Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gilding the Mirror

When I was being very consistent with this blog, meaning, when we only had two kids who both took naps and no one was school age yet, I would document a project and then write about it immediately.  Now, Handsome Hero will sometimes remind me, "Don't you want to take pictures of this for the blog?"  and I'll say, "Oh, yeah!"  Then I forget to actually write a post about the project.  It's sad.  It's a sickness.  Maybe it's old age.  Maybe it's my bunion. 

Over the weekend, I was downloading some photos and came across many projects that I have never written about.  This week, if I can be as organized as I'm aspiring to be, I'm going to post about four of them that we've done in our entry.  All are easy and cheap things you can do to update any area of your home.  Hopefully they will be helpful and kick start those creative juices.

Number 1:  Updating a Frame

In this case, a mirror.  This is a really good mirror, heavy with a beveled edge.  I actually really like the style of the frame and it's real wood, but it's red hue was not working with my green dresser.  Too Christmassy.  I am into metallics right now, so I decided to paint it gold.

I laid the mirror on a flat surface and started working on it.  First I tried a putty-consistency rub-n-buff.

It was a pretty color but a pain to work with.

I hadn't done half of it when I had to stop because of a huge blister.  See?  Oh.  Well, it was there! And it hurt!

I ended up pulling out a jar of gold craft paint and using a foam brush to apply it.  On the scrolly parts I lightly dragged the brush over so that the raised sections got highlighted but that the recessed portions were still dark.  If you're doing this, make sure your foam brush doesn't have much paint on it.  It's easier to add more than to undo in the ornate areas.  Having the different shades gives the frame more dimension and keeps it from looking plastic. 

You can see the difference below.  The section on the left has been fully painted, but the scrolly section on the right hasn't been painted yet.

It's not a huge, life changing difference and gold isn't for everyone, but I think it is pretty here.  I may go back at some point with another color of gold so that it has a bit more of a gilded look and less of an I've-been-painted-with-craft-paint look.  I also would like to try gold leafing at some point soon.  I have a project in mind....

This project was free because I had the supplies on hand, but if you had to buy craft paint and a foam brush it would cost around two dollars.  For another type of frame I might have used spray paint for even coverage.  You can always get a cool frame or bunch of frames from Goodwill and change up the color.  A grouping of frames in one color unifies them even if they're all different in style.  It would make for a beautiful gallery wall.

p.s.  If you are painting a mirror in it's frame like I did, and you get paint on it, it is super easy to get it off.  If it's still wet, you can obviously just wipe it up, but if you let it dry, simply take a straight edge {like the blade of an exacto knife or box cutter} and scrape it off.  If you keep even pressure and are careful, you won't scratch the surface.  Ditto on windows.

p.p.s.  Would you alter the appearance of something valuable so that it better suits your style/needs/decor?  This mirror isn't special to me.  It isn't an heirloom, isn't gifted from someone who would care if I changed it, isn't antique, and Handsome Hero didn't care, so I had no qualms changing it.  It's just a mirror.  But if it had more significance, well, I just don't know.  I guess it would depend on the circumstance.

p.p.p.s.  See those gorgeous flowers?  Read about them on yesterday's post.

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