French Vintage Décor: Easy and Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home

French Vintage Décor: Easy and Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home

by Jamie Lundstrom
French Vintage Décor: Easy and Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home

French Vintage Décor: Easy and Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home

by Jamie Lundstrom


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Add That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi to Your Home, Effortlessly

Rustic and elegant French décor never goes out of style—and with easy yet sophisticated accessories for your home, these 70 projects will transform your space and add that special touch to any room.

Jamie Lundstrom’s projects use easy-to-find and recycled objects, as well as new materials, to bring her French vintage style into your life. Projects span every season and category, from sewing to painting and upholstery, including provincial antique baskets, a fantastique Trumeau mirror, a jolie gold leaf frame, boutique plaster of Paris–dipped flowers and a chic antique chair. Featuring simple step-by-step instructions with beautiful photos to help guide you, these projects can be created in just a few hours or less.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624145421
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,091,627
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jamie Lundstrom is the founder of the blog So Much Better With Age. She has been featured on HGTV and the Today show, as well as in Country Living and Better Homes & Gardens. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Read an Excerpt



Art is one of the beautiful things you think of when you think of France (or anywhere in Europe, for that matter). Mirrors and art adorned the walls of great castles and palaces. Today, museums are filled with these great masterpieces. You can spend days looking at walls and walls of magnificent works that just leave you in awe. Few people in the world will ever be able to have such pieces of artwork displayed in homes, and to be honest, I wouldn't want the pressure.

From the time I got my first apartment, I was always excited to put art up on the walls. I thought they had to be professionally framed pieces that were a bit out of my budget, and they had to be created by someone who called themselves an artist. I finally had a few pieces that I deemed special enough to be called art, but after some time, I grew tired of them and I wanted to switch things up. But how could I just get rid of them when they were so expensive?

Now, I feel differently. I feel art is anything that can be created and hung on a wall. I think mirrors are a great example of art and are beautiful in every room of the house. Artwork I've found from thrift shops, my children's art, silver platters or plates hung on a wall are all art.

I love that there are magnificent pieces of "real" art in the world today that we can visit and savor when we get the chance to, but I don't want my home to feel or look like a museum, and I want to be able to change up my art when I want to without feeling the pressure to keep it hanging on the wall for a lifetime because we paid a small fortune for it.

In this chapter, I'll show you how to do some techniques for making gorgeous mirrors and making "nothing" look like art. Art is whatever we make it to be.


I love antiqued mirrors. They remind me of the great, ornate hanging mirrors that you see in chateaus or castles in France. An antiqued mirror in a room elevates it to a piece of art. Practice this technique on a small mirror before attempting a large one and make sure the mirror can be removed from the frame.


Plastic sheets, garbage bags, drop cloths or newspaper
Note: Mirrors from China will not antique as a different technique is used to make them. If you purchase a mirror and the glass says "Made in China" on the back, you can go to a mirror shop to get a new custom mirror cut to fit the frame. New mirrors antique nicely.

In a well-ventilated area, spread out the plastic sheets. Lay the mirror reflective side down. Wearing the protective gloves, pour the paint stripper thickly over the back of the mirror. You'll start to see the paint bubble up immediately. Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a plastic putty knife, carefully scrape the paint off the mirror and onto the plastic sheets. You may need to repeat these steps to get all of the paint off. Wipe the excess off with paper towels. Hose off the mirror to remove all of the stripper.

To antique the mirror, you will be removing some of the reflective material. You have to work quickly, so gather everything you need before you begin. You can either dab the muriatic acid onto the mirror with a cotton cloth (for a dramatic look) or you can spray it on using a spray bottle (for a subtle look).

Wearing a mask and protective gloves, pour the muriatic acid into a small container. Take a cloth and dip it just a bit into in the muriatic acid. Dab onto the edges of the mirror. You don't want the cloth to be soaked. I dabbed all over for a dramatic effect, but if you dab or spray just lightly along the edges, this will give you a more natural look.

Immediately wipe it off with another dry cotton cloth.

Check the other side of the mirror to see if that's the look you want. You can repeat above if you didn't take enough off.

