The weather last Sunday was particularly dismal, so I decided to make the most of being indoors by starting (yet another) project. I decided to have a go at gilding, as I had a boring old 80s pine mirror that I wanted to tart up a bit- and the warmth of gold/copper tones work so well in Autumn.
Gilding is a quick, cheap way to transform objects such as photo frames, mirrors, picture frames, candlesticks etc. I had never done it before but it isn’t difficult and only took an afternoon to transform an old pine mirror into something rather more bling!
Here are some basic instructions on how to get the look.
Prepare the wood by cleaning with sugar soap solution, and sponging off with clean water. Dry the wood and prime- you need to prime before applying the size ( thin liquid glue) as wood is porous and without the primer the size will seep into the wood. I tinted my primer with red paint to turn it a dark red colour.(If parts of the base are exposed under the gold, it looks better if the colour is reddish brown rather than grey or white)
Brush the size onto the primed wood and leave for about 15 minutes . Then cut strips off the gold roll, press gently on to the wood and carefully peel off the white backing tape. The gold colour should be stuck onto the surface. Continue cutting and pasting gold strips until the frame is covered, making sure that you overlap the strips, pressing into the mouldings as you go.
Leave to dry for a few hours, then carefully brush any loose gold away so that the surface is smooth. You are supposed to buy special gilding brushes for this but I used a small natural bristle paintbrush and it seemed to work OK. This part of the process is fiddly as the gold material is really light and flaky and the resulting finish is a bit “rustic” (or not as neat/smooth as it could be!). Perhaps I over brushed.
Finally, seal and protect with a coat of universal lacquer, which sticks all the rough edges down and stops the colour from becoming tarnished.
And here are some more ideas for using gilding to spruce up your furniture!
Images from pinterest
Let me know what you think- are you tempted to go for the Louis XV look or something more contemporary ?
And if you are embarking on an interior design project and would like some advice, I would love to help! Contact details are on www.dressingroomsinteriors.co.uk or just click the link at the top of the page.