Transform Old Frames/Furniture with Spray Paint and Gold Leaf {DIY}…

Tutorial for transforming old frames & furniture with spray paint & gold leaf {The Creativity Exchange}
Tutorial for transforming old frames & furniture with spray paint and gold leaf- The Creativity Exchange

Tutorial for transforming old frames & furniture with spray paint and gold leaf {The Creativity Exchange}


A few weeks ago, I was in the Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas and fell in love with some gorgeous frames that {of course} were crazy expensive.  The teeny tiny frames started at $90.00! Yikes!!

What was so incredible about the frames is they had this amazing layered metallic/taupe-ish finish mixed with a white wash/cement-y look with small areas around the frame with touches of gilded/gold leaf.  I have never seen a finish like this before and I couldn’t wait to get back home to see if I could figure out how to recreate it.

My goal was to see if I could come up with the technique on old frames, so I could ultimately do it on an old dresser or side chair for my vanity.


Tutorial-for-transforming-old-frames-furniture-with-spray-paint-and-gold-leaf-The-Creativity-Exchange (1)


As I looked at the frame finish at Neiman’s, it looked like a chalky white base color with a platinum metallic subtle wash or glaze.  The color of the metallic reminded me so much of the platinum metallic color from Krylon Brushed Meatallic Champagne Nouveau:




There is no other metallic paint in a can, jar or wax out there that is even remotely close to the highlights in this gorgeous metallic finish. I do not like this color solid and by itself but I love to mix it with other colors or use it as a glaze. I like to spray one color and then ever so light spray the champagne for a hint of metallic.  It’s really like a platinum; not too gold and not too silver.

So, I decided my plan was to use the spray paint like a glaze over a chalky white spray painted primer to see if I could get in the ball park of duplicating the finish.

I started off with some old small frames:


Revamp old frames tutorial


I went ahead and spray primed all of the frames first with Valspar spray primer in white.  Keep in mind, for using spray paint as a glaze, the base color is the key:


lemon tea cakes 135


After the primer was almost dry (about 30 minutes), I sprayed a very thin layer of the Krylon Champagne Nouveau trying not to cover the whole piece so I could see some white and then immediately wiped the paint with my finger.  You can use a rubber glove but I didn’t because the only thing that doesn’t leave brush marks or wipe marks is my finger.


lemon tea cakes 140


I wanted a lot of the white of the primer to come through, so I wiped a lot down to the primer and because the primer was still soft in some areas, the white mixed with the metallic and I even got some areas down to the wood.  Sometimes I will spray the paint in a cup and wipe the spray paint on as a glaze as well.


transform old frames and furniture with spray paint and gold leaf


With some of the frames, I sprayed the paint in to a plastic container and dipped my finger in and wiped over the primer as well for more control of the finish:


DIY paint treatment

transform old frames with spray paint and gold leaf


I then let the frames completely dry overnight and lightly roughed them up in corners with fine 220 sand paper:


Tutorial for transforming olfd frames with spray paint & gold leaf


The next morning after the frames were dry and I roughed them up, I was so excited that I nailed the finish on my first try!! Yay!! {Crafty happy dance}…

{I know this frame is already gold leafed but it’s the best shot for you to see the finish}

Tutorial for transforming old frames with spray paint & gold leaf


Look at that finish!!  Again, I’m not sure what I would call it but this is exactly what I hoped to get!

So next, I added the gold leaf to add areas of gilding.  Keep in mind that the same technique that I am going through for the frames would work for large pieces of furniture.  Working with gold leaf is so easy and the end results are incredible.  All you need is this little started kit from Mona Lisa/Speed Ball that you can pick up at craft stores or for $10.00 on Amazon here:

source: Amazon

source: Amazon


I just took a water color brush and brushed on a generous amount of the adhesive and waited for it to dry (about 20-30 minutes).  Gold leaf will not work if the adhesive is wet even in the least.  It will work best to wait until it is dry but tacky.

Then, with a tweezers, I just covered the areas with the adhesive with just the right amount of the gold leaf sheet that came in the package (I cut it so I would not waste any of it):


Tutorial for adding gold leaf to frames or furniture
I then took another stiffer brush (not too stiff though) and lightly used the bristles to push the gold leaf down into the carved wood and then I lightly pressed down on all the areas of the gold leaf to make sure that it stuck:


Tutorial for how to gold leaf on wood, frames or furniture
I like to wait another 20 minutes at this point and then I used my water color brush to brush away the gold leaf where it shouldn’t stick. I just keep gently brushing and eventually, there should only be gold leaf on the areas where I brushed on the adhesive:


Tutorial for how to add a touch of gold leaf to frames or furniture

Tutorial for transforming old frames with spray paint & gold leaf
Tutorial for transforming old frames & furniture with spray paint and gold leaf- The Creativity Exchange

Tutorial for transforming old frames & furniture with spray paint and gold leaf {The Creativity Exchange}


Adding gold leaf is so easy and once it’s on, it’s very durable and it’s just like paint.  The kit contains a sealer that I would use if I was doing this on furniture.  I am so excited that I was able to duplicate almost the exact finish that I saw in Las Vegas and I can’t wait to try this on an old piece of furniture now!  Who would have thought? Spray paint?  I continue to be amazed with all the unique ways we can use spray paint!

Tutorial for transforming frames/furniture with spray paint and gold leaf {The Creativity Exchange}

Thanks for hanging out with me today and I’ll be back for Friday Favorites!



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TDC Before and After


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18 Responses to Transform Old Frames/Furniture with Spray Paint and Gold Leaf {DIY}…

  1. Megan says:

    They turned out beautiful! What a neat technique. 🙂

  2. Love the one that was originally black – so interesting that by accenting only two sides in the reverse colors, the frame looks completely different! Perfect lesson in the power of paint! M.

    • Cyndy says:

      Isn’t it amazing how it really does change the whole look of the frame? I can only imagine what this finish would do on a chair or dresser by adding a little gold leaf. Thanks for stopping by Mandi!!

  3. Deb says:

    You’re so creative and inspire me. Love the colors! I’ve got to try this, so I’ll be heading to look for some frames that need a re-do today! Thanks for sharing another great idea with us.

  4. Kathleen says:

    ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! I can definitely see this on a piece of furniture. You’ve got my wheels turning. Thanks so much!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks for stopping by Kathleen! Thanks for the inspiration too on the Pinterest hover button. I just found the plugin from WordPress!! Yay!

  5. Cindy says:

    Wow, they look amazing. Love the gold leaf touch…perfect!

  6. Shandy says:

    These look great. I’ve never used gold leaf before. Thanks for the inspiration! Found you at TT&J and am now following your blog! Have a great weekend!

  7. Deb says:

    Those frames are awesome. I have soooooo many frames that I have had over the years that I have hated to get rid of. So perhaps I might have to try this method. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. I love how these turned out, I need to get this kit! I have a bunch of frames this would be great on.

  9. Gold leaf design on each corner is what makes this frame looks great. Anyways, you really did a nice job in transforming this simple frame.

  10. Bev says:

    Came across your blog through Pinterest and absolutely love this finish for frames…and maybe for furniture. So ingenious. Thanks.

  11. Vinnie says:

    Love your idea. I have few dark brown wood frames that I was thinking of spray painting in bronze color. Do you think I need to prime before I spray paint? Thanks!

  12. Carolina Kates says:

    I love collecting old frames. And have been waiting for the right idea/s to inspire me. Loved your detailed pictures of work. Going to Velvet Finishes to check out their product. The instructional gold leafing was great. Thanks for the small details.

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