I bought this mirror that's a bright, gaudy gold. What kind of stain could I use to tone it down? Should I paint it instead?
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Watered down black or brown paint might work. It might also look nice with a antique shade of 'rub and buff' on it letting a bit of the brighter gold show through. I'd keep it metallic looking regardless. There are some nice looking metallic spray paints you could try.
It's a beautiful mirror!
Watering down the paint may make it too runny and difficult to control....onother option (and there are many) is using a gel stain, "Burnt Umber" is the most used color for antiquing, I think.
If it were mine, I'd experiment with a "dry brush" technique first with paint I had or buy a cheap sample...it would take very little paint. Just barely dip the brush tips in paint, dab brush on paper towel to remove paint, then apply the minimal amount left on brush in a criss-cross or stipple way- rub off what ever you don't like while paint is still wet. You can probably YouTube search "dry brush technique" and see different application how to's. It's fun!
If you don't like what you get from playing around...you can always paint it a sold color....and begin again....
I have a beat-up gilded frame mirror that is antiqued with flat cream paint- it has an french antique look - it was a gift from my mom, an estate sale purchase- just saying that light tones can calm down the shine too.
Your mirror looks nice above that dresser : )
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Thanks for the answers. I bought Valspar antiquing stain at Lowes and I have some Minwax stain in a walnut color. Would you go with one of those or just craft paint?