Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Final Paint Experiment on my Mirror!

Final result:  a weathered pearl silver finish over a taupey base

I really hated the chocolate brown paint colour I showed on my mirror in the last post.  So last night I decided to paint it again, this time a lighter brown.  I mixed up a batch of the leftover dark brown (HC-70 Van Buren Brown) with some Cloud White I had on hand until I achieved a nice milk chocolate colour.  I even threw in a few drops of Flax, a pinkish brown, to give it a rose cast:  This effect seemed only vaguely less dull than before.  I liked the colour, but it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.  So today I tried my first attempt at a faux finish.  At lunch time, I dropped by Benjamin Moore (luckily there's a shop one block from my office!) and bought a pearlescent base paint that gives a pearl-like lustre to your finish.  

When I came home, I started by dry brushing a very thin layer of the F&B Charleston Gray on top of the brown, on the raised bits only, to give it a little depth (following Mrs. Limestone's suggestion).  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.  When it dried, I added the pearl finish randomly all over, to give it a little lustre:
The mirror looks quite good (sort of silvery and weathered-looking), but in the photo, the finish looks a little spotty.  Since I'm not a machine, and it was my first attempt, I wasn't very good at applying the layers evenly, so it looks a little splotchy in places! 
But I think it gives a really wonderful effect (I just need some practice and no close-ups)!  And unless you inspect the finish closely, the effect is lovely and interesting from a couple of feet away.

I applied a lot of the pearlescent glaze at the end, but if you want a simple weathered look you can stop after the second layer.  You can use virtually any paint colour and then simply add a lighter highlight colour by brushing over the raised surfaces only.

In my case, I used: 
1st layer:  A mixture of Van Buren Brown and Cloud White, to give me a medium brown taupey base. 
2nd layer:  A light superficial brushing of F&B Charleston Gray on the raised bits (for highlight), using a small firm brush
3rd layer:  For lustre, a layer of Pearlescent base from Benjamin Moore. 
There's a whole range of gorgeous pearl effects that can be achieved using the pearl base over a regular eggshell.  Benjamin Moore has a whole brochure of pearlized colours that you should check out.  I can't wait for my next project...
Oh, and I didn't like the way the mirror looked in the entryway, so I have moved it to the sideboard where it fit in with all my silvery things.  But now I'm back to square one, with no mirror I love in the front hall...

This is so typical of my decorating style - I never end up using things where I plan to!


  1. Hi Terri
    The transformation of your mirror is sheer genius. Well done!!

  2. What a different! The mirror looks marvellous with that silver finish. And I think you found its right place on your sideboard where it looks great together with the lamp.
    xo Poppins

  3. Ha, join the club =) But that's the excitement of DIYs, isn't it? The mirror looks absolutely gorgeous, it was definitely worth the effort!

  4. It turned out splendidly! Really. Thank goodness for commenters.

  5. The mirror is great looking! thanks for the recipe. I know exactly what you mean about not using things where you thought you would - I do that all the time! Or I get restless and move things around from where I had planned to put them - oh well, it's more fun that way!

  6. Hi Terri!

    How are you doing? Are you hanging in there? Been thinking about you and hoping that you are feeling a little better!

    I love the way you changed your mirror, all to the better, it looks absolutely stunning! What a job!

    I love the chandeliers that you posted too a while ago! I haven't been good on commenting atm (because of the operation but I am feeling better now and hopefully will stay that way too) but I read all your posts and think about you and hope that you are feeling better.

    Take care and take it easy!

    Big hugs, Susanne

  7. While I certainly would not want to have to clean them, I love the look of the mirrored closet doors. Marvelous!

    What do you mean every room does not require a focal point? I'd love for you to do a post on that idea. Oh, and mirrors are great reflecting a window, but I'll take them anytime in a dark home with or without a good view.

    Hope that you are doing well, Terri! I think of you and yours often. Hope that your mom is adjusting well, too.