I fell in love with the shape of this shield mirror for my son’s superhero bedroom. Unfortunately, it was the wrong color and too small to use over his dresser. With some paint and some more shields, I was able to remedy both of those problems and make a great installation above his dresser.
To start with, I needed to change the color of the mirror. It wasn’t a bad color, but it was almost identical to the wall color in his room. With the matching color the mirror was almost lost on his wall. To quickly and easily change the color of the mirror, I pulled out my white chalk paint. I simply painted the face and the sides of the mirror. I left the inside edge closest to the mirror alone to avoid having to tape off the mirror, and because even if I painted that edge white, the back of it would still be the original near color in the reflection.
After the white paint dried, I went back over the mirror frame with sandpaper to give it a bit more of a distressed or rustic look. The mirror already had a distressed finish, so there were already bumps and nicks. I sanded in the same areas to get some of the original color showing through to contrast with the white. I loved the new white color against his bedroom walls, but the mirror was still too small to hang over his dresser, and I really don’t want to hang anywhere else in the room.
To help balance out the mirror, I knew I needed something else to arrange with it on the wall. The idea for the shield gallery was born. I wanted to use similar shapes and repeat the great shield shape of the mirror. At Michael’s and Joann’s I found some wood plaques in the shield shape. I selected three different sizes and shapes of shields for the gallery. I wanted sort of a modern rustic look for the shields. I achieved the modern rustic look just with stain and white paint.
The first step was to stain all the shields. My mom and my sister helped me stain. We set up a stain bar. We opened up every color of stain I had on hand. We tried to make each shield a little different color.
Once the stain fully dried, I taped off the shields on the diagonal. I wanted to give them a dipped look with white paint, as if someone had taken some rustic wooden shields and dipped them to give them the more modern look.
My son helped me paint the shields. We painted the bottom half of the shields below the tape line. The finished shields look really cool. I love the variation in the different stain colors, and I love how there is a couple of each shield shape.
I played around with the arrangement of the shields next to the mirror first on my kitchen table. Once I got a mix that I like, then I took a picture of it for reference.
First, I hung in the mirror above his dresser off to the left side. Then, I used my photo as reference to hang the shield gallery to the right side of the mirror. I hung the gallery almost identical to what I had planned, except I moved one of the smaller shields. I attached the shields to the wall with 3M command strips. Again, I had my son help with the hanging, although he couldn’t really hang the things on the wall above the dresser. Instead, he really enjoyed helping apply one half of the command strips to the back of the shields. That was his job and I pressed the to the wall.
I really love the finished look of this gallery wall of shields. It’s such a unique luck that I don’t think I’m going to see in anybody else’s bedroom. Also, I love the subtle tie in with the superhero theme of his room. Not all superheroes have shields, but the shield is a symbol of protection and bravery. It’s a perfect fit for his room, and it’s not a look that she’s going to tire of quickly. I could see this easily transition to a teen room or be relocated to other rooms in the house.