Painting Technique for cavity caps



Some of you may remember the mirror I made using cavity caps. 

I received many emails asking me about the paint technique I used.




Cavity caps are used between concrete block cells to stop mortar infiltration.

I also heard from many of you that your local Lowe's or hardware store doesn't carry them, or even know what they are.

I guess it's a regional product, for that reason I decided I would sell them in my ETSY store.



For my mirror project I wanted the metal squares to look aged and distressed.

The first thing you need to do is wipe off the front with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue leftover from the manufacturing process. This will allow the paint to adhere better.




My favorite brush to use when doing an aged finish is a chip brush, you can find it at most craft and hardware stores.




Because the chip brush has uneven and natural bristles it doesn't cover like a regular paint brush, and trust me this is a good thing when you are try to achieve an aged distressed finish.

Apply one light coat of you favorite acrylic craft paint, let dry. If you impatient like me you can speed up the drying time using a hair dryer.

Once dry, apply a second coat, in the same or different direction as the first coat, doing this will add more texture and  complete coverage is not necessary.




After it's completely dry, rub steel wool over the top in different directions until you achieve the worn look you are looking for.


Then liberally apply a one step crackle to the top and let completely dry.

I like to use DecoArt's crackle finish.






Once the crackle dries, it will have a somewhat shinny appearance (which will disappear once the antique finish is applied).

The crackle is hard to see at this point but will show up nicely once an antiquing wash/glaze  is applied.

I like to thin down burnt umber acrylic craft paint to use as my antiquing glaze. You can also used a purchased antiquing glaze for this step.

Just thin the down the burnt umber brown paint with a little with water and apply with a clean chip brush, let set for just a second and blot off the same way you would blot a stain up from the carpet.

Continue to wipe or blot until you achieve the desired look.  Multiple layers of the antiquing wash can be applied until you get the look you're after.




I applied several coats of the burnt umber wash for this look.

To protect the finish, apply a spray matte or satin clear coat to the top,(this step is optional).




 It's so easy and fun to do this project, and the color options are endless.


Remember if your local store doesn't carry cavity caps and you would love to try this project you can find them Here.


  1. This is a gorgeous mirror Trixie! I really like the look you achieved. I just purchased a wooden treasure box, like a jewelery but there is a decoupage picture on top of it and it is damaged. The box is cedar and the scent still lingers inside! But I would like to do something with the top since the picture is so damaged. Any ideas!
    Have a great week! Hugs Anne

  2. Thanks for this Trixie. I was trying to come up with a mirror for our half bath and I remember this from SYTYCD! I may be able to find them here since I'm in FL. I will sure look! I may make it a bit taller. Where did you get the piece of mirror and what did you use to glue it all together?

  3. I like this project and love the paint technique!
    thanks for sharing.

  4. What a great project and a great technique. We have the caps here too-not sure why most stores wouldn't carry them. What a great way to use them! Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial for us! Diana

  5. Love the mirror!! And the painting technique is awesome. Thanks for sharing your tips!!
    Hey! My fiber sculpture is now installed! Come see!

  6. Thank you for the step by step instructions. Will probably make a mirror or two myself for gifts this Christmas...time to get started.

  7. I can't wait to try this...great tutorial...thanks so much! Gotta check to see if our Home Depot has these. If not, I'm so glad you are carrying them.

    Just love your creativity!

    Starview Sonnet

  8. Hi!

    My beautiful frame came in the mail yesrteday. I JUST LOVE IT!!

    Thank you so much for offering such a great giveaway. I can't wait to try my new stencils out.

    I blogged about the frame. FABULOUS!

    thanks so much,

    Starview Sonnet

  9. Oh, I so love it when a few minutes of blog to blog to blog hopping leads me to something as beautiful as this! Your technique is perfect for what I need to do in a bathroom! Thank you! I will post a link to photos when I'm done! I can't wait to read more of your posts! :-)

  10. Thanks for sharing this! I am so intrigued but I think I'd have to work up the courage!


  11. Gorgeous mirror. Can't believe the first one could be improved on!

    As a regular reader of your blog, I wanted to let you know about Atticmag's new linky party - Giveaway Friday! It's a convenient place for bloggers to link their giveaways each week. We've kicked it off with a fantastic giveaway of our own. Five lucky winners will win material to do a backsplash in their homes. Hope to see you there!


  12. Omg, I love this! I totally want to borrow this idea for my beachy apartment re-deux... stupid question, though. You say that there are so many different color options - how did you achieve those? I'm sort of paint-inept, so did you use different glazes or crackles? COnfused:)

  13. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this and would love to write a post about you and your project in a future post...let me know if i can @

    I love your blog and so glad I found you! Stop in to Screaming Meme for a visit! Meme

  14. Trixie, Have to say that is a Darling piece you created- I love it. and love how anything can become anything.. Thanks for some inspiration and sharing

  15. Oh my, this was one of the first projects I saw when I discovered blogs and I wasn't sure where I saw it. So glad you posted it again. It's wonderful!

    I would love for you to visit my painting GIVEAWAY!

  16. Aaah..Miss Trixie, I so enjoyed your recent visit to my place! Thanks for dropping by. And THANK YOU also for this great tutorial! You can write home and tell um' that I'll definitely be trying this technique. Truly one of the most beautiful pieces I've seen in a long while! Hugs, Terri

  17. Thanks for the great tutorial! Any chance you will share the item # from Lowes for the caps? Can't wait to see what you do next.

  18. I'm your newest follower! Love EVERYTHING so far!!!


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