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 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 a Lampshade How to use Traditional Gold Leaf Sheets
Gold Leaf Embellished Curtains – The Gathered Home Gold simple leaf on fabric
How to Make Mercury Glass Votives – HGTV gold and silver leaf used to make mercury glass finish
This method is often used to adhere gold leaf to fabric and sometimes paper for a smoother finish.
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 Of – Brit + Co Gold foil tote bag
DIY Gold Foil Prints – The House of Wood Using heat reactive foil on paper
Rub ‘n Buff
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 Console – Centsational Girl How to dry brush Rub n’ Buff
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 Paint – The Creativity Exchange Gold enamel paint on glass
Which Gold Spray Paint is the Best – Chris Loves Julia Run down of the top 4 gold spray paints
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 Feathers – B@H Make gold tipped feathers
Gold Gilded Save the Dates – Wouldn’t It Be Lovely Paper edged in liquid leaf
Gold Leaf Pen
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 Mugs – Lauren Conrad Gold leaf been to make washable ceramic mugs
Dress up Plain, Cheap Ballet Flats with This Peacock Feather DIY – Babble Updating flats with pen
Edible Gold Leaf
Gold leaf you can eat! Feel fancy and full. Comes in spray, sheets, and powders.
Gold Leaf Wedding Cake – Ashlee Marie How to gold leaf an entire cake tier
Golden Birthday Cupcakes – Betty Crocker Using edible gold luster dust
Gold Covered Oreos – We’re Calling Shenanigans Using edible gold spray
36 thoughts on “How to Gold Leaf Anything”
Nice!! So rarely does articles have good information!! You DO!!! Thanks!!!
I am trying to find the artist who was on the Christopher Lowell Show who made stepping stones out of broken car glass, grout, GOLD LEAF, beach glass, glitter, Fall leaves, all sorts of stuff. Been looking for YEARS! HELP!!!
No idea either!
how do I gold leaf a mirror frame that is ornate and plain?
There are a variety of tutorials linked here. I’d look at rub n’ buff or gold leaf sheets. The process for either would work with a plain and/or ornate frame.
It was a good article written that explains the uses of Edible Gold & Silver Warak.
it is very informative.
Pure Veg & Edible Gold & Silver Leaf are not easily available but i got it from http://www.goldsilverleafing.com/edible-gold-leaf/. The quality was great and price was reasonable.
Can you gold leaf a silver eagle
You can gold leaf almost anything that is a hard surface. The question is how durable it would be.
Help required. Due to skin reactions gold is metal that does not react to my skin.
Having a problem with the wire side arms of spectecals over my ears. Tried medical silicone sleeves and failed as did plastic arms. Would it be possible to build up gold leaf on the wire side arms to a ” thickness ” I guessed I’m talking about a few microns like gold plating. If so is a ” size” needed between each leaf layer or will it just bond layer upon layer. Any help much appreciated.
I honestly do not know. Warning though, most gold leaf is not pure gold. The real stuff is very expensive so make sure you are getting the proper item.
Is there any sort of glue I need before applying 24k gold leaf sheets to stuff? Or can I just sand it back a little with, say 1200 grit paper and rub the gold stuff right on?
Traditional true gold leaf uses special sizing to adhere the leaf. I’d suggest practicing with cheaper fake gold leaf first. Adhering it is an art and takes some practice.
Hi! I would like to fill thin cracks in the basement floor with gold paint in some form. Can gold leaf paint be mixed with something like glue or calk to thicken it? Seems like that may sink as it dries and I would like for it to fill and dry at ground level. What do you suggest? Thank you for helping me.
You can mix gold leaf with lots of things. I have seen tutorials on how to make all kinds of paints/glues. But it ends up looking like gold paint instead of leaf. If I was going to try it I would level the crack and the gold leaf and seal. I have zero idea if that would hold up over time but you could try.
I’m sure you’ve figured out your dilemma but, there’s a company that specializes in metallic paints called Modern Masters…I’m not sure of the durability through foot traffic areas but you could probably seal it and it’d be just fine.
[…] links to outside blogs, please click here for an overview of products, or here to see Gold Leaf sheets applied around a […]
Hello, would you happen to have any recommendations for grouting kitchen backsplash in gold
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!
Have you tried this yet? I’d like gold grout in floor tiles but unsure how to go about it.
I’ve been looking for gold grout for the tiles in my downstairs toilet but I cant find anything that actually looks like gold!! One of these techniques would probably work. Do you think the gold leaf sheets would work better than painting the grout with liquid gold?
I think the painting would be easier but the gold leaf would probably look more authentic. Let me know if you try either technique.
I want to try this sometime. I would like to try it on a glass vase.
And I thought the gold paint was addicting!
I know! So many options!
I love making everything gold, I usually use my trusty gold spray can but I would really love to try gold leaf too. Great round of projects – so much inspiration! :)
If you love the spray paint you will die for the gold leaf. I had always been to chicken to try it, but once I did… Doesn’t even compare!
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!
[…] How to Gold Leaf Anything from Craft Thyme […]
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!
Gold leaf all the things! Thank you for pulling together all these tutorials in one place! I’ve used Rubb-n-Buff before and I love it, but I’d like to try some of these other ideas too. Pinning!
Thanks for dropping by, Part II brings even more gold leaf goodness.
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!
So glad it is helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.
I love the idea of gold leaf on the inside of a lampshade. I’ll bet the glow would be lovely!
It does make the whole living room glow!