Silver ‘n Gold

This is a post that has been inspired by a “short” email from Andy Crichton – the fine fellow behind the Traditional Painters (TP) site and network… we were running through the intricacies of World Domination when he pointed me to the TP Furniture section of our site; very flushed I was when I saw that one of my projects had been highlighted (thanks Andy!)… looking a little further I saw a silver leaf mirror – work from Nicky Hancock, an immensely talented “Decorative Finisher” and TP colleague.

Long story and short come to mind; I did a bed frame and mirror a few years back that was also silver! so here it is (sorry, rushed that last bit!)…


Take one “tatty” gilt bed frame (I must admit – I rather liked it like this, but, hey the client knows best!). I set to work;


After much preparation, a coat of Ardenbrite Quick Drying Base Coat (a primer and adhesion promoter and has a yellow/pink hue) followed by 2 coats of Ardenbrite Metallic Paint (Silver) and finished with 2 coats of Ardenbrite Protective Glaze. The result was not too shabby at all.

The thing with the Ardenbrite Metallic Silver Paint is that it actually will behave like silver so, will tarnish – if you don’t want this look, it is a must to apply the Propective Glaze product fairly swiftish too.


Here you can see the completed bed frame in situ – the silver works incredibly well with the new upholstery (which incidentally cost more that the whole of the bed painting project!).

If I was approaching the project today I may have used other materials to achieve a similar look (I may not)… all I know for sure is that the client was delighted and especially when they compared my invoice with the potential cost of using silver leaf.

So, on to section two of this post; when the bed frame was delivered back to the client they ‘dug out’ at plaster mirror frame for me to “look at”… pretty much look at it was all I could do. because if I touched it, it fell apart…


I’m afraid that I didn’t take photographs of what terrible condition the mirror frame was in, suffice to say I had to take over a room at home to work on it (my music room… grrr!), it was laid out on the floor, on dust sheets (think this was the last time I actually used them!?) and slowly rebuilt and strengthened using Toupret TX110. Once all remedial work had been undertaken I turned to decoration… I used exactly the same system as above (with the Ardenbrite products).


Finally, the mirror back in pride of place in my client’s Master Bedroom En suite. A great couple of projects to be involved in. If you are interested in renovating any furniture or perhaps up cycling a piece that you feel is just past it’s sell by, take a look at the furniture section at or contact me via my website


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