Thursday 25 February 2016

How to paint a new plastic frame to look like an authentic antique

I had another point to prove with paint. This time it's to my nearest and dearest. Yes, I know I keep doing this, but I can't stop myself. You should have heard the remarks when I walked through the door with this tucked under my arm.

Granted, it simply smacked of cheap and nasty mass production, but I believed I could have this $3.50 plastic mirror frame looking like an antique, in no time.


I quickly sanded the entire frame, leaving the surface less smooth for my homemade primer to adhere to.

{See MATERIAL LIST at the bottom of this post}

I then applied an inexpensive homemade primer in 3 quick steps.

Next up was some white paint. 

At the time I was painting some paint finishes sample boards in blues and greys for the new Patina FINISHES Course and I had tiny bits of these leftover casein paints in the fridge. As I was aiming for a lovely crusty look in shades of blue and grey with a touch of gold just peaking through, I decided to not let those little spoonfuls go to waste.

I mixed them together until I had two shades of blue. I did the same with leftover greys.

I applied them in a sequence that I knew would give me the perfect patina I was after and once dry, I distressed and sealed it.

And that was it! A new mass produced, glossy white, plastic mirror frame became an old and unique "antique mirror" in just a short time.

So, to sum up ...


1. Moulded plastic frame with some detail
2. Sandpaper
3. Primer ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
4. Wax
5. Casein paint ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
6. Gold tempera ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
7. Paintbrushes
8. Polish


1. Sand down lightly to key
2. Prime ~ Following instructions in FARRAGOZ Online Courses
3. Paint white
4. Paint grey
5. Paint gold details
6. Wax resist
7. Paint blue
8. Wax resist
9. Paint grey on details
10. Distress ~ Following Methods in FARRAGOZ Online Courses
11. Polish

It is more work than using a spray can, but I think it is fair to say I have saved this piece of plastic from inevitably landing on the rubbish heap.

Now the mirror glass is bothering me. It looks too new. Do you agree? I think I will be ageing that too, using the same methods we used to age the mirror in the Italian Style Mirror module of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course.

Happy Painting!


FARRAGOZ Students are creating the most beautiful patina, applying paint and techniques from the online courses to their own projects.

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