Spray with Simple Green cleaner to ensure all acid is removed and hose off the mirror again to ensure a full clean. Dry, being careful not to scrape the mirror.

If you took off too much of the reflective backing, you can spray on some mirror spray over the spots where too much came off.

Spray paint the back of the mirror with the gold spray paint and let dry for about 1 hour. Then spray paint the back of the mirror with the black spray paint and let dry fully for at least 1 hour. Once completely dry, you can put the mirror back in its frame.


Add that je ne sais quoi to any room by adding an aged mirror to your wall. You don't have to live in a French villa or find antique mirrors to add a French feel to your home. If you are not sure about antiquing a mirror by stripping off the back of it, then you might like spray painting a piece of glass! Try this shortcut to making a simple antiqued mirror.


Frame with glass
In a ventilated area, remove the glass from the frame and lay it down on a dropcloth. Spray one entire side of glass with 2 to 4 coats of the mirror spray paint, drying approximately 1 hour in between coats. Spraying more coats of the mirror spray paint will give you more of a reflective look. I wanted a more "foggy" look, so I sprayed it with just two coats.

Once dry, lightly spray some black spray paint over the back in a "splattered" pattern. Do not fully spray paint the back with black; you just want a few splatter marks. Check the other side of the mirror to see if you like the look. You can add more layers of the mirror spray paint or add more black if you like.

Wait to fully dry at least 1 hour and put the mirror back in the frame. See Rusted Frames (here) and Add Ribbon to Frames or Mirrors (here) to complete this project.


I love upcycling art. When I look for artwork at garage sales and thrift shops, I look to see if the frames can be repainted or used for another project. If I don't like the frame, I look at the art to see if I can reframe it or do something different with it like with this project. Make the art look antique by decoupaging the art onto a canvas (even the word decoupage is French!). You'll transform your art into a French masterpiece.


Piece of art
If your art was framed, remove the art from the frame. Find a paint color that matches the background of your art.

Paint the canvas with 2 coats of paint using a sponge brush, drying for approximately 1 to 2 hours in between coats. Center and lightly mark the canvas where the art will be placed.

Place a large book under the canvas (to easily apply pressure when smoothing).

Brush the decoupage glue on the back of the art with another sponge brush. Brush on quite a bit, as too little Mod Podge will make the art wrinkle. Press down on the canvas and smooth all over. Use a wallpaper smoother to smooth it out depending on how big the piece is.

Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the decoupage glue to dry then apply more decoupage glue all over the top of the art and canvas with even up-and-down brush strokes. Let dry for at least 1 hour.

You can learn how to Hang Art Like in a Museum here.


What is a trumeau mirror? A trumeau mirror, originally made in France in the late 18 century, was a mirror that was placed on a wall between the window spaces and as such is usually the shape of a window. There is usually a decorative or painted scene on the top portion of the mirror. These long, ornate mirrors are exquisite, and because of their easy rectangular shape, you can create one for your home following these steps.



MDF • 2½ x 5 feet x ¾-inch (76.2 x 152.4 x 1.9-cm) thick board Trim to hold mirror–wainscot molding (I used natural finger wainscot molding) • (Use a miter box and hand saw to cut the trim pieces and crown molding)2 (36 2/3-inch [93-cm]) long pieces2 (24 2/3-inch [62.5-cm]) long pieces45-degree angle Trim–panel molding • 2 (12-inch [30.5-cm]) long pieces2 (24 2/3-inch [62.5-cm]) long pieces45-degree angle Crown molding–egg and dart • 1 (30½-inch [77.5-cm]) long piece, from bottom measurement of crown45-degree angle2 (1¼-inch [3.2-cm]) long pieces MIRROR • 2 x 3-foot (61 x 91.4-cm) mirrorTape measurePencilConstructive adhesive (I recommend No More Nails and a caulking gun)Brad nail gun¾-inch (2-cm) brad nails

Measure out where you will place the mirror towards the bottom of the MDF piece and mark with a pencil (3 inches [7.6 cm] from the bottom and 3 inches [7.6 cm] from the sides). Apply the adhesive to the back of the mirror and press the mirror down on the MDF.

