It is my privilege to welcome Joy Beadworks to my blog. She’s going to show us How to Gold Leaf in very few easy steps.
If you haven’t yet, go and check her amazing checker table transformation. And you know how I love flowers…how gorgeous are these! I think I am going to invite myself to her house when she brings these out for her soup…yummy!
What is Gold leafing?
Gold leafing, also known as gilding, is the process of applying thin sheets of gold (or sometimes silver or other precious metals) onto a surface to create a decorative or ornamental effect.
The gold leaf itself is incredibly thin, typically only a few microns in thickness, and is made by hammering or rolling a small piece of gold into a very thin sheet.
It is so delicate that can be easily damaged or torn, which is why it is often applied by skilled craftsmen using specialized tools.
Gold leafing has been used for centuries to decorate furniture, frames, and artwork, as well as to add a touch of luxury to architectural features such as domes and cupolas.
It is a time-consuming process, but the resulting effect is a shimmering, luxurious finish that is difficult to achieve using any other method.
Guest: Joy Beadworks
Hello Infarrantly! It’s my pleasure to be here as a guest today! This is Marjorie from over at Joy Beadworks.
I usually blog about craft tutorials, home décor, and my humorous, crazy and happy life with 4 kids. You are invited to join me anytime.
Today, I’d like to show you how easy it is to gold leaf. Nothing says fall like a little autumn shimmer.
How To Gold Leaf Anything
- Gold leaf sheets like the ones shown (you can also get silver and copper leaf)
- Leaf adhesive
- Brown (or black) acrylic paint (optional)
What can you Gold Leaf?
You’ll also need something to “leaf”. I chose some pears for the Autumny look.
Choose something with a smooth surface, and keep in mind that the base color of your object will show behind the leaf.
TIP: If you don’t like the color of your leafing item, paint it first.
Step 1 – Paint with Glue
First, paint the item with the glue. You’ll need to wait 5 minutes until the glue gets tacky, then take out the gold leaf, and wrap it on.
I like mine a little crackly and I wanted more of the background to show through.
Step 2 – Apply the Gold
The sheets are incredibly thin, and stick easily to the glue. You really can’t make a mistake.
Step 3 – Finish it
Then, with a dry brush, pat down any remaining areas that you want covered, and remove any excess leaf.
You may need to add additional glue in spots, and then apply the leaf as you please.
Step 4 (Optional)
In order to slightly tone down the gold, and to give it more texture, I painted the pears with a very light coat of brown acrylic paint.
The paint also acted as a sealant.
Be sure to link back with your leafing project, we’d love to take a peek.
I’m thinking pumpkins with copper leaf would look amazing.
What else can you Gold Leaf?
You can apply go to a wide range of surfaces to add a luxurious and decorative touch.
Some common objects and surfaces that can use this technique are:
- Furniture: Tables, chairs, cabinets, and other pieces of furniture to create a rich and opulent look.
- Frames: Apply to the frames of paintings, mirrors, and photographs to add a touch of glamour and sophistication.
- Artwork: to highlight certain areas of paintings, sculptures, and other types of artwork.
- Architecture: In architectural features such as domes, cupolas, and columns to create a stunning and eye-catching effect.
- Signs and lettering: Elegant and eye-catching lettering on signs, plaques, and other types of signage.
- Jewelry: To add a decorative touch to jewelry, such as by covering the surface of a pendant or earring with gold leaf.
Is gold leaf made of real gold?
While genuine gold leaf is made from real gold, there are also imitation gold leaf products available for use in crafts and other decorative projects. Which is what we, crafters, usually use, of course.
These imitation gold leaf products are typically made from other metals such as copper, zinc, or aluminum. They are coated with a thin layer of gold-colored material, such as brass or gold paint, to give the appearance of real gold leaf.
Overall, gold leafing is a versatile technique that can be amazing to add a touch of luxury and sophistication to a wide range of objects and surfaces.
Ummm, forgive me if this is a silly question, but won't the pears eventually rot? They do look beautiful!
Too beautiful!!! Makes me think of a Christmas song… 🙂
What a cute fall decoration!!
those look so amazing. the first time i used gold leafing, i made the huge mistake of using spray adhesive. brush on is oh so much neater, smarter, very much the thing to use 🙂
i've been wearing my necklace everywhere i go. thanks, again.
Ah! Fabulous – I have been looking for creative fall ideas and just purchased some gold leaf at a yard sale and was wondering what to do with it….love the pears, but I think I'll try the pumpkin idea…I'll let you know. B:)
I loved it with the pumpkins and love it now 🙂
Wow Joy. These are gorgeous! Great job! 🙂