I have been in the process of re-styling my living room bookshelves. I really just wanted to update them and add some touches of teal and gold leaf. I don’t have a lot to share yet because I have just started but I wanted to share with you guys a super easy shortcut for adding gold to accessories to make it look like exactly like gold leaf.
I have worked a lot with gold leaf and it can be time consuming. This little trick is instant and looks just like the real thing when you don’t want to mess with traditional leafing.
I had this decorative box on my shelves that had this sort of white washed rusted metal work around it:
I wanted to give this box just a touch of gold leaf to tone down the rusted part (I love the white oxidized part) so it would blend better with all of the gold leaf accessories going in my shelves.
My secret weapon is a gold enamel paint made by Testors that is used for model cars and model airplanes. You can find this paint at any craft store in the model car section and the best part is that it is only $1.99:
I have used this gold paint for years when I want to do a gold rub or paint something gold because out of all the gold paints out there, this paint looks the most authentic. It is exactly the shade of gold leaf.
For my faux gold leaf technique, I use a very small angled brush like this that is used for oil or acrylics:
There are two different ways to apply the gold (be sure and shake jar well). The first way is to very lightly brush on with very little gold on the brush. A safe trick is to lightly dip the brush into the paint and then wipe excess off on newspaper and then very lightly and sporadically apply. It also helps to hold the brush flat/flush like this:
This dry brush technique is the best way to start because you will quickly get a feel and get use to this paint and you can always add more. It also will give you more control of how much you want to gold leaf.
The second way is to get a generous amount of gold on your brush (just shy of dripping) and add clumps of the gold paint sporadically. This is where the gold will really stand out like leafing. Here is an image to show you the difference between the first and second technique:
Old gold leaf is rarely solid but rather flaked off in places. So, to get this old flaked off look, add your gold paint sporadically around. In other words, leave some bare areas. Notice in this image how the paint is just in spots:
After the gold dries (it’s enamel, so it takes 24 hours), you can get an even more gold leaf flake look by using a small wire brush and very gently rubbing just a spot here and there. As you rub, you will start to see that flaking.
One last trick, you can always sporadically go over your gold leaf with a little white paint mixed with water if you over did the gold. A little white wash over the gold helps diffuse and makes it look even more like the real thing.
I hope you guys can use this little gold leaf shortcut. It sure saves so much time and it’s a great way to instantly update old accessories.
Thanks so much for stopping by!