Asked on Jan 06, 2017

How do you distress a gold mirror frame?

Ann Conrrad
by Ann Conrrad
I would like to know how can I distress a gold mirror frame to make it look less shiny, and also what can I do to improve the glass shelf and the anchors to improve the look all together.

Please open to all suggestions! Thank you!
  29 answers
  • Dee Dee on Jan 07, 2017

    Either spray paint the frame or use Rub and buff to dull the color.

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Jan 07, 2017

    Using newspaper or mailing paper and tape, cover the mirror. Using a paint color you're comfortable with, apply it and wipe it off until you've achieved the tone you want. Don't use spray paint as it dries too quickly If you're using a rub-off method.

  • Bee Bee on Jan 07, 2017

    buy a tube of umber...put a little on a sponge...wipe around the frame a few times...when it's distressed a little too much, use a different sponge to wipe it off. The umber gets into the design and walla, your mirror is distressed

    • Ann Conrrad Ann Conrrad on Jan 07, 2017

      Hi: thank you for the info, is umber a paint ? where do you buy it? should use white color or cream color? sorry I'm new at this technique ?

  • Ilona Elliott Ilona Elliott on Jan 07, 2017

    I would either replace the glass shelf with wood, perhaps painted red or black or white and then apply gold leaf sparingly for a broken look to the leafing, or try painting the bottom of the glass with Elmers, apply gold leafing, again not covering it all, and then spray paint, the bottom again, for an aged metallic look to coordinate with the mirror.

  • One8414992 One8414992 on Jan 08, 2017
    Burnt Umber is a term used for a specific color, esp. watercolors......It also comes in the tiny bottles of Acrylic paint......Available at Michael's, etc......Sand lightly, then apply Burnt Umber using a rag or sponge. Let dry and dab at it till you get the look you wish.....Then spray with a matte finish for durability........
  • One8414992 One8414992 on Jan 08, 2017
    Burnt Umber is a brown tone paint color NAME often used in Watercolors, but also comes in tiny bottle of Acrylic paint......Frequently used mixed with Sienna for antiquing things.....Just dab on with a sponge and then wipe off what looks to be too much......Let dry, then spray with a matte finish........
  • Cig13670296 Cig13670296 on Jan 08, 2017

    how do I get black water marks off my bathroom mirrors very distrabing, we don't like it but cant replace the mirror, we live in a trailer

  • Carol Mensch McAlpine Carol Mensch McAlpine on Jan 08, 2017

    I have a mirror like that and to tone it down, I took some leftover paint from the bathroom walls [dark yellow flat] and rubbed it around the mirror trim and then rubbed some of it off to get the affect I wanted. I would do the same to the wood posts holding up the glass shelf, so they coordinate each other. Cost = Nothing.

    For the glass, either do the same or replace with a thin piece of wood painted.

    No need to tape off the mirror area as long as you are sure to clean off any paint you get on it quickly.

  • Valerie Jennison Valerie Jennison on Jan 08, 2017

    I would sand it down, spray paint it with chalk paint and then sand the edges for distressed look

  • Kath Kath on Jan 08, 2017

    I use Windex & a Paper towel. And rub a little.

  • Conniehatfield3 Conniehatfield3 on Jan 08, 2017

    I mixed some greys i had and just painted mine a few times til i got the shade i wanted . I Let some of the gold still show through.It was no big deal.

  • Susan Susan on Jan 08, 2017

    The first thing I'd do is rehang the shelf brackets to line up with the outer edges of the mirror. You have a balance problem that makes the whole area look out of whack. Then use latex paint (your choice) , water it down juuust a little. Paint your frame and brackets. After it has dried 20-30 minutes, take a stainless steel pot scrubbie and gently pull off the paint til you see the gold peeking through on the details. This shutter was dark green and I distressed it using this method. Since the original paint was well-cured, only the fresh latex came off. You can do as much or as little distressing as you want - just do it while your latex is dry to the touch but uncured...up to an hour. Once your latex is completely dry it won't budge. I like this better than sanding because I always tend to take off too much.

    • Ann Conrrad Ann Conrrad on Jan 08, 2017

      thank you so much Susan, this looks looks easier and fool proof for a beginner like me. I like to use off white paint or lite cream color for a softer look. thanks again, I will post a photo when done.

