How To Tone Down a Gold Mirror Frame

by Mother Huddle Staff
How To Tone Down a Gold Mirror Frame

Buying a gold mirror is exciting at first. Or at least, it is until you hang the mirror frame up on the wall, you’d been envisioning it on and realize that the gold is a bit too… well… gold.

Shiny gold can be a problem for many people, and not realizing just how bright the gold is can be a little off-putting when the mirror arrives.

You wanted to brighten the place up, not place a sun on your walls…

But don’t worry, there’s still hope. Because today we’ll show you how to take your gold mirror and take the shine off so it works better hanging on the wall in your room.

Repainting the mirror frame

This doesn’t mean you have to do the whole frame, even just touching up parts of it will make it much more attractive and dull the shine a little.

Acrylic paint is great for this. Pick a paint color that complements the gold. You don’t want this second coat to cover up the gold frame entirely – a simple light coat of a bronze or silver metallic acrylic paint will just take a bit of that block brightness away.

Alternatively, look out for a raw umber paint or burnt umber. By brushing these on to just some areas of the frame, you’ll notice the paints taking away that modern bright finish and turning it into a more rustic frame.

The rub-off method

Whenever you’re not quite sure of the approach you want to take when you paint, use the rub-off method.

It’s really simple to do.

Just start by painting a little on to your frame with a brush as normal. Use the brush bristles to create different effects too. With the rub-off method, you can wipe away any mistakes the moment you make them, so there’s no pressure here.

Just keep practicing with your brush, applying different mixes of paint until you get the desired effect.

The moment you’ve painted, lift your brush away and examine the results. Not happy? Wipe it away. Mixed too much paint and now it’s looking grey? Remove it.

Just keep working like this until you get a result you’re happy with. The trick is to move quickly, but it’ll definitely result in a frame you can be happy with after all that hard work!

Top tips for painting mirror frames

When you paint your mirror frame, you’re going to need to be very careful.

First, tape. You’ll need to use tape around the frame and on the glass. The tape will act as a barrier between the glass and any accidental spray from your brush.

You don’t need to leave a large space if you’ve got quite a steady hand, just enough to avoid any paint spray.

If you do get paint on the glass by mistake, use a rag to quickly remove the paint and you’ll be fine.

The second thing you need to be aware of is dust. Try to always paint in a clean place that will suit painting, or else you’ll end up with paint mixed with dust, which will then ruin the frame.

Keep your paint sealed when not in use, and try to keep your painting site clean before you get started.

And finally, no matter which paint you use – you’ll need to spray the final frame with a matte finish. This is what will tone down bright gold and make it stand out less from the other interior decorations in the room.

You can usually find a matte clear coat product that’s easy to rub onto the frame too. This works with the paint to just make the frame less offensive on the eyes.

The clear coat won’t affect the look of the mirror either, it’ll just dull the brightness a little – which is what you want to achieve.

Reclaiming antique gold

When you ordered your floor mirror, we imagine you thought you were getting an antique gold mirror – that sort of old mirror with a distressed gold frame finish everyone loves. Well, you can still get that.

If you opted for a brown or bronze paint color, you could mix it with some water to take off the edge, and then apply it to the shiny frame by using a paper towel or old rag to wipe it on.

Just lay the mirror flat on the floor for this technique so the paint concoction doesn’t drip and give you trouble.

This method is great for removing that offensive sheen and making it look older. Once it’s been rubbed down, leave it for several hours to dry before hanging the frame back on the wall.

Creating a distressed gold mirror

Sometimes you don’t want shiny or antique, but something a little shabbier – something a little more distressed.

Distressing the gold frame is a brilliant idea because it will definitely look less bright on your wall and create a more interesting focal point.

To do it, all you really need is some steel wool. Just rub down the frame to tone down the gold shade. You’ll notice it already becoming distressed after a few minutes rubbing it down.

Using linseed oil on the frame as a second coat can be a brilliant idea too, because it will alter the pigment of the gold frame ever so slightly, toning it down and making it easier on the eye.

Think of your mirror frames as being like picture frames or a photo frame. A wood picture frame is easy to paint or change whenever you’re decorating, but so many people think that a metallic frame isn’t something you can treat in the same way, and it absolutely is!

You can paint it, distress it, repurpose it – whatever decorating ideas you’ve got, you’ll be able to try it with your gold frame to create the look you want in your room.


When your new gold mirror looks a little too modern, use one of the three methods above (or a combination of different ones) to get the look you want. After all, your mirror should work for you and your room, so take whatever steps you need to in order to make it perfect!


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