“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
I’ll be upfront with you. DIY is not my thing. No one has ever called me super creative with crafts and I tend to not be obsessive about making things myself. I just don’t have the skill set or patience for so many DIY projects. Which is why when I share with you that the gold leafing art application is both easy, gorgeous and addicting you know I mean it!
Gold is all the rage in home decor right now. You can find some great affordable pieces but some are very expensive. And if you’re not sure it’s the right look for you, this is a great way to update some things in your home using gold leaf without forking over a ton of money.
The Products you’ll need:
The Gold Leafing Technique
Apply glue. Let sit at least a few minutes or until the glue become clear. Tip: the longer you wait the easier it is to apply the gold. I love this art application because if I get interrupted by the kids it works for me and not against me! I even let a few pieces sit for two days and came back to find it still a bit tacky and easily took the gold!
Use the paper and apply to area. Rub on with a soft brush, or use your fingers only if you’re wearing the gloves. I do a mix of both techniques depending on how intricate the piece I’m gold leafing is. Some areas the brush was perfect, but some I found best to apply with my fingers.
If you have spots that need filled in after everything is gold, just reapply the glue and repeat.
Once it’s done and dried, apply the sealant. That’s it!
What to Gold Leaf
I used a few different gold leafing products I purchased at Michaels, and found the Speedball Art Mona Lisa product by far the easiest and best to use. A lot of websites will say gold leafing is messy. And depending on the product or project you’re doing it can be. I found the paper with the wax insanely easy and mess free. It’s sort of shocking how well it adheres, goes off the wax paper and the remainder of the gold is left on the paper to be used for touch-ups or another project. There’s very, very little waste.
The only issue is that the paper isn’t suited for some projects. For example, if you gold leaf something that’s not smooth, you may need the gold leaf fragments. The fragments also give a totally different (and pretty) look. If you’re working on something smooth like a vase or a tray, then you definitely want the paper. The mess will be very minimal with same result.
If you use the gold leaf fragments, the Speedball Art ones are gorgeous, very easy to use and you’ll quickly become addicted to how it transforms pieces!
I dug through my drawers and found some pieces I hadn’t used in a long time because I felt like the look wasn’t current.
Before and after of my wooden tray that had a more rustic look. I wanted to combine rustic with the current gold look.
While I was at it, I found one of those plastic take-and-toss plastic pieces laying around and made a quick jewelry dish out of it! Even my husband was impressed with that, and let me tell you, he is not easily impressed by DIY. He’s the anti-DIY guy. He hates all things crafts, messy or things that look cheap. So if he liked the plastic piece turned gold, well then people, we are getting somewhere.
Black wrought iron dishware before and after.
I gold leafed my daughters books to use on shelves. The Speedball Mona Lisa brand also comes in silver and copper. So many pretty choices!
Art. I’ve been inspired by all the current catalogs cluttering my house. I saw a Restoration Hardware one that had a piece like this for several hundred dollars. What? So I gold leafed some poster board, cut them into heart, and super glued them onto white card stock. My daughter loves it and it’s going to be so cute on her shelves.
Serving pieces I’ve had since I got married 12 years ago (is that weird I still have them? I always liked them). Tip: gold leaf is real gold. It’s metal. So it will fry in the microwave. It needs to be hand washed. That’s the down side. On the upside you have real gold spoons now from a $15 wedding gift someone gave you over a decade ago!
Here are links to products I used! Go forth and guild your palace! But you may want to go a bit easy, a little bit of gold goes a long way. Unless you’re Liberace then by all means, gold ev-er-y-thing.