Gold Leafing

I’ve been wanting a little change in the dishes hanging above the window in our breakfast area…but what to do?

After not kicking me off the internet for using their duct Tape instead of paint to make a diamond wall, ScotchBlue Brand asked me if I could come up with a project for their painters tape.  I don’t know how well you know me but I’ll go ahead and tell you, I LOVE challenges like this.  It was the perfect limitation I needed for creating something fresh for my boring-to-me dish hanging collection over our window. I’m too cheap to buy NEW dishes but, if I can create something else out  of what I have? Perfect.

I decided to try gold leaf. Here’s the kit I bought, it was about $10 from Hobby Lobby, I only used the gold leaf sheets and the adhesive from the kit. I also got a little sponge brush thing, and of course the ScotchBlue Tape and a few random white dishes.

The process is SO easy. The worst part is waiting for the adhesive to get tacky. They say to wait 40 minutes but I only waited about ten, that’s as long as I could stand it.

So you just tape off however you like.  I wanted a faceted/geometric look so I just played around.  I got a ruler out but didn’t actually use it, I feel sorry for my poor rulers and tape measures, they rarely get used.  Once you tape, use the brush to paint the adhesive inside the tape lines.

WAIT AT LEAST TEN MINUTES. If you don’t wait at least ten minutes it won’t be sticky enough. And then the glue won’t grab the gold. And then your leaf will rip. And then you will have to curse the person who came up with gold leaf and the fact that is one atom thick. And then you will have to fill in all those tiny cracks with one atom thick gold leaf particles that you try to catch as they taunt you as they float in front of you in the air.  And then you will find that it’s actually kind of fun too.


…then you do it right and you are on a roll and you are the master of the golden leaf!

Here’s a close up of the wrinkles.  Just press ’em down and you are good.  I like my leaf to look really wrinkly, I hope that’s okay with the official gold leaf people, I didn’t really check to make sure I was doing it correctly and I don’t want a riot on my blog, PLEASE tell me wrinkly leaf is normal, I have no time in my life to try to get perfectly flat gold leaf especially when the wrinkles looks so good–very Anthropologized.

Once your leaf sticks on, you take a fresh brush and kind of press down and rub it around so the excess particles come off.

Then just pull off your tape.  It worked perfectly!  And if you like, you can add more tape and more leaf. Leaves?

I used up five of the six sheets on these dishes and I used the last one a bowl.  If I would have had more sheets I would have kept going because people, gold leafing is REALLY fun and relaxing.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s a close up of the first one I did where I had no idea what I was doing and it still looks fine.  Plus, if you are hanging them it’s more about the impact they have as a whole than what they look like from one inch away.

I really like how they updated the collection and took it from country to modern.

To hang the butter dish I just hot glued two upholstery tacks to the back and then pushed it into the wall.

Here’s my big plate wall & some other ways to hang dishes.

The gold leaf kit I bought came with a sealer but I didn’t even use it.  I figure I have a million white dishes and choosing not to eat off these three (a butter dish whose lid I broke, a dollar store plate and a $6 tray) wouldn’t make or break my family having something to eat off of.  But if you wanted to use them for actual things, you’d need to look into sealing them, most likely with that sealer that came in the little kit.


Find more creative ideas using ScotchBlue Tape at these sites

Special thanks to ScotchBlue Tape for sponsoring this post and not being one of those companies that contacts bloggers telling them they want to write a boring post for them.  It’s so refreshing to actually be challenged to use a product creatively!

Have you ever gold leafed before?

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  1. It looks much easier than I thought. I’m about to gold leaf a bust that I sculpted back in college, mainly because the nose broke off and I need to repair it and need some way to disguise the repair. But also because I love gold leaf, and Darlene of Fieldstone Hill is helping me with the room and thought gold leafing the bust would be good. I have a gold leaf paint but might pick up that kit you used and experiment to see which I like best first. Thanks for the great post!

  2. Ah-mazing. I love when someone does something out of the box. Well, my ‘box’. Sure, I’ve gold leafed but with painter’s tape? Aack, would be my first thought. Possibly yours too the first go around?

    I love just the touch, the hint, of both contemporary & old world combined. Lovely.

  3. You just changed my life – the hot glued upholstery tacks. Yes.

    Love the plates. They’re like for royalty now, all gold like that.

  4. So pretty! I’d love to gold leaf a frame or mirror…or a lamp!

  5. Laura Miller says

    I’ve always wanted to try gold leafing. I’m going to give it a shot. Also, thanks for the upholstery tack tip. Those are on my Walmart list!

