The Perfect Gold Frame

Imagine huge, floor-to-ceiling windows with chunky, ornate hardware that has that perfect patina of age. They open onto a petite balcony, complete with an exquisite wrought iron railing. Beyond the railing lies the warm grayish stone. The red tile roofs. The little chimneys. The tree-lined boulevards. The little sidewalk cafes.


If you turn around, you see the perfectly aged, ornately carved, gold leafed frame. It sits atop the lovely fireplace…

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

Mirrors like that: the perfect, hand carved gorgeous specimens you find sitting atop the delicate mantels in Parisian apartments will cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Trust me, I drooled over them while we lived there. But this little mirror (which I bought at Marshalls at least 5 years ago for ~$40) now has that quality for me. That timeless appeal. That refined glamour. That essence.

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

Before it was still a lovely mirror; it just lacked the presence it possesses now.

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You can see as I began my gilding process on the lower right hand side. The difference was subtle at first.

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

But a mere 10 minutes {and semi-permanently gold fingernails} later, I had this beauty.

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

How? Rub ‘n Buff. I’m telling you, this stuff is addictive.

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

I’ve gilded frames before. I’ve used paint (and I love this layered look – it has such depth and texture). I’ve used furniture wax (simple and easy, but a much more subtle look). But this was my first time to gild with Rub ‘n Buff – this little shiny wax in a tube. And I’m in love.

With just a dime-sized amount on a rag, I simply wiped it on and rubbed off the excess. Could it be any easier?

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

Nothing else has come close to the gold leaf look of my beloved Parisian statement pieces. The kind on the wall of our historic apartment when we lived there

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror

What do you think? Could you use a perfect gold frame?

You won't believe this EASY transformation! Just one step to create this gorgeous gilded frame via #diy #wax #gold #glam #mirror


Clear step-by-step instructions to create your own Restoration Hardware inspired vintage Paris map at

Decoupaged Vintage Paris Map

antique frame staged close

Antique Frame Tutorial

Perfect gift or party favor, these little chalkboards are so precious! Get the tutorial at maisondepax.comMonogram Chalk Slate

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  1. Love Rub n Buff! Just a few dabs goes a long way! It is so beautiful! Like you said, the perfect gold!

  2. The rub and buff is amazing Rachel. I remember my mom using it to do frames when I was a kid. (Guess I come by this stuff naturally:) I am wondering if you think it would work to make a flat frame gold, as well? One that started out black??

    1. Sounds like you definitely came by it honestly, Krista! And I think it’s totally worth a try. I’ve heard some people say that they’ve had trouble getting it to adhere to especially flat pieces, but it stuck perfectly to the flat edges of my frame, and you’re not going to be handling a frame much… I say go for it! 🙂

  3. You convinced me to do this! I actually never tried it.. but seeing yours just makes me run to the stores and do it right now!! I have a mirror that’s so beautiful but it’s in Silver and wanted always make it gold. 🙂
    Thank you!!

  4. Hi Rachel, Your frame turned out beautifully. How very french of you ( : I have a beautiful beveled oval mirror that i would love to do this to but haven’t decided where to put it yet. I had it above our fireplace at the old house but here at the new one its not so easy. I have a fireplace but it’s not your tipical fireplace. It a gas stove in the corner on a brick hearth with brick behind, to the right is the t.v. on a console and i was going to do a gallery wall above it so i don’t really know where to put the mirror now ?! For the first time in my life i am stumped ! ((**)) ! It just wouldn’t look good on that wall or the second wall, then the third wall is windows and there is no fourth wall ( open to dining room ). If it was square, round or rectangle it would look beautiful in amongst the gallery or on the second wall. Oh what to do, what to do ?? How is your move coming ? Mine is coming along nicely but slowly. I have alot of painting to do, there is alot of oak in all three bathrooms and the kitchen needs painting so I have my work cut out for me. Thanks for letting me vent, I mean write my thoughts down. Take care and have a wonderful day. Diena

    1. Thank you so much, Diena! It’s like a game of musical artwork, isn’t it? 😉 I’m so glad to hear you’re making progress… It is such a process. I’m trying to take it one day at a time. And though I don’t have any oak trim to paint (I can’t say I envy you there!), I do have 8 more rooms – walls AND ceilings left to paint. Like I said, one day at a time… Hope you have a wonderful week! xx

  5. Love this idea! I am a huge fan of gilding antique or thrifted mirrors. Do you think this only works on a frame that already has a gold-ish tone? Or would it work on other colors as well?

    Thanks- love your site btw!

    1. Great question, Lauren! The stuff is pretty opaque, so I think you could manage on a mirror of almost any color. It may have different undertones, obviously, but you could always put on a second or third coat if you needed to. Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I chalk painted and clear waxed several pieces of furniture. My question is..can you use this over a waxed piece? I want to highlight some of the areas on these pieces. I love what you have done with the rub and buff and also the other gold wax tutorial. Thank you,

    1. Hi Becky, great question! I have not used this over a waxed piece, but my guess would be yes. It’s actually a wax product itself, if I understand it right, and it seems to stick to almost everything. If I were you, I’d try a tiny bit on an inconspicuous area to be sure, but I think it would work great. So glad you like these posts!

  7. All you did is use the rub and buff to make it gold? Or was I a two step? This is beautiful. How would you do a bare Frame? Thank you.

    1. Rub n buff really is that easy! Try it in an inconspicuous first to get the hang of it, but you really can simply rub the stuff on and transform it so significantly. I hope this helps!

  8. This seems to be the same product I have used as a child with ceramics. MY Mother started us in when I was around 8y/o. I’m 53 next week (ouch). We never glazed anything. Entering the local competing arena’s winning from 1st Place to my 3rd & Honerable Mention at 8 & 9. Amazingly I still have them. One is an owl with “guilt”.
    We always used stains, make up, toothpicks, with several more hacks. Mother made a grey and white with black church. Carving out the windows and making them stained glass with a night light inside. Beautiful and First Place. The stained glass was made from the colors we all know except they were tiny little pepples she’d molded to fit and stay in place.
    We’d paint as if the piece were more than dollar store items. Giving more of a project than 3 coats of glaze before firing.
    These ceramic shops are obsolete in my area. Sure wish they were around, lots of fun.
    Thanks for your posting. I knew there had to be something like it in a craft store. Now I know, thank you again. Now I can touch up my frames and More from a recent horrible move.
    This product looks a bit different from then, was in a small jar, different colors, size of a eye shadow one color little thinggy. Seemed to be in a more denser formula. You’d have to rub your finger in and use it, or a piece of paper towel or painting clean up rag, we’d always use our fingers to get to the exact places sometimes very precise places to get the real look. Using very small amounts. Can always add to but never take “it” away unless you repainted. After the Guilt we would then stain, taking the very bright but visible.

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