How to Gold Leaf All The Things
I’m all about turning ordinary things around the house into something special. HELLO GOLD LEAF!
I don’t know why, but I was intimidated by gold leaf for SO long. I was certain that it was difficult or that I would definitely mess it up somehow. Let’s be honest. I could probably have a whole album about Pinterest fails. Who’s with me?! Just because people have pegged me as a Pinterest Mom, doesn’t mean that I am. Fails galore!
What I love about gold leaf is that even if you do a messy job - the outcome is still completely beautiful!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Speedball Gold Leaf Kit. Buy it on Amazon HERE
- Items from around the house that you’ll want to upgrade: Vases, Candle Votives, Jars...be creative!
- Any kind of brush with stiff bristles. I used a chalk paint brush (but you could probably even get away with using an old toothbrush to be honest!)
- Blue Painters Tape (if you want a clean line)
- Foam Brushes
I decided to use a couple odds and ends found around the house. There’s nothing better than upcycling something that you might have wanted to donate or even recycle and turn it into something beautiful that you want to keep and display!
I used a tall solid white vase, a glass I picked up last year at Target and Yoplait Oui yogurt glass jars. Yep, as soon as I saw them in the grocery store, I knew they would make the cutest tea light candle holders!
You’ll want to start with the adhesive size from your kit and a brush of any size that you choose from your design. I used my smaller foam brush.
Now comes the fun part! Choosing what kind of design you want.
The pattern you paint on with the adhesive and the brush will be exactly what the gold leaf will stick too! I prefer a more abstract pattern and brush strokes because, honestly, it's hard to mess up and it looks so beautiful in the end!
Dip the brush into the adhesive and make sure to wipe off any excess. The adhesive is runny so you want to make sure it doesn't drip when you're "painting" it on...Unless of course you're going for that look!
Start painting the design onto your pieces. I chose to do long brush strokes from the top moving downward.
For the glass jar, I wanted a clean line around the top of gold, so I made sure to use the blue painters tape to mark off where I wanted the line to be, and then I painted the adhesive above.
Now is the hard part...WAITING. You need to wait approximately 15-30 minutes until the adhesive is a little dry but still tacky.
Once it's ready, you're ready to make your pieces FABULOUS! Gold leaf time!
Make sure to wash your hands well, so the oils on your skin don't tarnish the gold. Or you can also wear cotton gloves to protect it. I've never had a problem by using my bare clean hands.
Gently, take a gold leaf sheet out and lay it on top of all the tacky parts on your pieces. Break off any piece that didn't stick and lay it over another tacky part. You can keep piecing little pieces together, you don't have to use a new sheet each time. Use up what you have!
By piecing all the little parts together, it will give that crackled gold look, which I personally love! It's what sets apart gold leaf from gold paint in my opinion!
Continue this process until you think you've covered all of your design with gold leaf. smooth all the gold leaf down one last time to make sure its in place.
This is where you will get your brush. Now gently brush over your design until all the little excess flakes come off. It will make a mess so get ready to clean it up!
It's a beautiful mess! I was obsessed with the look of all these little flakes!
Once you're done brushing and all that's left is the gold leaf and your design, you're almost done! Lastly, you'll just want to seal it so it can last.
Take another clean foam brush and brush on the sealer and let that dry overnight.
Take your finished pieces and scatter them around the home to make any space wonderful!
We want to hear from you! What do YOU plan to gold leaf?