Upcycling blog: ‘Bare men in gold feeding me grapes is not a reality in Knightswood’

By Becky Donnachie at

I am a lover of gold. 

Some people may construe this to mean that I am a lover of tacky things. This could not be further from the truth.

All Gold: There’s nothing tacky about a bit of bling.

I love old gold – the kind of old gold that you’d find in mansions with high ceilings and loads of cornicing. 

If I lived in one of those houses I would quite happily have two enormous gold panthers sitting on either side of my huge gold fireplace while I sit in front of it on my gold chaise longue being fed grapes by a gold man wearing nothing but a gold leaf over his……eh……gold swimming trunks. 

Reality: Sometimes fantasies don’t always work out the way you imagine in Knightswood.

Anyway, I live in Knightswood in a lower cottage flat so I can’t have any of that stuff. I can, however, get my gold fix through accessories.  

I love gold frames and mirrors and I have them strategically placed all over my living room.  I also love Johnny Cash.

Shrine: The Man in Black – and gold.

So I basically have a gold shrine dedicated to him above my fire place. So I don’t need a gold grapes-feeding man to look at. I have Johnny. 

Anyway not getting off topic: my lovely pal Mary was cleaning out her garage.  

“I’m getting rid of loads of junk, do you want it?”  Mary asked. In true form, I replied “Gie’s it all doll.”  

Wicked: These candlesticks were among the booty gathered from a friend.

Two hours and several biscuits and coffees later, I’d left with loads of books, two wooden candle sticks, a globe, a cot bed and a massive mirror. I love my job!!!

I knew right away I wanted the mirror to be gold and I knew I wanted it to have that grand old antique feel.  

It was certainly big enough to carry it off, and if I did it properly it would make a really lovely focal point for any room.

No choke: It’s important to spray furniture outside to avoid fumes and mess.

To nail the look I figured that spray painting would be my best option. It’s so simple and easy and cheap to do, compared to buying a large gold mirror.  This way you get to spend the money you save on wine.  All round winning.

First things first. If you are spray painting take it right outside. If you don’t you will get as high as a kite.  

I waited until the rain and wind was gone and took the frame into my garden. After a quick sand down with paper, I got to work with the painting process.  

Layers: It pays to spray the frame once lightly and then a second time to build up the colour.

Now this was unknown territory for me so I had to take advice from a big handsome pal of mine who just happens to be a banging graffiti artist.  

Obviously spraying a mirror doesn’t come close to the things that he can do, but he told me to give it a light spray, holding the can a few inches away, wait for it to dry and repeat whilst giving it another wee sand in-between coats until I was happy with it.  

I opted to use two different shades of gold. If it was all the one colour it would have been nice, but not giving me the old effect I was looking for.   

Blend: Using two tones of gold gives the frame a vintage look.

First of all I used Arizona Gold Metallic spray paint from Halfords and sprayed the whole frame lightly and often as per my pa’ls advice.  

It covered it beautifully and gave it quite a copperish goldie look.  Still lovely, but not what I wanted.  

I then moved on to my other colour which was Gold chrome spray paint, again from Halfords.  

Cover story: Halford’s Arizona Gold Metallic spray paint does the job.

I lightly sprayed over the whole mirror again so it dulled the copper. I also made sure I used more paint on the corners and sporadically up and down the frame to give it the antique two toned look.  

I gave an extra spray in the indentations on the frame to give it a deeper gold colour.  

The result was magic and the mirror looked stunning. 

Golden glow: stand back and admire the finished product.

I defiantly nailed the old gold look and it sold in a heartbeat to a very happy customer. 

Once again, someone’s trash becomes someone else’s treasure.

Till next time Junk lovers.

* You can purchase items directly from Becky or you can ask her questions about upcycling via her Facebook page The JunkTrunk Glasgow or instagram page