How to Create a French Trumeau Mirror for Your Own Home
Have you swooned over a French Trumeau mirror and then nearly passed out at the price tag? I know, I have too!
Glance through almost any French decor magazine and chances are you will see at least one French trumeau mirror on display.
Displaying one of these iconic French beauties will elevate any room that it’s in, and it will undoubtedly be the star. Unfortunately, the price tag can be pretty steep for the true antique Trumeau mirrors, usually priced in the thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, you can easily create your own French trumeau mirror to fit the style and decor of your home and I’m going to show you how!
A trumeau mirror ( pronounced troo-mo) is a type of wall mirror originally manufactured in France in the later 18th century. It takes its name from the French word “trumeau”, which designates the space between windows.
The mirror is set into tall wooden frames with a large section of painted or carved sculptural decoration at the top. Almost always the trumeau is rectangular in size. The bottom of the wooden framing was usually where the mirror was placed so a candle could be set in front to reflect light in dimly lit rooms.
Trumeau mirrors are often the showpiece in the room in which they are displayed, so let me show you how to create your own!
Starting with MDF board as the base (purchased from Lowe’s), I added crown moulding to the top and smaller decorative wood trim. All of this can be purchased from a home improvement store. This is where you can get creative and make any design you wish.
I embellished the front using an old antique mirror that I had picked up at a flea market. The silvering on the mirror had become very timeworn over the last century and it had resulted in a very smoky look which I loved.
Above the mirror, I used an old piece of wall decor that I found at a flea market as well. It depicts a bird and flowers on a branch.
These old decor pieces date the 1950’s, are made of a hard plastic and can often be found in thrift stores or flea markets quite easily. However, use your imagination! There’s no limit to what you can use to embellish your “Trumeau”.
The bird wall decor wasn’t quite substantial enough so I added a bit more by creating a laurel wreath and swags with molds and paper clay. If you’ve not made your own mouldings before, it’s quite easy. We show how to make them HERE. They are wonderful to dress up a piece of furniture!
I nailed the crown moulding to the top of the MDF board, and then, using Gorilla Glue, glued the rest of the pieces onto the MDF board.
Once everything was glued in place, I painted everything in a base coat of Pure & Original chalk based paint in the color Tin Kettle.
Then came the fun part….layering the other colors.
I wanted the final result to be a pale blue, so on top of Tin Kettle, I alternated using the colors, Lagoon Water and Sea Salt, spritzing with water as I went to get a mottled finish. The result that I was trying to achieve was a faded, timeworn look.
After these layers dried, I used my homemade glaze to add a bit of antiquing and shadowing.
Once everything was dry, I used Rub n Buff in Gold Leaf and gilded the moulding, frame, and embellishments.
The final step was waxing with Pure & Original Italian Wax.
I can’t tell you how much I love this mirror! It turned out exactly the way I envisioned.
And I can’t tell you how many ideas I have swirling around in my head for another one!
Hung on the wall, the Trumeau adds both beauty and brightness to the room.
By day the mirror reflects sunlight throughout the room and at night, it reflects the glow from the chandelier.
I hope you enjoyed seeing this DIY French trumeau mirror!