We have a pine framed mirror in our longue, it is a large lovely thing, however it just doesn't fit in with the rest of our furniture any more. Hubby has had this mirror since before we met and a couple of weeks ago I finally got round to doing something with it.
I decided I wanted to cover it in silver leaf, of course I could have sprayed it with silver spray paint instead, but that didn't seem half as much fun ;)
Here is the mirror before I started,
You will need several things to cover something in silver leaf, of course silver leaf (I got mine cheaply off eBay), some guilding adhesive (again off eBay), a soft brush to apply the silver leaf, some silver base coat paint and two paintbrushes, one for painting and one for applying the glue.
Instead of buying expensive paint for wood, I instead went to B&Q and asked for a tester pot of the special custom mixed paint (this is a premium paint suitable for wood, I used summer grey) except it cost £2.30 instead of £18!! And the pot was much smaller and perfect for this small project.
To prepare the frame, I gave it a quick sand down all over and washed it down with sugar soap.
Once dry the frame was painted in the summer grey paint. It is important to paint the frame before leafing it, just in case you miss any of the frame with the leaf it will not be so obvious. One lovely looking frame...
Next was the fun part, applying the silver leaf! I did each side of the frame separately as the glue would dry before I had finished applying the leaf to the first side. There is a trick when using the gilding glue, I applied it with a paintbrush and you have to leave it to dry until it is tacky and nearly dry. It is at this point you apply the silver leaf, by laying it on the frame and brushing it down.
The cool thing about silver leaf, is that if you miss a bit you can go back over with another sheet to cover up the gap! Then, when the rest is dry you can brush away the excess. Be warned, the leaf goes EVERYWHERE!!! I had it in my hair, on my skin, on the floor, it hangs around for days even after hovering.
If you are leafing something with ridges (such as this frame) the leaf will rip, so I had to use another bit to cover up the gaps. I did two layers of the leaf because I wanted to make sure every bit of the frame was covered, but if you wanted a more shabby chic feel, you only need to do it once.
Remember to brush the whole thing afterwards, to make sure you get all the excess off. Don't be too rough however, otherwise the leaf will come off!
Here is the final transformation:
I am really happy with how the frame turned out and it is now up on the wall looking very lovely. Now, I am now looking at everything in our house in a new light... nothing is safe!
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