I've had this little desktop magnifier for a while and always thought it looked so ugly that I wanted to make it prettier. I've been a big fan of the victorian/steampunk aesthetic for a while (though just recently discovered the wealth of cool steampunk stuff on line). If you aren't familiar with steampunk think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells early science fiction written near the end of the 19th century, still confused take a look at Brass Goggles.
So back to the magnifier. First I painted both the magnifier and it's base flat black. On the magnifier I used antique gold acrylic paint and sponged it on which gave it an old brass look. On the base I very lightly brushed on some silver paint to give it a cast iron look. Here's the before and after: