A distressed treatment gives an antique look to an inexpensive craft-store mirror. An acid wash helps to remove part of the silver, a process that normally requires many years.
Work in a well-ventilated area. Wear eye protection, chemical-resistant rubber gloves and a ventilation mask when working with acid. If you accidentally spill acid on your skin, wash with large amounts of water to prevent burns.
Carefully remove the cardboard backing. Paint the back of the mirror with paint stripper to remove the protective paint coating. Allow the solution to work for 5 minutes, and remove it using a cotton rag. Repeat until you remove all the paint from the back of the mirror, but leave the silver surface intact.
Spray with acid
Pour muriatic acid into a spray bottle. Spray the back of the mirror with the acid. For larger spots, use an eyedropper to distribute the acid. After about 30 to 90 seconds, wipe the acid off the back of the mirror using a damp paper towel. Allow the mirror to air dry.
Paint the back of the mirror
Apply a coat of black paint to the back of the mirror. The paint shows through the spots created by the acid to create the distressed look. Replace the cardboard, and mount the mirror back in the frame.