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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Paint mirror frame?

hnksDecember 18, 2012
I have this mirror and would like to make use of it but I think the current silver-colored frame does not match my wall colors, thinking of changing the frame color to a rustic brown but not sure it will turn out good. I have difficulty seeing how it would turn out and i know houzz folks can help me.
Also how do you actually paint this? Spray paint? Or prime and paint?
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Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
I would sand the frame lightly first but make sure you tape off the mirror so you don't scuff it and then sponge the paint on top, it should come out great and if it isn't the right color at first you can always try another color!
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Bluecopper Interior Design
I would use Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint, which needs no sanding or priming! Easy to work with and clean up.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:35PM
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spray painting with the metallic finishes is easy and looks great if you want to have the current shine. Annie Sloan paint is wonderful, but is flat and requires waxing or urethane coat to get shine.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:45PM
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lucinda carlstrom
I am an artist who uses real gold and imitation metal leaf. if it is the silver, Frank above is right, you can change .the color with a paint. You might consider letting a little of the silver show through if you have other silver in your room. if so, you could tear tape in odd shapes and stick it here or there and then sponge with a glaze. It's possible that ordinary wood stain could give you the brown and let the ghost of the silver show through.

Imitation gold leaf, copper and this funky colorful variegated bronze leaf is available in packs of 25 5 1/4" square sheets. You can pretty easily re-leaf over the silver with this bronze leaf, you can tear it into little pieces and blend several of the colors.

golden acrylics, which would be available at most better art supply stores has great pigments and glazes. you can't mix the acrylic and wood stain, but you can try them in different layers if you let them dry completely in-between. if you put your mirror face down on a packing blanket covered with plastic sheeting, you probably have some silver leaf on the back edges that you could practice on. gold leaf will make most water glazes ball up and bead, the more extender (acrylic medium) you add the more it will be paintable. I used to take a small amount of paint and use a bristle brush on it and scrub it around in a cup till it got a lot of bubbles in it. then I would paint it on and let .it dry. The bubbles leave a .wonderful pattern, much like a natural sponge will leave if you twist the angle different directions. I don't think you should spray or paint it in one solid color, it would take the life out of it.
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Before you paint, have you thought of selling it? I think the style doesn't go with your very traditioanal buffet and it is too big.
9 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Agree with houssaon, fun mirror, but not with your style of furniture. Either something in the period or do something funky with the piece.
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Clear Creek Residence · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 3:51PM
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I agree with houssaon. I think the mirror is lovely as is and wouldn't change it... Find another which will be a better fit with your style. You could always paint a traditional ornate mirror a fun whimsical color for that "unexpected" something... or add colorful saturated paintings... :)
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1 Like    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I agree that it's too big. I was actually thinking about hanging it on top of my mantle but again, the frame color does not match my walls, hence painting.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Hi! Nice mirror! If it hasn't been mentioned yet and this isn't already what you were thinking of doing, I would think a good spray paint in an antique bronze, or other dark color that you like, would work like magic on this...just look for one that will adhere to the material of the mirrors frame! :) I think you should do whatever color you want...everyone has different styles and opinions but its your home...do what makes you happy! :-) Best wishes! And have fun decorating! :)
1 Like    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:31PM
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I love your frame! It's fun and funky..........it deserves a special place that isn't over a very traditional piece as you have it now.

I would leave it alone until you do discover a wall, a niche, a bathroom or a foyer that would be a beautiful home for something so unique!
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:00PM
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I've had mirrors of all metal shades... a light golden champagne silver, pewter silver, orange gold, bronze, soft gold....whenever I have tried to change the colors on them with a can of spray paint, it looks like heck. I never get the natural variation that is found in the original coat. Perhaps if the material is wood, you will have an easier time of it. But most mirrors these days are resin or plastic, and not really metal. That style is an exaggerated funky style, and is extreme when viewed over the buffet. If you want to pick up a mirror the right shape and shade, for about $50 or so you can find some beautiful things at Home Goods or Marshalls or even TJ Maxx without spending much. Lastly, don't be afraid to include different gold and silver tones in a room. Its a lovely effect if done right. Also, a mirror does not ever need to " match " the walls. But it should pop out from the walls, or coexist nicely. Sell your mirror at a yard sale or Craigslist, then use the proceeds toward one which is better suited.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Paintings by Kirsten Elizabeth Gilmore
If you do decide to paint it, I second the idea of carefully taping the mirror part along the edge to keep the paint from getting on it. Blue tape "for delicate surfaces" or frog tape would both work for that, though you might need to still clean a bit of stickiness off of the mirror afterwards. It would be easier if you could remove the mirror part and paint the frame separately, then re-assemble when dry.

