinvented Delaware
Metal Garden Dragonfly Refresh – Shop At Blu

how to paint a long mirror
How to paint a long mirror

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. The details in the side of the mirror is totally lost when black paint is used . Using a paint color that shows the Beautiful carving throughout the mirror .

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this bit of knowledge. Beautiful mirror redone for today’s decor spaces!!

  3. I’ve seen these mirrors before but did not know the name. Thanks for the lesson!! I love the fun look of it. It’s such a whimsical look.

  4. If you find an old Trumeau mirror anywhere, get it appraised. Some of them are worth thousands. Check 1stDibs!

  5. I too, thought it was plastic. Sweet little makeover Kathy! That paper is bright and cheerful.



  6. THis is such a cute makeover. I had never heard of that mirror before, thank you for the little history lesson!

  7. How dare you not distress something 🙂 When I saw the before photo I assumed it was one of those plastic decor pieces they used to sell at home decor parties in the 80’s, I didn’t realize it was real wood. Great save!

  8. Great tutorial Kathy! I’ve seen these mirrors in my travels but didn’t know the style name. Our readers and followers help us out all the time, don’t they? Thanks for sharing! Pinned ?

  9. I love that you went bold with that paper pattern. So much detail on that mirror. What a great upcycle .

  10. I love how you modernized that old mirror! Looks great! Pinned.