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How to paint a mirror frame

I’ve done a couple of DIY projects in the past but this one is my most recent and one that has been on the cards for a long time. Thank goodness for lockdown boredom!

 
The 'before' photo of my wooden mirror in plain pine
 

I purchased this mirror just before I started university in 2013. It was plain, functional and basically all I needed to get dressed in the morning. Then it was carted from my halls of residence back home to Chester and then back to university in my second and third years too. It’s moved around a lot but is still in surprisingly good condition.

The only thing is, I always found it very boring. The wood is pretty basic with not many patterns in it and no varnish. I started having a think about what I could do with it and this was the result:

 
The finished pine mirror with a painted frame in rose gold
 

So how exactly did I achieve this look in under 3 hours?

Materials:

How to create a rose gold mirror

Once you’ve got all your materials ready, it’s time to turn your wooden mirror into a beautiful rose gold one!

Don’t forget that Rust-Oleum have tonnes of spray paints* in all kinds of colours, so you could use my method to also produce a silver, gold, grey or copper mirror frame too.

I know how much we all hate prep, but it has to be done. Ensure that you cover as much of the actual mirror as possible to protect it from the paint.

How to protect a mirror when painting the frame

When you use a spray paint, you should expect it to go everywhere. The wind blows it and you’ll end up painting whatever surface it’s on, too.

This is why it’s so important to protect the mirror.

I did this using masking tape and newspaper. I simply slotted the paper in the tiny gap between the mirror and the frame and then used masking tape to stick it down.

Some spray paint did still get under this slightly, but the paint can easily be removed with a bit of white spirit and a cloth.

 

Once your mirror is protected, clean the frame with a slightly damp cloth to ensure that you’re getting rid of any dirt and dust so it doesn’t get painted in to the surface.

I decided to add a little bit of detail to my mirror, so it’s not all the same colour, so you can skip this step if you just want your finished result to be one colour.

First, I painted the corners of the mirror white using the chalk paint* I mentioned earlier and a paintbrush. This is because I wanted this white to show up on the corners of the finished mirror.

 
I painted the corners of the mirror white so that they would stand out against the rose gold paint
 

Be sure to paint enough so that, when the tape is removed, you won’t see any wood, just white.

If you want to do this step, you don’t just have to choose white! You could choose black paint that would stand out just as nicely against rose gold or copper.

I waited a little bit of time for this to dry. I knew I would be putting tape on these white corners and so I did a test to ensure the paint wouldn’t come away with the paint – it didn’t.

Then, once dry, I added the tape in the pattern I wanted.

 
Wooden mirror with white painted edges and tape on the corners
Tape covering the white edges of the mirror

As you can see, I used a thicker tape first and then added two smaller pieces underneath. This is the step where you can get as creative as you want. You could do two thin pieces of tape that stretch the whole way across the bottom of the mirror frame. Or you could create triangles and geometric patterns. I went with a simple 3-stripe pattern.

Once this was one, it was time to move outside and start spraying.

Be sure to put some kind of protective sheet down. I used an old bedding set. You must shake the can really well for at least a minute, or until the ball inside stops moving. This is important if you want to get the best finish.

 
Rust-Oleum rose gold spray paint that I used to paint the mirror frame
The finished painted rose gold mirror
It looks a little patchy here but the paint dried really well and evenly
 

When painting the mirror, it’s important to spray around 30cm away from the wood and keep the can moving – don’t ever let it stay still in one area as it will end up patchy.

Spray in long, smooth movements.

I’d also advise applying three or four thin coats instead of one thick coat. If the coat is too thick, the paint will just start dripping. Be patient, take your time and apply thinner coats one on top of the over, allowing the paint to dry for a few minutes between coats.

Then, leave the mirror for at least one to two hours so it’s touch dry before trying to remove the tape.

After this time has passed, remove the tape slowly by pulling it down and away from the mirror.

I did have some bleedage occur. This wasn’t down to the paint but the masking tape I’d used. I then went over the corners in white paint carefully to remove as much bleeding as possible. As you can see, the thinner tape I had no issues with.

 
Some of the rose gold paint bled underneath the masking tape
 

And this is the finished result! Rupert obviously likes it too.

Rupert the cat sat on the windowsill looking at the painted rose gold mirror
The finished pine mirror with a painted frame in rose gold
Close up of the pine mirror with white painted edges
 

Overall, I’m really pleased with how the mirror has turned out. It’s less rose gold and more sparkly pink, so if you’re looking for a more gold finish, I’d suggest using the gold spray paint* also by Rust-Oleum.

If any spray paint has seeped under the newspaper onto the mirror itself, use a cloth and some white spirit and rub slowly in circles to remove it.

What a transformation for an afternoon’s work!

 

*This article uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission when you click the link and purchase a product.

Sarah Macklin
Sarah Macklin

Sarah is the creator and founder of Dream of Home, a website that began during Sarah’s first home renovation project. Since then, the site has grown and Sarah produces content around all things home, including home decor, DIY projects, renovation tips, inspiration and more. In her spare time, she loves to read and garden.

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