Vintage Round Mirror ~ Gesso Finish Tutorial

Ok…here we go!   I started out this project with this beautifully scrolled vintage mirror I picked up at a local auction house.  I liked it but didn’t much care for the color of the smooth area surrounding the mirror.  So I knew I wanted to change the color and definitely use the old world finishing technique by adding Gesso.
 I decided to paint a dark grey over everything and then while it was still a little wet, I wiped off the paint in a few areas to expose the gold.  This gives it a layered look!
 Next step was to add the Gesso.  I lathered the entire piece with gesso and let it sit for a few minutes.
I then took a damp cloth and wiped it down exposing all the layers.  You can do as little or as much as you want.  Now… I have to admit something here, the dark grey paint that I used was an “Oops” paint I picked up at the store for $2.00.  As much as I liked the color, it didn’t hold up very well around the center so I had to go back and add my “Steady Eddie” Paris Grey paint.  That’s why it’s much lighter than it probably would have been.  Hey… you get what you pay for ~ right?  I am going to try it again on another project but this time I’m going to add a heavy dose of Plaster of Paris and make a thick chalk paint out of it.  We’ll see how it turns out then.  But that’s another day, another dollar as they say!!!
For a more in-depth look at this treatment and to find out the history behind it all, check out my friend Rosemary over @ Villabarnes.

Until next time ~ happy painting!

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  1. Thanks for the shout out, Judy. The mirror looks awesome!!!

  2. Looks great! Nice job!

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