Before moving to USA, we did quite a bit of travelling, to be exact moving from country to country. I am a civil engineer who chose the expat life. It is one of the great benefits of the job, though it can be very tiring! We move from town to town, city to city, country to country, basically wherever the next construction project takes us. As much as it sounds like a gypsy life, I have learned a lot moving this much. For example, no one can pack a luggage like I can. I mean it! I could actually turn that skill into a great business, but I love my job way too much to change it. 🙂
Also you get to learn different cultures from firsthand experience, get to know all sorts of personalities in those different cultures, you learn to adapt and you enjoy all the food in the world. Literally! But I have to admit working as a woman civil engineer for more than eighteen years in the construction industry and working primarily with men must have changed my thinking in many ways. Therefore I tend to get boggled as much as men do with women’s extreme love for certain décor items, such as mirrors!
This love doesn’t differ from culture to culture nor does it differ by age. If someone actually worked on the statistics of this, I bet they would find out that 99.99% women have a mirror in all available places in their homes. Seriously! If you look at a man’s house you can find one mirror per bathroom and that’s about it. In fact that is more than enough. But if you look at a woman’s house, you’ll see countless numbers of mirrors. -By the way I am talking about single men and single women. Because once men get married, they no longer have any say about the house decoration. [this is true. -Greg]
We have 2 1/2 bathrooms in our house. Can you guess how many mirrors we have? If you are saying three you were right until last month. Last month I again had one of those smooth Fridays at work and I again was surfing on craigslist. I wasn’t looking for anything specific but was just trying out different search words. Then I stumbled upon a mirror. Actually I stumbled upon the frame which happened to have a mirror assembled in it. Obviously the color wasn’t at all calling me as I am not much of a gold color person, but the frame was just so fabulous –unfortunately I have a weakness for ornate furniture!- A quick Skype chat with Greg, and I got him write to the seller. My babes is awesome when it comes to these things. He does all the e-mailing and phone calls for me when I get shy about my English -English is not my native tongue.- Anyway… the seller agreed to come down on the price and we bought this awesome frame (with the mirror inside) for $30.
I was so eager to start this project that I forgot to take before pictures. However, I was lucky enough to find the exact mirror on eBay so I saved those pictures for you to see the “before.” By the way that very same mirror was selling for$150 on eBay, so I had the biggest grin on my face knowing I scored a great steal.
Now as to how I redid it: with the power of paint! First I disassembled the mirror. I could actually paint the frame by simply taping the mirror with painter’s tape, but I like painting frames in and out. Therefore I took the mirror out.
I used my homemade chalk type paint made with Sherwin Williams Extra White color to paint the frame. It is rather on the bright side of whites, but with the dark soft wax it ends up not being so white, but instead a softer white.
After painting, just to show a tiny bit of gold through white paint I did a slight distressing on the frame with what I call “rubbing” technique. You simply rub some paint off the surface with a damp rag or old towel. Gold is not my favorite color on its own, but I like it when it is used to give a slight highlight to painted pieces. Once all the distressing was done, I antiqued the frame using antiquing wax.
As to putting the mirror back in to the frame I actually debated with myself whether to turn it into a chalk board frame or to keep its original purpose- use it as a mirror. Well after about a week of debate with myself you can see which idea won.
Oh did I mention this was my first antiquing project on what I can consider furniture? I am yet to decide where to hang it, but I guess it will end up in our future gallery wall.