I had a call from a client who'd recently had their home re designed and re decorated. The last thing to tweak for the new look was a rather nice gilded overmantle mirror. My client had attempted to change the colour of the mirror, from gold to silver with a silver acrylic paint!...and needless to say, was disappointed with the results.
I'm no picture frame restorer per se,but suggested that if we were to use real metallic leaf we could bring the frame back to a more pleasing finish.
Silver leaf would need varnishing as it oxidizes and changes colour over time without a protective coating.Aluminium leaf whilst non tarnishing and easy to use wasn't quite the right colour;too cold and tinny. So it was decided, once samples were shown, to use Palladium leaf which has a really nice subtle greyish tone which would work well with the umber greys of the furnishing fabrics in the house.
I hand mixed a dark umbery,blueish grey for the base colour and applied loose Palladium leaf to the frame and gently rubbed this back to expose some of the underlaying colour and give a slightly aged softened finish.
See before and after photos below.