It’s funny to me the things that people leave behind in their homes when they move. There were numerous things left behind in the pool house of our new home. Shells, lights, pictures, hand towels, water guns, chemicals, a chair, and many other miscellaneous things. One of which included a mirror. I didn’t like it. I didn’t really put much thought into it.
Through all the renovations that we have implemented on this house, the pool house has remained somewhat untouched. Finances, time, and energy have all been directed towards things we deemed more of a priority. Not everything is done, but I would say most major projects have been completed – with the exception of the pool house. This has been our space to experiment and flex our DIY hand without much worry. Just as I was about to throw away the mirror that was left in there, I got a wild hair. I’ll paint it. See what happens. If it fails, so what? It was headed towards the dumpster anyways.
I don’t think it matters how old I am, I believe I will continually surprise myself. Which is good, because I love when that happens! (Whoever said old dogs can’t learn new tricks apparently wasn’t speaking of dogs who wanted to learn new things.) Although there were several times during this project I thought it would end in utter failure, the final result is something that I am amazingly pretty proud of.
Mirror (already had)
Sherwin Williams Divine White (already had, 1 quart approximately $17)
Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert (already had, 1 quart approximately $17)
Glidden Ground Nutmeg (purchased a sample bottle, available at Home Depot for approximately $3)
Glidden Leather Brown (purchased a sample bottle, available at Home Depot for approximately $3)
Glidden Bittersweet Chocolate (purchased a sample bottle, available at Home Depot for approximately $3)
Martha Stewart’s Francesca (purchased a sample bottle, available at Home Depot for approximately $3)
Sherwin Williams Black (already had, 1 quart approximately $17)
Spray Bottle (already had)
Benjamin Moore Latex Glaze (already had, 1 quart approximately $17)
Paint Brush(s) (already had)
Razor Blade (for scraping paint off mirror surface, already had)
*All paints used in this project were latex. Oil based paints would not work with water to blend, but could possibly use mineral spirits to blend instead (I have not actually tried that!).
*As I’m sure it goes without saying, prep the surface to be painted before anything else! Bad prep = bad paint job! To prep this mirror, I sanded it with sandpaper, and used a steel wire brush to rough up the crevices. The frame was then wiped down with mineral spirits.)
First, divide the mirror into the number of sections as paint colors you have. The top and bottom part of the frame half way up the first small shell will be your lightest and darkest colors. I used the rest of the small shells on this mirror as a measurement for equal spacing. Eight full shells and five paint colors left to distribute evenly works out to approximately a shell and a half per paint color.
For the first layer of paint applied, I simply painted each section it’s assigned color.
On the second coat, I began with two colors of paint. Beginning with the lightest color, and working progressively towards the darker spectrum. Apply Divine White followed by Nomadic Desert. Where the two colors meet each other mist heavily with water, and use a brush to begin blending the colors together.
Apply Ground Nutmeg, and mist where it meets with Nomadic Desert. Blend colors with brush. Continue this process until all colors have been (somewhat) blended into each other.
If you are a ‘Type A’ person, such as myself, you may find this project somewhat challenging. Your natural tendency is to get the paint blended the first time. Know that is not going to happen. This is a process that needs to be worked through. It is only paint, and whatever you do not like can probably be fixed.
Allow time for the paint to dry before applying another coat. Continue to apply paint to the mirror beginning with your lightest color and blending colors together as you work your way to the darkest color used. Liberally applying water to help with the blending process. If you do not receive the blended look you are trying to achieve with a brush and water on the mirror, combine equal parts of the two paints on a separate surface, then apply to the mirror. It may be a combination of these two techniques that help you achieve a smooth blended effect.
Blend layers of paint, allowing each layer to dry between each application until you are satisfied with your results.
*During the paint application and blending process, you may want to thoroughly rinse your brush very frequently (between each color and blend).
Once happy with the blended effect, and paint is completely dry, apply 1-2 coats of glaze. This will help further soften the transition between colors.
Use a razor blade to scrape any unwanted paint off the mirrors surface. Allow glaze to completely cure before hanging mirror in it’s final destination.
*Tip: blending paints into a smooth color fade will be much easier to accomplish on a smoother surface. The more crevices there are, the more of a challenge it will be to get the color blended evenly.
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