DIY at Home: Hasty Craigslist buy prompts a mirror makeover

The listing on Craigslist seemed too good to be true. I was in the market for a pair of relatively inexpensive mirrors to hang over the double-sink vanity in the guest bathroom, which I’m remodeling. And boom! There they were: “Two matching silver mirrors ─ $150,” the listing read. They were the perfect size. Their condition was “Like New,” and they were only nine miles away. I exchanged a few  texts with the seller, who agreed on $125. I hopped in my car.

The sellers, a man and woman, agreed to meet me in their garage. Just as I arrived, the woman got a call and slipped in the house.

The mirrors were in two separate boxes with foam corner protectors, implying that they’d been handled with care. The man, whom I’d guess to be in his late 60s, apologized and said that he wasn’t able to lift the boxes as he’d just had hernia surgery.

No problem, I assured him. We slid one partway out of its box. It looked fine. I asked if there were any dings, blemishes or chips. Nope. He asked, semi-reluctantly, if I wanted to see the other one. No need, I said, not wanting him to pop a stitch or anything. I mean, what would I do? I handed over the cash, loaded the mirrors myself in my car, and drove off.

Back home, ecstatic about my deal, I pulled the mirrors out to show my husband my thrifty score. That’s when I saw the fourth side that never made it out of the box. While three sides of both mirrors were in decent shape, the silver finish on the fourth side of each mirror, presumably the edges nearest their sinks, was riddled with black spots and speckles. Did these people wash their faces with hydrochloric acid?

“I’ve been framed!” I cried to DC.

“You didn’t notice this?” he said.

“But the listing said, ‘Like new!’” I said, realizing how feeble I sounded. Mind you, I’m a journalist. I was taught that if your mother tells you she loves you, better check it out. So why did I take this guy’s word? This was on me.

“Didn’t you look at them?” DC asked.

“Yes. Well, no. I mean, I trusted him. He’d just had hernia surgery.”

“Umm, hmm.”

It’s amazing what we don’t see when we don’t want to see.

I considered returning them to the seller, who’d probably fled the country by now. But then my inner DIYer kicked in. I looked closer to see whether I could salvage the frames. Unfortunately, they weren’t wood, which would be easier to repair. They were plastic finished to look like painted wood. How hard could this be? I asked myself. Will I ever learn?

At the local craft store, I picked up two small bottles of silver-toned acrylic paint to touch up the marks. I quickly made the problem much worse, adding a whole new set of spots to the spots.

Next, I called my painter, who for some reason hasn’t blocked my number.

“JW! I need your help!” It was a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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