Gilding the Lily!

In a previous post,  I mentioned a mirror that I wanted to brighten up by putting on gold leafing. The mirror was given to us by my husband’s grandmother. I loved the detailing of the mirror, but not the brassy tone. I found a kit at Michael’s that chemically changed the color to an aged copper. The color was great but became really dark over the years and the detailing was lost. So I decided to gold leaf the mirror (something I have never done before) .

IMG_4356 This is the mirror before gold leafing. See how dark it is?

IMG_4357 It all just blends in. It needs something to make it pop!

IMG_4442 I am using Martha Stewart gilding adhesive.

IMG_4443 There were a lot of gold leaf products to choose from at Micheals. After sorting through them all I chose Craft Smart because they came in larger sheets IMG_4446 The first step is to apply the adhesive to the area you wish to work on. Since I had have never done gold leafing before, I worked on one small area at a time.

IMG_4447 (2) The adhesive will dry clear in about five minutes. Once it is dry lay the gold leaf on top of the area and gently tap on it, pushing it into the crevices and then brushing it smooth.

IMG_4461 This is what it will look like when the adhesive dries.

IMG_4473 Then continue brushing and smoothing until it completely lies flat.

IMG_4472 Once the gold leaf is secure brush away any loose pieces with a soft brush.

IMG_4480 It was fairly simple and it adheres quickly with smooth coverage.

IMG_4485 You can put on as many layers that you want to have complete coverage. I liked the exposed area and decided to leave it this way.

img_4578.jpg It actually reminds me of how the mirror looked originally. I knew I was going to tone it down, I just had to figure out how.

IMG_4614 I painted over it with Annie Sloan Napoleon Blue Chalk Paint. I know you are probably saying what??

IMG_4612 It is dark, but just the first layer.

IMG_4619 I then painted it with a mixture of Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue, Antibes Green and Louis Blue Chalk Paints.

IMG_4620 (2) You can start to see the depth with the undertones.

img_4641.jpg With really fine sand paper, I started to uncover the layers.

IMG_4645 (2) See how the dark blue shows through in spots also?

img_4584.jpg Once I was done removing some of the layers it was time to wax. I used a different technique. I dipped my brush first in Annie Sloan clear wax, then Annie Sloan dark wax working them together at the same time.

waxed mirror 2 The waxes take it to the next level. Look how much the detail is popping out now!

waxed mirror 1 I always make sure to get the entire piece so all sides will look good from any view.

waxed mirror 3 (2) It was a risk to do all the work of gold leafing and then paint over it. Believe me, there have been times when the risk did not pay off and I had to start all over. But times like this one, that  work out well, keep pushing me to try something new!

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