DIY: Gold Leafing

To say that this DIY gave me a bit of a hard time would be the understatement of the month. It all began with this big white shade.

I got it from the Pottery Barn/West Elm Outlet for $22 several months ago and have always felt like it needed a little makeover. Well, thanks to my #smallThanksgivings initiative and newly painted drapes, it was high time to give this thing a face lift.

I just used the same paint and textile medium mixture that I used on the drapes and gave the shade two coats. Once it was dry, I knew I had to tackle the shade's interior.

I purchased two packages of gold leafing from Hobby Lobby, but didn't bother with the special adhesive. Maybe that was my first mistake. Maybe not. You're supposed to spread the adhesive over a large area so that you can lay several sheets in one pass. I'll admit that I probably didn't lay them properly (I think they're supposed to overlap), but I believe that the Mod Podge that I used dried a little faster than I could move with the gold sheets. This created lots and lots of holes and gaps. Not to mention that gold leaf melts when you touch it with bare hands, disintegrates when disturbed with a brush and has a tendency to stick to itself.

I started the gold leafing Wednesday night and went at it for about 4 hours. What you see above is what I had done in that time. I went to bed with the worst back ache ever.

The next morning, I started filling in all of the gaps. I did it for as long as I could stand (literally), and once I used the last gold leafing sheet, I called it quits. There are a few minor holes and gaps left, but they don't really bother me at all. So, in spite of the pain in the @$$ that this project was, I'm  pretty happy with the results.

My back still hurts but the gold glowiness of my new shade kinda helps with the pain.


  1. You are blessed to have this gift! I enjoy your projects! Be Encouraged!

  2. The gold leafing inside looks so amazing!! I love that its imperfectly pretty, like it was meant to be that way!

  3. Did you use real gold leaf or a cheaper one? Thinking trying this wondering if the imitation leaf still looks good.