DIY: Chic window frame mirror

Coveting a panelled mirror you spotted in a designer shop? Get the same chic look for less by fashioning one from an old steel window frame. Upcycling pro Sacha Olivier shows you how



  1. Carefully remove any glass and putty from the window frame. Next give it a good scrubbing with a wire brush.
  2. Remove any old, peeling paint with a paint stripper, like Plascon RemovALL All Purpose Paint Remover, following the instructions on the packaging.
  3. Sand the window frame with 120 grit sandpaper.
  4. If necessary, use a rust stripper, like Plascon RemovALL Rust Remover & Concrete Etcher, to remove any rust.
  5. Paint two coats of the colour of your choice using a paint that’s suitable for metal surfaces, like Hammerite Metal Paint. Allow to dry between each coat.
  6. If you plan on hanging your panelled mirror on the wall, use a drill fitted with a steel drill bit to drill holes in each of the four corners. I chose to simply prop mine against the wall for a casual, contemporary look.


  1. Lay the window frame flat on a table and place a mirror (face down) into each opening.
  2. Using a caulking gun, apply marine silicone along the edges where the back of the mirror and window frame meet to seal the mirror into the opening. Try to keep the same pressure on the trigger to ensure you apply an even stream of silicone; you can smooth out any lumps by running a wet finger over them.
  3. Repeat for each mirror, then leave to dry (face down) for a day.
  4. Clean the mirrors and remove any excess silicone that might be visible using a window cleaning product and cloth.
  5. You can now hang your panelled mirror up using a drill, screws and wall plugs.


  • You’ll need to have a mirror cut to size to fit each of the openings in your window frame. Keep in mind that removing old layers of paint and reapplying fresh coats may cause the size of the openings to change slightly during the restoration process, so it’s best to do this only once you’ve completed step 1.
  • As each opening in your window frame may be a slightly different size to the rest, it’s a good idea to take it with you to the glazier so that they can measure each one and cut mirrors accordingly.
  • Ask the glazier to use pieces of masking tape to mark each opening and matching mirror with a corresponding number. This will save time and make it easier to match up the mirrors and openings when you’re completing step 2.