I wanted to start small, so my chosen victim was a very ornate antique mirror. It had been a hideous gold color since I can remember. I've always liked the mirror, but never warmed to the color. The glass is naturally aged and spotted, and I thought it would make a perfect first project.
Since I've always disliked the gold finish, I decided the first course of action would be to *silver* it. My intended new color scheme will involve neutral tones like French grey, cream, antique white and the silver seems a good fit.
The silvering was easy; I didn't make any attempt to get at every little nook & cranny. I just wanted to masquerade most of the gold. I used a small paintbrush from Michael's - nothing fancy or expensive.
The next step was the white paint. I chose Rust-Oleum's "Heirloom White", which I think is a good, all-purpose not-too-white white (did that make any sense at all?) I gave it 2 light but thorough coats and let it dry for about 2 hours.
The next step was applying stain. I used MinWax Wood Finish Stain in #2716 - Dark Walnut. Using another inexpensive paintbrush from Michael's, I applied the stain. I used *extremely* little stain. I dipped my brush in the can, and then tamped it on the lid to drain off some of the stain. I then brushed it over the frame in small sections. I use white rags from a box (find them at Lowe's in the paint aisle - I find them cheaper than paper towels for even common household usage) and immediately wiped down the stain. Here I did try to get into the little crevices of the rose details to make them pop.
I then let it dry for couple of days. I don't think you necessarily need to let it dry that long, but I'm a workin' girl and I do my artsy/decorating stuff on the weekends.
Yesterday, I took a not-too-fine grit sandpaper and cut a few small squares that I could fold as needed and "distressed" the frame. I started out with a light touch and that's really all it took. In some spaces, I exposed more of the silver (and even some of the original gold) paint.
Here's the finished result - I'm very pleased with it.
I think my next project will be the small table that sits in my tiny foyer. It's where I put my mail and my keys and the drawer holds miscellaneous stuff. See you after my next attempt!