I bought this vintage mirror at a yard sale about six years ago. I loved the shape and carving, so I paid $30 – a lot for me at garage sales. But I’ve never been in love with the gold painted finish. Some of the gold was really gaudy in places and the person who had painted it didn’t sand first so there were spots of gold over spider webs, or hair, or whatever. You know what I mean- it was sort of lumpy and bumpy.
But when I started our small living room makeover a few months ago and then painted and organized the shelves on each side of the fireplace, the gold mirror really started to bug me. (Oh, and don’t you love the before and after photos above – the roses are dying and sad in the before picture, but beautiful and happy in the after, ha!)
So I decided to paint it:
I decided at 8:30 the other night to paint it, so I used some sage green paint I already had from another project. And now I like the way the green on the mirror brings together the light green I painted on the backs of the bookcases. Gee, it’s as if I planned that or something.
Here are the steps I took for this minor makeover:
- Cleaned and sanded the frame.
- Painted the frame with a satin finish sage green paint. I used a hard-bristle art brush to get the paint in all the nooks and crannies of the carving.
- Tip: If you remember how I feel about taping, you won’t be surprised that I didn’t tape – I used a piece of heavy junk mail that I cut to the shape of the mirror and then just pushed it against the frame where it met the mirror as I painted. Any little bits that got on the mirror were easily wiped off.
- BUT the newness of the paint struck me as odd with the vintage frame. So I brushed on some antiquing gel, and wiped off what I could with a soft cloth.
- BUT THEN, it was a bit much for me, and covered up too much of the green. I think they make lighter, softer antiquing mediums, but…you guessed it, I was using what I had.
- So I decided to use a sanding block, which is pretty fine and doesn’t sand through things easily (I love these, by the way, for finish sanding).
- BONUS: As it took away some of the brown gel stain, it also brought the gold through in a few places, which I ended up liking. Who knew?
All in all, it took about 45 minutes of my time (not all at once), no money and was definitely worth it. Should I have waited six years? Probably not. But better late than never!