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!