But, if you decide to use the mirror as it is elsewhere in the house, it looks fine the way it is, and you wouldn't need to bother with painting. That is perhaps the simplest solution :)
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Welcome Home designs
Just peeking into your living room and I could see that mirror looking quite lovely propped up on your mantel. The frame colour looks like it would go nicely with your blue walls. But I would stand it up vertically. I would look for an interesting art piece for above your sideboard - or a series of different sized art pieces would also look nice. Add a lamp or tall candlesticks for height and I think you would have a nice "vignette".
5 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:58PM
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I agree with Welcome Home etc. I think your living room (from what we can see) looks more contemporary in style so maybe the mirror would look better there? Then put some art above the buffet.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Your mirror does not quite seem to go with the style of table. Can you switch either the table or mirror? If you do paint this, I would not sand, but I would use a no sand primer first before painting. Decide on the surface texture you want: shiny, metallic, matte or stone look. I spray paint everything, but you may not be able to get the color you want in a spray. Good luck
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:16PM
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I would not paint the mirror as there is a real chance that you would end up with a mess trying to paint onto a metallic finish. If you are set on the idea, have a look at the back first - if the backing board is removable carefully take it off and remove the mirror glass from the frame before you paint. If you're not confident about this ask a picture framing shop to do it for you. Even using masking tape and lots of care you can end up with a messy edge that is emphasised when it's reflected in the mirror. Painting the frame on its own is much easier and enables you to wrap the colour around the inside edge so that none of the old finish shows in the mirror.
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 4:13AM
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Gabberts Design Studio
Spray painting it in another metallic finish is fairly easy to do. Tape newspaper over the mirror part and bring it outside, and spray away! Rustoleum is a cheap spray paint that has a nice finish. Good luck!
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:36AM
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Durpetti Interiors
You have great feedback from others, a different piece would work best here.
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:50AM
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Love the mirror. I would leave the mirror alone and paint the table. Add some new knobs/pulls and you have a very different look. The color and finish of paint would set the tone for the rest of the home.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 6:15AM
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Vicki D
Since you mantel is white - why not paint it to match? Or paint it as an accent color that is elsewhere in the room. Then you could balance the look with a piece of decorative glass (vase maybe) that ties the mirror color to the room. As for painting, strip it (if wood), sand, prime, tape off the mirror, and paint. It's very easy.
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 7:52AM
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Thank you for your replies. I have been thinking about placing it on top of the mantle. I placed it in both directions and took pictures. I know i have to actually hang it up if we decide this is good place for it. :-)
I still think that the mirror color is not a good fit for my other colors.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:38AM
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And here are the dimensions of the mirror. 45" by 34" and the mantle width is about 85"... Too huge.
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Vicki D
What about off-setting it with an accent piece to balance the space?
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:15AM
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In my opinion, the mirror isn't large enough to look right either way over the fireplace. BTW, I paint everything including my mirror frames, accessories, furniture, etc. I love the metallic paints & usually use them with a little paint brush...I don't sand, primer or do any "fussing" cause who's gonna bump the mirror frame. If it was gonna get heavy use, prep would be necessary. I recently purchased an antique mirror that my husband didn't much like, but I used a dark brown metallic paint, then hit the raised areas on the frame with a mix of silver & gold paint with a brush, & now he loves it like I do. You can paint almost anything! I am, in fact, getting ready to paint my bedroom furniture & think I'll do a dark brown, then layer over kind of like an antiquing, then do that mix of gold & silver over the raised detail areas & I'll finish before Christmas for a Christmas present for myself (& my husband). The fun is try anything cause if you don't like it all you have to do is repaint!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:08AM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I feel the mirror is to small maybe you could add sconces on either side and even a decorative rod iron piece above the mirror for some height, if you have any of the wall paint left try sponging over the silver finish going lite at first till you find a tone your happy with.Do hang the mirror up about 6inches off the mantel too. But the best solution is to buy a really tall large mirror to fill the space properly. Enjoy the fun, Kevin
    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:21AM
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Mirror is way too small. It looks like you have a vaulted ceiling. You need a HUGE mirror.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:04PM
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