Install the trim (wainscot molding) all around the mirror with adhesive and a brad nail gun for reinforcement.

Measure out the top frame (panel molding) 3 inches (7.6 cm) above the wainscot molding, making sure it's centered (the gap between the trim will be exactly 3 inches [7.6 cm]) and apply the trim with adhesive and a brad nail gun. Use a square to make sure your corners are even. Install the crown molding 3 inches (7.6 cm) above the top frame molding.

See Piping on a Trumeau Mirror (here) and Plaster Paint Technique (here) to finish this mirror.

Note: Installing crown molding can be very tricky. Make sure to take into account the thickness of the molding itself; you may need to buy extra molding for practice. To keep things simple, you could put a flat piece of baseboard or flat crown molding rather than adding the small side cuts to complete the crown molding piece.


You can add beautiful wooden appliques to your trumeau mirror, but I wanted to do something extra special. Although I'm not sharing any baking recipes in the book, I love to bake. I've always had this fun idea of "mixing" my love of baking and DIY projects together to create something truly unique. Using a decorating or piping bag, you will create your own piece of delicious artwork on the top part of this mirror to make it truly French.


Trumeau Mirror (here)
Note: To use the piping bag again on the same day, put the whole thing in a sealed plastic bag. To wash, remove the top coupler piece, cut the disposable bag away from the bottom coupler piece and dispose of the bag. Wash the coupler pieces, round tip, spoon and scissors well with soap and warm water.

Put the large piece of the coupler set into the tip of the piping bag. Snip the tip off with scissors above where the coupler sits, leaving a bit of plastic bag over the coupler. Put a tip on top and screw the second piece of the coupler to it.

Fold over the piping bag, and with a large spoon, scoop in the drywall mud about half or three-quarters full. Pull up the piping bag and push the drywall mud down to the tip and twirl the bag a bit at the top to make sure the drywall mud doesn't come out the top.

Practice piping on the scrap piece of wood. Pipe your design on the empty rectangle space of the trumeau mirror. I did some loop-de-loops with a #32 tip, larger loops on the bottom and smaller loops on the top, and a big bow in the middle using the leaf tip #70. Allow the designs to harden for 24 to 48 hours, and then you can paint it.

See Plaster Paint Technique here to finish this mirror. I piped on my design first then painted around it afterwards. You can also do the Plaster Paint Technique (here) first and then pipe the design on and paint the gold over top.


Plastered walls give French villas and chateaus that beautiful creamy texture. You can complete your trumeau mirror by painting it with this last step. Using a mix of different colors will give you a time-worn effect.


Trumeau Mirror (here)
Note: I piped on my design first then painted around it afterwards. You can do this plaster paint technique first and pipe the design on and paint the gold over it.

Tape the mirror with painter's tape before painting. Paint on primer to all the trim, MDF wood, plaster design and crown molding. Paint the crown molding, trim and piping design with 2 to 3 coats of the gold paint. Let it dry for approximately 1 to 2 hours in between coats.

Using a plastic container, mix the green paint and the chalking powder in a 1:1 ratio until quite thick. Paint the mixture onto the mirror with the angled paintbrush. When you are done, put a lid on the container if there are leftovers, and let the mirror dry for approximately 6 to 12 hours.

Mix the grey paint with the chalking powder same as above and using the spatula, paint the mirror all over, leaving some of the green paint showing. Put the lid on the container after use. Let dry for approximately 6 to 12 hours.

If there is not enough green paint showing through, add some more of the green mixture with a smaller spatula or your finger. Let this dry for 6 to 12 hours and remove the painter's tape.

Make sure to wash the spatulas immediately.

See Piping on a Trumeau Mirror here to complete this project.


Nothing is more French than a gold ornate mirror, and they are back in style (does anything French ever go out of style though?). I have always loved them. Wooden appliques and gold paint can make any regular mirror French. Look for appliques in a variety of sizes, and don't worry about the type of wood they are made of, as they will be painted.