  • Marm Marm on Jan 08, 2017

    I had a similar mirror except shiny silver. I painted it with robins egg blue chalk paint I picked up at Walmart, and then wiped and fine sanded to let some of the silver show through. I finished with a matt sealer because I didn't want anything shiny. Chalk paint is wonderful for a distressed look. I suggest painting brackets gold too, then use same off white chalk paint so it matches the mirror. I would replace the glass shelf with wood though, it just seems to modern.

    Here is a closeup photo I got off internet of a gold mirror distressed with white chalk paint to give you a visual of how it would look.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Jan 09, 2017

    I distressed my mirror frame with paint on a rag, like sponge painting, I made it to look like the metal headboard of my bed. I came out perfect. Hope this helps.

  • LDodd LDodd on Jan 09, 2017

    Painting the frame and the shelf supports the same color would make them more of a set. Depending upon your room color, consider something bold and/or dark -- cobalt blue or emerald green or stark black or all bright white would work.

  • Lisa Cain Lisa Cain on Jan 09, 2017

    This is what I did to my old mirror...and I LOVE it. Still hanging in my bathroom. Not distressed look, but more vintage.

  • Carol Carol on Jan 09, 2017

    We had wanted a antiqued mirror and couldn't afford the price. A designer told us to apply vaseline to the mirror part, cover mirror with newspaper and then stand away from mirror a little and lightly spray with black spray paint. The key is lightly spray and from a distance. You end with small droplets of paint. Wipe off quickly if it looks too heavy. We ended up with a beautiful frame that looked very expensive. Hope this helps.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Jan 09, 2017

    You could dry brush a darker color paint on top of the finished frame. If you apply too much, just wipe a bit off.

  • JoEllen JoEllen on Jan 09, 2017

    I'm amazed that everyone wants distressed looks. I'd want it to look great not


  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Jan 09, 2017

    Tape off the mirror with painter's tape and do a dry brushing technique with off-white chalk paint, allowing some of the gold to come through - it will be easy and look so good!

    • JoEllen JoEllen on Jan 12, 2017

      I think you idea would be really nice and not look distressed.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Jan 10, 2017

    Distressing on wood is a mixture of grey,white,blue,and some blacks.Used to work at Baetz Fine Furniture.Did distressing on cabinets.Do it manual would be easier.Dabble the brush in the paints,apply,them steel wool it for a short while!

  • Robert Chickey Robert Chickey on Jan 10, 2017

    Purchase a can of waterborne urethane satin or even dull. Brush it on, let it dry. The sheen is now less.

  • Sho11245343 Sho11245343 on Jan 10, 2017

    Go to art store and ask for a tube of gilt (comes in diffierent shades) to rub on with cloth or brush. Although cloth gives you better control. That will dim the

    gold shine. This method is used by many frame restorers.

  • Goldrushgal Goldrushgal on Jan 10, 2017

    I changed these shiny gilded gold candlesticks to an aged old world finish using simple supplies. See details on how to, on on Jan. 12th and 13th posts.

  • Pat Kelley Pat Kelley on Jan 11, 2017

    go get a can of dark stain and brush it on, that will give you the distress look you want. and it's easy.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 11, 2017

    Paste wax shoe polish.

  • Elaine Elaine on Jan 11, 2017

    it depends what you mean by the word "distress". If you mean you want it looking rather beat up, get some heavy duty sandpaper and scrub away at the corners and some raised areas BUT if you mean, you want it looking less "gold" and bright looking, that takes one minute. Honest! I had a too-shiny gold frame that just looked wrong and looked cheap. Buy a $2.00 bottle of "Raw Umber" craft (acrylic) paint at the dollar store or Michael's. Brush on with any old brush or sponge brush, or rub on with an old cloth then LIGHTLY rub off. If still too bright, add some more Umber. Keep adding until you are happy. If you mean a beat-up look, let me know and I'll show you some once-brassy candlesticks that are now nicely distressed.

  • Mary Mary on Jan 15, 2017

    Your neighbor hood ceramic shop or craft store have an antiquing you apply. it comes in assorted colors. You just rub it on , it fills the cracks or notches with a color you pick like a darker color, but it can be lighter. check them out before you put anything permanent on it. These mostly can be removed with soap and water. A permanent effect would just get stain rub it on with a cloth, buff off excess. If you want more apply a second coat. If you have some stains left over at home try it on something all ready painted.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 16, 2017

    Use a gel stain. Lots of color choices and wiping some off will give it the antique look you need. It is and oil base product so it does smell and I would add a clear coat.