Vintage Mirror Before and After
July 1, 2010
This is a vintage mirror I bought at a yard sale about six years ago. I paid a lot for a garage sale find ($30), but I loved it and if I did see mirrors like this at antique stores (not very often) they were at least twice this amount.
But I never was 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 bumpy.
But the main reason was the gold just didn’t go with the rest of the things in the living room. I did live with it for six years, the whole time telling myself that gold and silver can mix and I just needed to bring in more gold – it didn’t look too bad. Yada, yada, yada.
But when I started a small living room makeover a few months ago and then painted and organized the shelves on each side of the fireplace, bringing in more black accents, the gold mirror really started to seem out of place.
So I decided to paint it:
And I really like it. It finally goes and it’s not bothering me anymore. Whew.
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 step I took for this minor makeover:
I cleaned and sanded the frame. Then I painted the frame with the paint which has a satin finish. I used a hard-bristle art brush to get the paint in all the nooks and crannies of the carving.
And I if you remember how I feel about taping, you won’t be surprised that I didn’t tape, but used a piece of heavy junk mail that I cut to the shape of the mirror. I just pushed it against the frame where it met the mirror when I needed to paint there. And little bits that got on the mirror were easily wiped off.
Well, I like it better already, 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.
It was a bit much for me, though, covering 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 this sanding block, which is pretty fine and doesn’t sand through things easily (I love these, by the way, for finish sanding). 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?
I probably should’ve taken it outside to get some good lighting in order to see the color better, but I wanted to have the whole effect of the mirror in the living room.
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!
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