Both the clock and the mirror had a black finish to start with. Since they were more of a wood/plastic composite material and not actual wood, I used chalk paint so that I would not need to sand them. But, if you are painting wood and want to use regular paint then start by prepping the surface with liquid sand paper.
I did not take pictures of the clock as I was painting, so the tutorial will show the mirror but they were the same color to start.
The paint technique I used is called Dry Brushing. Basically, you just layer different paint colors by only putting a little bit of paint on the tips of your brush and then lightly brushing it on. You want each layer of color to be visible thru the other. (I had a paper plate that I would blot my brush on to remove any excess before applying.)
Since I used chalk paint I did not need to use a primer, but if you are not using chalk paint then I suggest applying a light primer.
The first color I used was Gray Mist
One light coat all over the surface
2nd coat was - French Vanilla, followed by washing lightly over the top with a little mint hue of some wall paint I had "Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52" (I didn't wash my brush between colors, it added to the layers and made cleaning easy)
and lastly I sealed it with rubbing a little bit of walnut wax polish over the entire surface.
**If you are painting furniture or a surface that will be used a lot, I suggest using a glaze instead of the wax or sealing it with a lacquer or polyacyrilic. **
Love the farmhouse feel it has!