The finished frame with mirror inserted (complete with reflection of dead patio plants):
If you fancy trying this for yourself, follow the steps below.
You will need:
- An old frame
- White matt emulsion paint
- Wood filler
- Rubber gloves and plenty of newspaper...
- Fill any gaps or blemishes with wood filler. My boyfriend told me about 'Brummer' - this clever stuff is a water soluble putty which you can apply with your fingers and if necessary, sand smooth when dry. It comes in a variety of colours (I opted for white).
- Sand the entire frame thoroughly, paying close attention to any detailed areas. Be warned; paint will not take to very smooth surfaces!
- Wash the frame down with warm, soapy water and leave it to dry.
- When it is completely dry, apply a thin layer of matt emulsion paint (any colour you fancy but I think plain white works best). Carefully work the paint into the areas of detail by stippling with a lightly loaded brush.
- Apply further coats as necessary; my frame needed three.
- Leave to dry overnight or a little longer if possible.
- Have a mirror professionally inserted and a hanging wire attached (this didn't cost much).
- Make sure you paint the inner edges of the frame really thoroughly, or you will end up with an unsightly reflection in the mirror.
- Unless you can suspend the frame whilst painting, you will have to rest it on one edge and touch it up when the coat dries.
- In between paint jobs, wrap your brushes in cling film and they won't dry out.
- For a shabby-chic look, give the finished paint work a quick sand down (I couldn't bring myself to do this after spending so long painting it!).
I look forward to making one for myself...