Transform an outdated mirror or picture frame with gold paint without having to remove the glass by using this simple mirror painting technique!
Do you ever have an unfinished project due to a lack of experience or uncertainty about how to go about it? Or maybe you think it might take too long?
You probably want to use the most efficient and easiest method if you are like me. And still, get a beautiful outcome.
Painting a Framed Mirror
I bought a set of weathered grey large mirrors for our open-concept living and dining room makeover last Spring with the intent of painting them gold. The framing was intricate and the thought of removing the glass or taping out the design was discouraging.
Guess what? It was so much simpler than I imagined and I’m going to show you how easy it is to paint a mirror frame without removing the glass. Which pretty much makes this a two-step process! My favorite type of DIY project. 🙂
My first mistake was trying to use gold craft paint to lightly brush on a little shimmer. I was hoping it would save time and still have the look I was after but here we are months later and I still envision them gilded gold.
Now that I know that I know it’s completely doable to spruce up a picture frame or mirror without having to remove the glass, I won’t procrastinate in the future!
If you are new here, howdy! I’m a retired military spouse who moved back to Texas after being gone for 19 years. I perfected the art of rental decorating and overcoming challenges in small spaces for over fifteen years but now am tackling homeownership with a new set of challenges! Our family of four lived in some of the most beautiful coastal towns in the US and Japan which have influenced my colorful and global style with DIYs and furnishings in our one-story 60’s ranch-style home in Fort Worth.
*This post is sponsored by Velvet Finishes paint and contains affiliate links. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this blog possible.
Mirror Frame Paint
For this project, I had the opportunity to try Velvet Finishes’ metallic line in a gold finish. It turned out to be the perfect mirror paint for a wood frame. I’m completely smitten with this paint brand and they have been my go-to for many furniture projects and home decor.
I also tried the pearl finish metallic in our foyer with a stencil and it turned out brilliantly!
You can prepare your mirror with painter’s tape around the inside of the entire frame and glass if you have an unsteady hand. Since paint streaks are actually very easy to clean off of glass you can forgo this step altogether like I did to save time.
How to Paint a Mirror Frame Gold in Two Steps
- Step one: Use an art brush about the thickness of your mirror frame. Dip it dry into the gold paint and apply it to the mirror frame. Use two light coats for even coverage.
By the time you are finished with the first coat most likely, you can start again at the original spot for the second coat as the drying time is fairly fast.
- Step two: As I said, paint is very easy to clean up on glass! You can remove any paint on the mirror surface using a glass cleaner and a paper towel. You can scratch off some with your nail behind a towel.
For mess-ups close to the edge spray a Q-tip with window cleaner and wipe the paint off. Cleaning up right after you paint will make this job quick and painless.
I even painted my mirrors while they were hanging on the wall! Make sure you are letting your mirror frame dry completely if you are painting it off the wall before hanging it back up or displaying it.
I love how professional Velvet Finishes’ paint looks after it is applied. The mirrors are absolutely beautiful now and reflect even more light in a dark corner with a metallic finish. I really couldn’t be happier.
How to Paint a Mirror Frame in Any Color
Follow the steps below for painting a mirror frame with craft paint or leftover house/furniture paint in any color without removing the mirrored glass. Water-based paints are best!
- Gather the necessary supplies: acrylic or latex paint, a brush, and painter’s tape.
- Wipe down the frame with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt.
- Mask off the mirror with painter’s tape.
- Apply an even coat of primer to the frame using a brush if your mirror has a smooth finish, is glossy, or is plastic.
- Let the primer dry completely before painting over it with your chosen color.
- Use long, even strokes when applying the paint. A couple of light coats are better than one thick coat for a smooth finish.
- Allow time for each layer of paint to dry to the touch before adding additional coats if needed.
- Remove painter’s tape when finished and discard it.
- Add a top coat of sealant to protect your painted finish especially if it gets handled often.
How to spray paint a mirror without removing the frame
Gold or metallic spray paint is also fabulous for updating a thrift store or outdated mirror and I have done this a few times in the past. It takes a bit more prep time than brushing on paint but you can achieve fast and even coverage by spray painting a mirror.
- First, use a clean cloth to wipe down the mirror.
- Tape the inside edge of the frame with painter’s tape and cover larger portions of the mirror surface with grocery bags or other paper or mail in your recycling bin secured with painter’s tape. Do this until only the frame is exposed.
- Head outside or to a well-ventilated area and place a drop cloth or cardboard down.
- Follow the instructions on the paint can. Usually, you shake the can for 60 seconds and test a small spot by spray painting 12-18 inches away in smooth even side-to-side strokes.
- Paint a light coat on your frame. Let it dry to the touch.
- Paint a second coat.
- Lightly sand any paint drips with fine grit sandpaper and touch up with paint as needed.
- Hang or display after 24 hours. If leaning, wait a week for the paint to completely cure so it doesn’t rub off on a surface.
If you’ve been putting off updating a wood mirror frame (or old picture frame) that is professionally framed. Just do it! You can have a beautiful finish without removing the glass every time.
And can we just mention how beautiful they look with my grandmother’s reflection? Hanging double mirrors in this corner also makes the line of sight go all the way to the foyer hallway. It really is stunning!
They also pair beautifully with two wing-back chairs from my grandparent’s old house that I had reupholstered in designer fabric for the open-concept glam living room makeover.
I really don’t think you can have too many mirrors! I love the inspiration, my friend, from Driven to Decor provides for round mirrors and how Ms Vicious Design uses antique mirrors in her interiors.
Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!
Aren’t they stunning? Seriously don’t know why I put that one off for so long when painting a mirror frame is so easy. Now on to tackle all of those other unfinished DIY projects!
What’s on your house to-do list? Do you have any frames that could use a little glam?
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