How to Paint a Faux Vintage Gold Finish

I recently did a quick and easy makeover to take a blue painted mirror frame to a perfect faux aged vintage gold finish. My middle daughter recently asked for a room makeover to transform her boho purple and blue bedroom into something more sophisticated. When I asked for her inspiration, she gave me one word - Versailles. Now in high school, her style has evolved and apparently landed firmly in the late baroque style of Louis XIV's Versailles. She wanted her room dripping in cream, ornate gold, and pastels. 

One of the main pieces she wanted to keep but didn't match her vision was her large wall mirror. We had chalk painted it a deep, rich blue and sealed it with wax when she wanted a boho style in her room several years ago. But this mirror has fantastic details that totally fit the baroque vision she now had. Her specific request for this mirror was that it needed to look so old it could be haunted. Oh, and it had to be gold. So an old, gold, haunted finish was the goal.  

This is the blue boho before that I started with.


So much blue. And no definition of those lovely details. I had previously painted this mirror with chalk paint and sealed it with wax. Wax creates a beautiful matte, buttery finish but it is not a good base for painting over. The products I planned to use will not stick to the wax. So first I had to remove the wax from this in order to ensure good adhesion of the new paint I would be applying. I removed the wax from this piece with clean lint free rag soaked in Klean Strip Odorless Mineral SpiritsTip: Wipe a small area of the surface and then wipe the softened wax with clean rags or shop towels while the area is still wet. It will take several passes with the rag and towels to fully remove a wax finish. 

*This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay any more from ordering from these links but I earn a small commission so I can continue to bring you more fabulous projects! This also takes the guess work out of supply shopping and links to the exact products I use.  

What you need:

Step 1:

Clean the piece throughly with the TSP substitute. Follow the directions to dilute the product and wear the proper protective equipment including gloves. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Let dry. Tip: A green Scotch-Brite pad is great for really scrubbing the dirt and oil off a piece. Using a Scotch-Brite pad also has the added benefit of deglossing the surface to provide better paint adhesion. 

Step 2:

Cover the mirror with the Kraft paper and secure it in place with painter's tape. 



Step 3:

Lightly spray with metallic gold paint. Keep the coats light to reduce drips and pooling. This will take several coats. This is the mirror after the first coat. 



You can still see the blue peeking through so I applied a second light coat. You can see the better coverage after the second coat.



Step 4:

At this point I removed the paper and tape so that the paint did not dry and cause pulling at the edges. I could still see some of the blue paint in the reflection of the mirror and the edges were not as covered as I would have liked. 



After letting the new gold paint dry, I grabbed my scraper blade and gently removed the blue paint from the mirror. Don't press hard when scraping excess paint away or you can scratch your mirror. 


Step 5:

To give dimension and cover those areas of the blue peeking through, I took my artist brush (any small, flat, firm paint brush will work) and added some metallic paint. I used Dixie Belle Gold Digger since it was a lighter color and texture than the spray paint. Let it fully dry. 



This is the finished look after applying the extra gold. 



Close up of the dual gold paints. It is hard to see the difference in the picture but you will definitely be able to see the difference when we apply antiquing. 



Step 6: 

Grab your gel stain and chip brush. Mix the gel stain well with a stir stick before applying it and make sure you are wearing disposable gloves. Dab the gel stain on with the chip brush working in a small area.  



Wipe the stain back with a shop towel. There is no right or wrong way to wipe it back. Just wipe until you get the look you want. The more gel stain you leave on, the more aged it will look. I was going for the gel stain settling the nooks and crannies. 



Do you see the darker areas on the details? That is the effect the different types of gold paint created. I absolutely loved all the depth and dimension created by the gel stain reacting with the different types of paints! 

At this point wipe any gel stain splatters off the mirror before they dry with a shop towel. Or if you are smarter than me, go ahead and cover your mirror with Kraft paper and tape it in place to prevent splatters in the first place. 

Step 7:

Let the gel stain dry thoroughly. I let the gel stain dry 24 hours but the dry time may vary depending on the temperature and humidity. You can tell if your gel stain is dry by touching it with a clean shop towel. If the gel stain transfers to the towel, it needs more dry time.  Once dry, cover the mirror (if you did not already) with Kraft paper and secure in place with painter's tape. Spray your project with a polycyclic topcoat to seal in all the layers. I chose a matte finish to keep an aged look. I absolutely love the completed look and it fits my daughter's decor perfectly! Bonus that it looked haunted enough for her! 



I hope you love this finish as much as I do! Until next time, happy painting! 

Share this post

Leave a comment