How to Frost a Mirror

What You'll Need
Small mirror that does not have a lead backing
Etching compound
Stencil (you can either purchase a stencil or make your own)
Contact paper (white for best results)
Masking tape
Latex or rubber gloves
Eye protection
Razor blade
Hobby knife
Lint-free dish towel
Glass cleaner

You can spend several hundred dollars on a frosted mirror to use as a gift or room decor. In many cases, frosting a mirror is a delicate and expensive job. This article will show you how to create your own frosted mirror at home and how to do it inexpensively.

Step 1: Flat Surface

Find a place that is easy to work on. You can frost a mirror with it on the wall but it is much easier to do it when the mirror is flat on a table. Also find an area that is well lit and ventilated.

Step 2: Cleaning

To get the best results out of your frosting experience you need to work with a clean mirror. Do not spray the glass cleaner directly to the mirror. Instead, spray the cleaner on one side of the towel and then rub it on the mirror. Wipe off any remaining suds or residue with the clean part of the towel.

Step 3: Setting up the Stencil

You can frost an entire mirror without using a stencil. Using a stencil, however, makes the frosting really pop and the mirror stand out. Lay your contact paper on top of the stencil and cut the paper so that it is slightly larger than the stencil. Remove the backing from the contact paper and position it on top of the mirror in the location you want it. Try your best to remove any bubbles and wrinkles that may have occurred. Next, use the masking tape to secure the stencil on top of the contact paper.

Step 4: Frosting Design

With your stencil secured to the contact paper you can now make the final design. Use your pen and trace on the inside of the stencil. Only do this for the sections you want to frost. When you are finished you can remove the stencil from the contact paper. Carefully use the Xacto knife to cut along the pen lines. Do not use too much pressure because you do not want to cut the glass if at all possible. When you are finished you use the razor blade to carefully remove the cut pieces of contact paper to expose the mirror.

Step 5: Frosting

Etching compounds can differ so always follow the directions listed on the bottle. Typically, you apply the compound to the glass and wait for the instructed time. When the time limit is up you simply wash the compound off of the mirror with warm water and mild soap.

Step 6: Finishing Up

With your frosting completed and the compound washed off, you can now finish the project. Use the razor blade to remove the last of the masking tape. Use the mild soap and a wash cloth to remove any tape residue.