• Mirror (preferably one with a flat bottom and curved top as it looks more French but not necessary; see note. My mirror measured 38 x 33 inch [96 x 84
Measure the top of the mirror and decide the size of the wooden appliques needed and what size you'll need for the sides and bottom. Sand the area a bit where the appliques will be glued to ensure good adhesion.

Glue the wooden appliques with adhesive and let it dry for at least 24 hours.

Apply the painter's tape to the mirror before painting (or if you prefer to not use painter's tape, you can scrape off the dried paint with a mirror scraper when you are done). Paint the mirror and wooden appliques with primer. Paint 2 to 3 coats with the brass paint, drying for approximately 2 hours in between coats. I found that the metallic/gold paint takes a little longer to dry.

Apply the dark wax with a wax brush all over the gold areas. Usually, it is recommended to wipe dark wax off right away, but I found with gold paints, it takes a little longer for the wax to dry on it. Wait approximately 10 minutes before rubbing the wax off. If too much dark wax came off, you can apply more wax, wait 10 to 15 minutes again and rub off leaving some of the dark wax in the crevices. The dark wax will give the mirror a more aged look.

Note: Mirrors that were once attached to an old dresser or vanity work great for this project as the bottom is always flat. These mirrors are often cast aside at garage sales and second hand stores.


Excerpted from "French Vintage Décor"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jamie Lundstrom.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Heather Bullard $

Bonjour 8 $

Tools and Tips for the Petite DIY-er $

$$$ $

Antiqued Mirror $

Aged Mirror from Glass $

Decoupaged Canvas Art $

Trumeau Mirror $

Piping on a Trumeau Mirror $

Plaster Paint Technique (Trumeau Mirror) $

French Gold Mirror $

Gold Leaf Frame $

Old Locket on Canvas Art $

Plaster Wall Art $

Scrollwork Art on Canvas $

Hanging Wallpaper Mural $

Layered Art Display on a Mantel $

Hang Art Like in a Museum $

Framed Needlepoint $

Grey Washed Frames $

Framed Eiffel Tower Poster $

$$$ $

Rusted Frames $

Add Ribbon to Frames or Mirrors $

Press for Champagne Sign (or Ring for Rose) $

French Cheese Safe or Cabinet $

Long Linen Bulletin Board with Tacks $

Fabric-Covered Corkboard $

Antique Labels on Brown Bottles $

Leather Antique Book $

Aged Urn or Planter $

Paris Snowglobe $

Clay Bowls $

Drill Bit Holder with Dried Lavender $

Candelabra Update $

Drippy Candles $

Concrete Painted Pots $

Black "Cast Iron" Planter $

Plaster of Paris-Dipped Flowers $

Plaster-Dipped Flower Art $

Rustic French Tray $

Antique Basket $

Concrete Bowl $

Glazed Plant Pots $

Stenciled Wicker Basket $

$$$ $

Green Topiary in Aged Urn $

Flower Garland $

Dried Flowers as Wall Art $

Champagne Bucket Centerpiece $

Lavender in Concrete Pots $

Pressed Lavender in Frame $

Mossy Branches in Black "Cast Iron" Planter $

Moss in Concrete Bowl $

Add Flowers to the Brown Bottle Collection $

$$$ $

Blue and Gold Antique Chair $

Charcoal Desk $

White and Gold Vanity $

Putty Colored Chair $

Reupholster an Antique Chair $

Piping on Furniture $

Best Antique Finish $

Wallpaper on the Back of a Cabinet $

Zinc French Bistro Set $

Gold and Marble Side Table $

Gold and Grey Side Table $

Deconstructed Footstool $

Paris Building Table $

Decoupaged Table $

French Pedestal Table $

$$$ $

Tea Bag Shaped Lavender Sachets $

Wicker Basket Bag $

Crochet Throw Blanket $

Crochet Pillows $

Cheesecloth Tablecloth $

Baguette Bag with Drawstring $

Pillow Shams from Antique French Napkins $

Acknowledgments $

About the Author $

Index $

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