Gold Leaf Modern Style Mirror

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Project by Lazyman posted 03-16-2017 02:36 PM 1063 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After making the last mirror I posted last fall as a late Mother’s day present for my wife, I decided to make another lager mirror as a late Valentine’s present for my wife’s mid-century modern themed guest bedroom. It is a shameless copy of a mirror we saw at a department store. It is finished with a gold leaf paint from Sheffield Bronze Paint company. I used shellac as a primer and top coat. I intentionally used a cheap disposable paint brush and applied the shellac and paint in a radial pattern so that the brush strokes would create a subtle sunburst affect. Unfortunately, the paint is so reflective that the green paint on the walls tends to make it look a little muddy so it difficult to see just how brilliant the gold paint really looks.

It measures about 44” square and the mirror cutout is about 25” in diameter. It is made from a single sheet of cheap 1/4” birch plywood plus a few scrap strips of 3/4. I knew I would eventually find a use for the those 1” cutoffs. The mirror is actually a re-tasked unframed rectangular mirror we had on the same wall for the last 15 years. I added a French cleat to make it easier to hang and center over the dresser.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

6 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


7666 posts in 3180 days

#1 posted 03-16-2017 09:41 PM

Hello Nathan,

I was attracted to another of your mirrror project. yet again.
This time the gold leaf got my attention, had a rread of your procedure and then went to the Sheffield Bronze Paint companies web site to see more on the product.

I didnt learn very much from them, no sample images or anything like that were displayed.
Pity as I wanted to see why they called the paint “gold Leaf” no doubt it something to do with the effect.

Your method of french cleating is a very good way to mount it and get the appropiate down lilt as well.
Overall a most impressive build.

-- Regards Rob

View Lazyman's profile


6404 posts in 2364 days

#2 posted 03-17-2017 03:43 AM

Thanks Robert. I found this paint at a local hardware store. They actually opened the can so I could see the color on a paint stick before buying it and it is a rich gold color. It does not really look like gold leaf but it does have a rich gold metallic appearance. If you look at the way the lamp reflects in the paint in the pictures, you can see just how reflective it is. From what I read about it, it actually has brass powder in it and it goes on quite easily, though the solvent is xylene which require serious ventilation. The shellac primer definitely seemed to help with that how easily it went on. The brass supposedly can tarnish with age which is why I put the shellac top coat on it though it did reduce the sheen somewhat but helped show the sunburst affect better.

One of the things I want to experiment with is using this paint on a surface with dents to see if I can get a hammered brass affect. I think this might look pretty cool on the inside of a turned bowl.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View robscastle's profile


7666 posts in 3180 days

#3 posted 03-17-2017 04:17 AM

Yo I am back,

I forgot to mention you may be interested in gold leaf.
Dont tell anybody but hidden away I have “craft” box along with flocking also gold silver and copper leaf, googly eyes and all sorts of “other weird things” every hot blooded woodworker needs every now and again!

The gold leaf prpduces some excellent effects, Buy it on ebay get some size gum and set to work in a corner without any drafts otherwise gold leaf of the workshop may occur.

-- Regards Rob

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3843 days

#4 posted 03-17-2017 12:34 PM

This is beautiful and nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Woodknack's profile


13545 posts in 3356 days

#5 posted 03-17-2017 05:13 PM

That’s really cool.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4344 days

#6 posted 03-17-2017 05:31 PM

That is an outstanding piece!
Nice job!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

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