Faux Gold Leaf Mirror

I would be hard pressed to find a gold leaf or silver leaf piece that I didn’t like, especially a mirror. Gold or silver leafed mirrors add elegance and sophistication to any room without being ostentatious. For this reason, I find myself keeping my eyes peeled for new pieces that have a nice shape that would lend itself well to gold or silver leafing.

I bought these old mirrors at an auction I went to a few weeks ago, they look like they are from about the 30’s. I love the simple lines and understated elegance that they exude. I bought two of them for $7 total, $3.50 each. Killer deal!!  The one in this tutorial is quite large, measuring approximately 5′ x 20″, the other is a bit smaller, coming in at about 3.5′ x 16″. Both had these ugly old beat up brown frames, but the mirrors themselves were in good condition with just the slightest amount of antique spotting and fading- my favorite. I really, seriously, can’t believe that nobody else bid higher than I did for these babies.

Gold leaf can be quite expensive, and I have found that using a metallic finish spray paint, such as this Rustoleum, will give a comparable look for literally one tenth the price. There are often a few options as to the color of metallic gold spray paints available at any given hardware store. The standard gold is what I am using here, but if you desire a deeper aged gold leaf look, get a darker golden hue.


After manhandling these mirrors into my car and getting them home, the first order business was prepping them for a round of spray paint. Cover all visible mirror with newspaper. Be sure to tape the edges of the newspaper, or tuck them under the frame so as to not get spray paint on the mirror itself. If there are any curved edges, just place newspaper over the mirror and cut along the edge of the frame.


After the mirror is properly covered, begin spray painting. Do at least two coats to ensure even coverage.


Here is the finished product. In these pictures the frame looks a bit blotchy, but in real life I can’t see it at all. It’s amazing the difference in life and film right? I think I will probably give them another light coat of paint when I have some spare time just to polish them off. Sorry I am showing the Gomer pictures before I do a last coat… I am a loser.

The tissue box is a true antique gold leaf piece, just for comparison.


And of course a before and after.


Enjoy your new amazing ability to easily make any piece a gold leaf piece. This mirror took me a total of about fifteen minutes from beginning to end. Beautiful.

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