I held onto this mirror for months in hopes that I would be able to incorporate it into my own home. I knew without a doubt that it offered so much opportunity to express my love for whimsy and over the top finishes.....EVEN THOUGH.... it offered very limited surface space to actually paint.
After much back-and-forth...I chose to list it to my social media family as "available"....and it sold within a few hours!
Let me just tell you.....this mirror was NOT meant for me! It was meant for my client without a doubt! She shared photos of her 3-year-long home renovation that is STILL taking place....and I was mind blown at her glamorous-extra-large-regal-royal-boujie-gaudy-over-the-top style!!!!
I'm here to tell you that God does care about mirrors! LOL! He led her right to me.....as he obviously felt she deserved this soon-to-be whimsical gold leaf mirror! I was given an instant vision....and she trusted me with it!
I hit the ground running with all the gold leaf I could grab and my brightest of bright Dixie Belle colors!
Well.....only AFTER Matt helped me to remove the backing and actual mirror and set it aside! It's a huge mirror with way too much weight to handle on my own. But once the mirror itself was removed the frame is shockingly light! I gave it a good bath in White Lightning and finally got to lay down some paint.
I began by painting this entire piece with a single coat of my favorite black paint, Caviar by Dixie Belle.
I then applied leafing adhesive from Artistic Painting Studios (APS)...I applied gold leafing sheets one-by-one.....allowing and appreciating cracks and breaks in the foil, showing the black from underneath. I chose to do this over half the mirror frame at an angle.
You can watch this process here...or check out the series of two videos on my how to paint gold leaf playlist.
I then used APS leopard gold foil as the backdrop for the "lovers" on the gold side of the mirror. APS foils are amazing as they do not leave the crumbly huge mess that traditional foils leave behind. They are hardy and can be used on all surfaces!
I then used solid gold foil on the lovers themselves.
For the right side of the mirror, I just had a party with my colors. I had black Caviar by Dixie Belle Paint as the base coat....and just started adding color a little bit here and a little bit there. I used some of my favorite colors like The Gulf, Peony, Peacock, Plum Crazy, Lucky Lavender, Honky Tonk Red, Amethyst, and more!
I just continued to lay down color....step back and look....seeking some sort of balance.... wiped off paint a few times and changed color placement.... until it just felt right. I didn't rush the process.....instead I took my time and moved freely with the plan.
The lovers on this colorful side were my favorite part of this entire piece! I chose bright metallic gold for their skin.....and dark black hair. The blending of colors on her gorgeous wrap dress was so satisfying! And did you notice the tiny grapes???
I sealed the entire frame in Top Coat Satin....in preparation for the next step.
Once the entire piece was sealed and dry.....and I felt it was complete.....I knew it needed to be both toned and enhanced! This was done with Best Dang Wax in black. This not only tones your boldest colors....but it enhances the carvings and adds beautiful depth. I covered every square inch in black wax and wiped back with baby wipes/damp cloths. This is sooooooo satisfying...see the quick clip below of this exact process.
I am in love with this whimsical gold leaf mirror. I am claiming that she is female.....and I love her!
She is both classy and sassy.....and if I were a mirror.... I would be this one.
Other gold (and silver) leaf inspiration
I know this gold leaf mirror may be a bit more "extra" than you want in YOUR gold leaf... I have other gold leaf projects with a more subtle and neutral vibe like this gold leaf striped desk or this harlequin buffet. What about this rose gold piece or silver leaf dresser that have both gotten LOTS of social media attention over the years.
See some of my favorite gold (and silver) leaf projects below (pssst...you can click on any picture for an entire blog dedicated to that piece).
See you next week!
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