Have you ever envisioned a project, had it turn out just the way you wanted it, but it didn’t look the way you thought it would?
(There should be a “sh” in front of that ‘it’.)
Don’t get me wrong . . . I love this mirror I just painted. It turned out just the way I wanted it to . . . but yet, it didn’t.
Let me explain.
My mother adopted this mirror a few years ago when a friend of hers closed her hairdressing shop. Not knowing what she’d use it for or where it’d go, she had a frame built around it.
Whoever painted it used the most charming shade of Builder’s Gray.
And decided against protecting the glass while rolling the paint on, leaving these wonderful splatter spots. All.Over.The.Mirror.
As I was taping the glass I could’ve sworn I heard Marlon’s voice ask me why I was taping and covering the mirror when I could just come back later with a razor blade and clean it.
For all of the years we painted houses together, we always had that same discussion. I wanted the windows taped and papered. He preferred to come back afterwards and clean the glass.
It’s a small consolation, but I win all of the arguments now.
The original plan was to basecoat with bronze, which I did, and then stencil over it with a rusty barn red to match Mom’s fireplace ledge mantel.
Note: When painting with metallics, you’ll save a lot of time if you basecoat with a flat paint in a close shade to your metallics. For instance, I should’ve painted a light caramel brown before I painted the bronze. As it was it took me 4-5 coats.
That plan changed when she saw my Fall Leaf Runner that was tossed on top of my pile of “What Should I Do With This” fabrics.
She wanted leaves, not a stencil.
Ok. I can do leaves.
I can do leaves . . . but I never pass up an opportunity to overthink and complicate things.
I sketched a few patterns on paper but I couldn’t get the “look” of the pattern on the frame. I could’ve used chalk like I do on walls, but I remembered these waterbased markers.
I even did a test patch first, to make sure they’d wipe off with a damp towel.
A whole new world just opened up for me.
Waterbased markers are even better than pencil.
I mean, wiping away beats erasing any ol’ day.
Then I started painting over the pattern.
Or at least pretty close.
I wanted a ‘painterly’ look. Not a precise, symmetrical pattern. More loose and fluid.
After a couple of coats I had another brainstorm . . . or two.
What would turquoise look like with the reds and golds and bronzes?
Enter my new BFFs, the waterbased markers again.
Oh, btw, I got mine at Michael’s but you can get them thru Amazon too. If you get them, just remember that they’ll wash off with water so if you’ll have to seal your next masterpiece. Unless you use them for sketching patterns, of course.
The other brainstorm . . . metallic paint over the flat paint. Bronze – the same color as the frame’s basecoat – went over the barn red.
It wound up looking like copper, which was cool because Mom has copper accents in her living room.
I was on a roll, I tell ya . . . . or so I thought.
For the leaves I used an orange pearl but it really didn’t look much different than the bronze.
It’s hard to get a photograph of the sheen the metallics give but it’s really, really pretty.
So if a little is good . . .
. . . a lot is better, as in glitter paint. Dots of glitter on the turquoise and touches of sparkle on each leaf’s vein.
Metallic, pearl and glitter. Absolutely love it.
I’m not kidding, we were nearly giddy, we loved this mirror so much.
Our friend and her son moved the mirror upstairs to Mom’s living room for us.
And then I saw it . . . the error of my thinking.
Big mirror with little scrolls and little leaves framing it is absolutely lost on top of red brick.
The mirror itself is great. It opens up the space, brightens that dark corner and does exactly what we wanted it to do.
But the pretty pearly, metallic-y, glittery frame . . .
No one will see the glistening turquoise sparkles.
Or the teeny tiny red glittered leaf veins.
We’re so happy with the frame, there’s no way I’d paint over it.
And forget about moving it to a different wall. They’re all spoken for and this mirror fits perfectly on the fireplace ledge.
So there it’ll live, sparkling away.
That’s okay. I like to get up close and visit it from time to time. Because, everybody knows . . .
Glitter Makes You Smile!
Ever painted something that turned out fine but didn’t look the way you wanted it to? Or any other decorating mishap, not just paint.