Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of antiques. I mean, I enjoy them in museums and old castles. I'm also a huge fan of many kinds of craftsmanship and most any kind of creativity. I admire the hand crafted details and overall visual appeal. However, collecting old household items or adding them to my home decor is a no-no in my world. In other words, I prefer to surround myself with sleek and modern home furniture and decor.
Then, I stumbled across an old and rather ugly mirror and, lo and behold, jumped at the opportunity to restore it and match it to my current color scheme and modern style home.
So I took the mirror out of the frame, had the Home Depot paint-mixing experts color match for me the perfect shade of yellow paint - and got to work. In my enthusiastic excitement I started applying the yellow paint directly on cleaned and lightly sanded dark wood frame and soon realized that I made a mistake. My good friend and painter Ruth later reminded me that yellow tends to be very translucent. At that point I realized I should start with the primer or paint that mirror frame white first.
Anyway, it all worked out in the end. I had to apply more coats of yellow paint than originally anticipated - to achieve the desired coverage. See the before and after photos below. My restored wood mirror went from ugly and old to sleek and modern and now nicely compliments my furnishing with clear lines. Its curvy appeal kind of softens the plain appearance of the furniture pieces, and adds a pop of matching color to the wall.
A few useful tips for restoring old wood frames:
1. When you need a pop of color on your wall, restoring an old mirror frame is really the simplest, cheapest way to go. Great result you will love is pretty much guaranteed. Old mirrors are easy to find for next to nothing at the yard sales.
2. To restore/repaint a wood frame, good cleaning is a must. Light sanding is recommended. Your paint will stick better.
3. When you're painting an old frame, apply a primer or a coat of white paint first, especially if you're transforming the color from dark to light.
4. If your wall paint is flat, use satin paint for the frame or wall decor and the other way around: contrast a satin/semi-gloss wall with flat finish of your wood frame. Layering flat and shiny colors adds an extra dimension, another interesting detail for an appreciative eye to look at.
Old wood mirror frame
Ugly wood frame - before
Wood mirror with the first coat of paint
Restored wood mirror frame after