Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Antique Gold Leaf Metal

Gold leaf can make an object look rich.

Antiquing an object that is plated with gold leaf is an affordable way to duplicate the beauty of genuine, Old World gold, and it is an easy process that produces great results. Using gold leaf can make your picture frames and other household items look beautiful and rich, while adding a final distressing glaze can make it look antique.


1. Clean the surface of the item you plan to plate. Carefully remove dirt and grime. Use a moist cotton swab to get to protected areas such as crevices on a picture frame.

2. Prepare the surface for plating. Typically gold leaf is applied on top of a base color, called a red ground. Apply this red ground using a paint brush. Gold plate kits will have this red ground, which is specifically formulated to support the adherence of the gold leaf.

3. Apply an adhesive. A gold leaf kit will have an adhesive that allows the gold leaf to adhere to the surface. Apply this over the red ground base using a brush.

4. Apply the gold leaf. Carefully lay the gold leaf onto the prepared surface, using gloves or tweezers to prevent the gold from sticking to your fingers. Once the gold sets, use a cloth to rub out any bumps or imperfections.

5. Apply glazes for an antique look. Use a crackle or distressing glaze to mimic old varnish that has cracked over time. To apply a crackle finish, paint one coat lightly in one direction only. Take care to not go over the same area twice with your paint brush and then let dry. For thin cracks (for a smaller object), use a thin coat of crackle varnish. Use a thicker coat to create large cracks on a bigger object, like a picture frame.

6. Spray the piece with finishing spray. Spray the item with a matte, satin or glossy finish to protect it. Make sure you spray the item with a uniform glossiness.

Tags: gold leaf, Apply this, distressing glaze, gold leaf, item with