How to Gold Leaf Anything

So you want to gold leaf… Fabric? Paper? Plastic?  Not all gold leaf is the same and/or built for the same purpose.  Different materials and different gold leafing techniques render VERY different results.  I have written a number of tutorials on gold leafing, but there are so many other great guides. I wrote this post to be the  source for how to add gold to all of your projects.  I have broken projects down by techniques, such as gold leaf sheets, rub and buff, etc and in my second post I will go over gold leafing different materials such as fabric, wood, etc…  See Part II here

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials

How to Gold Leaf Anything and Everything Part I

Gold Leaf Sheets

This is the traditional method of gold leafing where you use an adhesive, sheets of leaf, and a protective coating.  Not as hard as it sounds!  I promise!How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials

How to Gold Leaf a Lampshade How to use Traditional Gold Leaf Sheets

Gold Leaf Embellished CurtainsThe Gathered Home Gold simple leaf on fabric

How to Make Mercury Glass VotivesHGTV gold and silver leaf used to make mercury glass finish

 

Gold Foil

This method is often used to adhere gold leaf to fabric and sometimes paper for a smoother finish.

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials

Gold Foil, the Right Way to Gold Leaf Fabric Step by step tutorial on how to use Gold Foil

Forget Gold Leaf — Gold Transfer Foil Is the Stuff DIY Dreams Are Made OfBrit + Co Gold foil tote bag

DIY Gold Foil PrintsThe House of Wood Using heat reactive foil on paper

Rub ‘n Buff

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials
Image via Censational Girl

This is a wax based rub that you apply via a small cloth or fingers to a variety of objects

Goodwill Rocks, Rub ‘n Buff for a Gold Leaf Luster Using Rub n’ Buff to give a golden luster to thrift store finds

Gold Leaf versus Rub ‘n Buff City Suburb Sanity The differences between traditional gold leaf and Rub ‘n Buff

French Linen ConsoleCentsational Girl How to dry brush Rub n’ Buff

Gold Paint

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials
Image via Chris Loves Julia

Comes in a variety of spray, enamel, acrylic, etc.  You can brush, sponge, spray, and coat in almost any method you would use a regular paint.

Making a Golden Apple Using gold spray paint to make Thanksgiving Decorations

DIY Gold Leaf PaintThe Creativity Exchange Gold enamel paint on glass

Which Gold Spray Paint is the BestChris Loves Julia Run down of the top 4 gold spray paints

Liquid Leaf

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials
Image via B@H

This is really a specialized paint mixture that has a heavy metallic content.  Beware the smell and use in a well ventilated area.  Stinky stinky!  The look is somewhat closer to traditional gold leaf than a lot of other paints.

Liquid Leaf and PaperClay How to use liquid leaf on a variety of materials and Paperclay seashells

Gold Leaf FeathersB@H Make gold tipped feathers

Gold Gilded Save the DatesWouldn’t It Be Lovely Paper edged in liquid leaf

Gold Leaf Pen

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials
Image via Lauren Conrad

Quick and easy pen that produces a gold paint.  Some pens can be used on ceramics and glass to give a semi-permanent and washable finish.

Entry Table Makeover Calling it Home Using a gold leaf pen to accent a table

DIY Gift Guide: Mother’s Day MugsLauren Conrad Gold leaf been to make washable ceramic mugs

Dress up Plain, Cheap Ballet Flats with This Peacock Feather DIYBabble Updating flats with pen

Edible Gold Leaf

Gold leaf you can eat!  Feel fancy and full.  Comes in spray, sheets, and powders.

How to gold leaf anything and everything. Tutorial on using all types of leaf on variety of materials
Image via Betty Crocker

Gold Leaf Wedding CakeAshlee Marie How to gold leaf an entire cake tier

Golden Birthday CupcakesBetty Crocker Using edible gold luster dust

Gold Covered OreosWe’re Calling Shenanigans Using edible gold spray

17 thoughts on “How to Gold Leaf Anything

    • Honestly I would just tile regularly and then gold leaf the grout. Since I haven’t ever done that I would probably try it out with some scrap tile on a board. If you do it send me a picture I would love to see!

  1. What do you think would be the best option for doing an exterior door? :) I’ve been searching the web over but gold doors are not a thing yet. :P

    • Gold doors were a thing! I saw plenty of them in Italy. Basically you follow the exact same process but you have to make sure to coat the gold leaf with a heavy duty outdoor clear sealer. Additionally you have to be prepared to touch the gold leaf up as it weathers. Other than that you should be good to go!

  2. Nice roundup of techniques and products! Pinning for later! Thank you so much for linking up to Merry Monday this week! I am sharing your post tomorrow on my FB Page. We hope to see you next week for another great party! Have a great week!
    Best,
    Kim

  3. Now I want to gold leaf everything! I think the mistake I made in the past when trying to gold leaf was using the wrong product and application for the projects I was attempting. Bookmarking and pinning this for future reference!

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