  6. Your hot-glued tack idea is a big hit! Your plate arrangement looks great, the way you’ve sort of overlapped everything.. Bravo!

  7. I love how the plate arrangement looks and the gold leaf plates are awesome! Very inspiring. :)

  8. So to answer your question, yes I have done a bit of gold leafing. I did about 2dozen wooden pairs, available at craft stores with regular gold, copper and marbleized leaf. First I painted the pairs brown, blue & red (the colors in the marbleized leaf) then applied the leaf to cover most, but not all so that the base colors peak through. I keep them in a huge dish on a coffee table & always get asked about them. I varnished them because they are handled a lot. did a whole ballroom chair picked up at thrift. The base coat was deep red and shows through where the chair has been scuffed over the years. I did not varnish that. Also, large shells with silver leaf in patches is very appealing.

    • oh WOW, ok, so you paint underneath so when/if it rubs off you can see it? I had no idea why they included red paint in that kit.

      Also, silver leaf sea shells? I think I’m gonna have to go buy some silver leaf now!

      • Yes, I paint a base coat. Really old oil paintingS often have a bit of red showing through the gold frames. That where I got the idea. If you do shells and keep them near the tub like I do, after a few years the silver leaf dulls & you can just brighten it with a little varnish. Also, have leafed vintage light fixtures, the kind that mount directly to the ceiling & have crystal beading. The inside of the part that mounts to ceiling is usually chrome that has gotten rusty over the years & no longer reflects light well. So I leaf that part for both the look & the light. Really love your blog. God has given you many gifts & your warm heart shines through in every thing you do. Was going to email all these comments to you but read how cluttered your inbox is & even your wording on THAT is sweet.

        • Great tips! I’m glad they are in the comments so everyone can read them!! Xo

        • Thanks for the tip! I have a couple of chrome ice cream chairs from my grandparents that have some rust patches. I didn’t really want to spray paint them and I didn’t want to spend the money to have them rechromed. I think I’ll try the silver leaf on those.

  9. Well, I’m pretty sure this is the best idea I’ve seen so far today. Love!

  10. Gorgeous. Definitely pinning this one. Gold leafing is something I’ve never tried before. Love your ideas!

  11. This is such a cool idea. I have a bunch of different leafs that I’ve been looking for something to use it on. I’ll have to get it out.

  12. This looks awesome! Great project! Is this product easy to work with? I’ve seen it at Michaels but yet to try.

  13. I love the golden and modern touch. ;)

    And I am inspired by how much you get done! I was thinking of trying the 31 Days project, but don’t know if I can keep up. I know not every post has to be a project, so that encourages me to just try it.

    • yes, in some ways it’s easier because you are posting so much that each post is it’s own small thought. normally NONE of mine are projects which is great, you can just have a link to a video or even a quote at times!

  14. This is so timely and inspiring! I have old glass door cabinet on castor wheels that I’m thinking of gold leafing the inside of. I’ve been putting it off and toying with the idea in my head, but now you have motivated me to go ahead and do it! Thanks and thanks for the tips above too (from Suzi). I think i can see what my weekend might entail now!

  15. I love the gold leafing. I’d love to silver leaf a frame or mirror…or lamp!

  16. I love this! It looks so easy to do. Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  17. Nester, I love them! Such a great idea. My mind is swirling with all the ideas and I agree that it updated your existing collection. You just know how to go that extra mile to make things look good!

  18. I have never done it but I laughed when you said it is like an atom thick!! Great idea!

  19. This is a very cute idea. I’ve used gold-leaf before on little “fan boxes” I was making for conventions back when I sold art at conventions. I never thought about using it on decorative dishes. I love your creative design. I would absolutely try this!

  20. Ooh. Looks like fun. Might need to make-up an excuse to gold leaf something. Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. I collected some really ginormous acorns today to display in a bowl.. Maybe I will try “leaf-ing” them to give an interesting look. I also thrifted a gaudy covered dish in the shape of a walnut. The handle on the dish cover is a squirrel. Maybe it needs leafing to make it – IDK – something. Better to look at, I guess….

  22. Believe it or not, I actually first tried gold leafing around 5th or 6th grade on a hug piece of furniture my dad had been hired to build. When dad was running out of time – he recruited mom and I to help. I did such a good job he actually made me re-do all of moms;)

    I haven’t done any since but now I want to. Thanks for bringing up fond memories and inspiring me:)

  23. FAB idea gold leafing dishes! LOVE it! How did you hang the olive dish?

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