Refreshing a Gilded Mirror

For our anniversary a few weeks ago, Chris and I went antiquing.  Yes, antiquing.  What, that’s not your idea of a romantic anniversary date?  For us, doing anything without the baby is a romantic date.  Gracie was with her grandparents, so we were free!  We headed over to Temecula, hit up Old Town and a few antique stores, and then spent the late afternoon wine-tasting.

We found this awesome antique gilded mirror at The Antique Barn.  The Barn is a huge antique mall with gazillions of stalls filled with treasures.  It’s pretty overwhelming unless you know what you’re looking for.  I knew we were looking for a mirror for the foyer, but I was disappointed that there were few mirrors that were interesting, in good condition, and yet also the right size for our entry.  Finally, after about an hour of poking our noses into every dusty warren, we came across this beauty.

It’s lying on my lap in this photo…so never mind those disembodied jean-clad legs sticking out.

It was perfect — the perfect size, and interesting but not too ornate.  The gilded wooden frame was in good condition, and it was just $40!  Sold.

I knew that I wanted to touch up the gilding, so after we brought it home, I ordered a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen online.  This pen was so easy to use, and the bright gold color was perfect.  It really looks like gold leaf, not paint.  And one pen was enough for me to touch up the entire mirror!

I mostly just touched up the highlights, leaving the crevices a darker, duller gold. This really helped the relief of the design to stand out more.

And there she hangs in our foyer. Obviously we still have quite a bit of work to do here. The walls and wainscoting badly need to be repainted and we need to get a sleeker, narrower console table. The one we currently have was actually a vintage sewing table that we painted and refinished. I love it but it sticks out too far into the space, creating a tripping hazard if you want to go down the hall to the right of the front door.

So there you are! An easy peasy touch-up that brings a tired-looking antique mirror back to its former glory!

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