I gold leafed a plain, inexpensive canvas to add above a cabinet in my dining area. The cabinet is a flat blue and needed some sparkle.
If you're intimidated by the sound of gold leafing you shouldn't be. It's one of the easiest diy projects you can tackle.
- Gold leaf found at art supply stores (I found this at Micheal's)
- Gold or Silver Leaf Adhesive Size - found at the same places
- 1 Foam Brush and 1 Soft Bristled Paint Brush
The brand I used is Mona Lisa
1. Apply an even coat of the adhesive size directly to the canvas. Directions on my bottle told me to wait until a haze has formed before applying the gold leaf. It is impossible to see a haze on a white canvas so wait until the adhesive is no longer wet but tacky. (I'm super impatient and only waited a few minutes).
2. Pick up the gold leaf with tweezers so it doesn't stick to your fingers and become a complete mess. It is so thin it will rip apart into tiny pieces if you try to handle it too much. Lay it down gently on your surface. It will stick upon contact. If you need small pieces, use a sharp knife to cut small pieces before you start.
3. Continue to lay the gold leaf until your entire area is covered.
4. Once the entire surface is covered in leaf, use your soft bristled brush to affix it to the surface and wipe off all the pieces that are excess. Leafing will only stick where there is adhesive size so if there are any overlapping areas you will brush the excess right off.
Tip of the Day- I used a foam brush for this step but wouldn't recommend it. The gold leaf stuck to it and started to pull the leafing from the canvas. Use a soft bristled paint brush instead!
If you're using gold leaf on surfaces that will endure any wear and tear then you should give a coat of sealer. I have used Minwax Polyurethene on furniture that I silver leafed in the past and it protects it well. I won't be touching this at all so I just went without this time.
I love the soft glow that permeates from the area now.