With posts only three times a week this summer, you probably think that we are lounging around the pool perfecting our golden tans and reading trashy novels. As fabulous as that sounds, summer at The Gracious Posse means projects. We’ve been collecting thrift store, yard and estate sale finds to freshen our homes or contribute to our oldest girls’ new apartments. Having been inspired by images and blogs all over the web, we have set out to prove that these old gals can learn new tricks. Along the way maybe we will inspire you to finally get to that makeover you’ve been dying to try.
To (Gold) Leaf
As soon as a I spotted this chrome table
at a local estate sale and scored it for $25, I knew that it was dying to be gold. Gold spray paint would have been an easy option. I even had a can of recommended Design Master Brilliant Gold spray paint that we had used on the clothes pins that held the baby clothes for our Royal Baby Shower decorations.
To really take this table up a notch and make it living room-worthy, the time had come to try gold leaf. Ellen, too, had gold leaf plans for a hall mirror that she has been eager to spiff up, so with coupons in hand, Ellen and I hit the local A.C. Moore stores to acquire
Because my table only had some simple bamboo detailing, I thought, “how hard can this gold leafing be?” I decided to start with the adhesive spray that I had added to my A.C. Moore basket because the waiting time for the spray is only 5 minutes, while the liquid adhesive requires 20 minutes to get to the right state of tackiness. I assumed that this simple looking table would be a one day project. If one day means 24 hours, maybe my assumption was accurate, but it definitely was not what I expected.
After one session, I realized that the spray adhesive route was not a good idea. The coverage is not even and led to peeling paper, as well as getting everything nearby sticky. Once I started to apply the liquid adhesive with a sponge brush, the coverage was much more complete. The adhesive is very tacky. You can even leave it and come back two days later to apply the leaf to spots that you missed.
After you lay the leaf onto a tacky section of your project, gently rub it on. Any part of the leaf that is not attached to adhesive will fall away. The gloves proved helpful in smoothing away the leaf that was not attached.
When my frustration with missed spots rose, I looked on-line to see what others had to say. There I found a recommendation to first apply a coat of red paint. The red will show through the inevitable spots that get missed and give an authentic look. Wishing that I had known this trick before starting, I doggedly, if not intermittently over the course of a few weeks, added bits of gold leaf to spots that I kept finding with my reading glasses.
When the table was finally as covered as it was going to get, I applied the sealer with another sponge brush. It looks like glue, takes down the shine a bit for a more authentic old-world look, and hides the tiny missed spots unless you have a magnifying glass. What do you think?
or Not to Leaf
While we were gathering materials, I grabbed some gold rub just in case the leafing didn’t work out. After finishing the leafing on my table, I applied a bit of gold rub to the edges of its glass inserts. While only barely noticeable, this extra bit of gold adds a layer of oomph that the original green glass edge couldn’t.
After reading the gold-leaf directions, Ellen thought the rub might be just what her mirror needed to add highlights to her highly detailed frame that might not take to gold-leaf quite as well.
Her decision not to leaf was spot-on. The rub was so easy and within less than 2 hours time,
Ellen had a refreshed mirror that makes her happy every time she gazes into it.
With gold leaf, rub and spray paint, you’ve got three different ways to add a golden touch to your finds. Send us your favorite golden transformation. We’d love to share it with the posse.
July 19, 2013