French Furniture Restoration ~Gold Leafing Tips

goldleaf 100x100 Easy Gold LeafingGold Leafing is one of the most beautiful and realistic finishes to real gold. Metallic Spray paint doesn’t compare to the luster that gold leaf can give to a piece of furniture, picture frame or chair. When I started out gold leafing, I found it quite frustrating, time consuming and costly that I didn’t enjoy it much. After only a couple projects I threw it aside and went back to spray painting again. I picked it up again after several months, and tried a new product, and it was so much easier, that if I need a leafing project done, it is usually done quickly.

Here is the product difference.—–> Mona Lisa Leaf has a brand called “Simple Leaf”  where the sheets are the same micro-thin sheets that you would get in other brands except the leaf sheets are bonded to wax paper.   I find that once my item is sprayed, and and the glue has set and is ready to bond, that I use a paint brush on the wax side of the leaf.  It is a forceful way of getting  the leaf into the hard to get ornate details of my chair or picture frame.

Gold Leaf 10 Easy Gold LeafingSimple Leaf Leafing Sheets 5.5”x5.5”-Gold Easy Gold Leafing

 In the past, I would waste a lot of gold leaf.  It seemed as though I was always trying to collect the fly-away scraps of leaf.  I did this because it was pretty costly in the stores.  At Michaels I would pay close to $15 dollars for 25 sheets, until I looked online.

Here is where I buy my supplies….

– Mona Lisa Adhesive Spray.  Buy it at Michaels and save yourself the shipping or buy it online from Art Supply Superstore here Easy Gold Leafing

– Gold Leaf Sheets By 500!  Forget buying gold leaf at your local craft stores, when you can buy it from Picasso Frame for $30 dollars- here Easy Gold Leafing

My quick tips for gold leafing:

– Start with a coat of Rust-oleum Bright Reflective gold, silver, or copper spray paint. I use it as an undercoat to all my  leafing.  Spray the Mona Lisa Adhesive, and let it set for a couple minutes, until it is slightly dry, yet tacky, and apply your leaf.  Over time, you will see that timing is everything with leafing, as I have come to realize myself.  Wear a mask while you are working.

Other ideas…….

I also have been impressed with the Krylon Gold Leafing Pen.  The paint is very realistic to gold, and holds a nice shine.  I have tried so many gold paints, and it seems to be rather nice to work with.

Another brand I am wanting to try is Rust Oleum’s Automotive Gold Spray Paint.  It looks interesting.  I wonder if the finish is  formulated to be stronger?

I haven’t tried the Krylon Short Cuts Aerosol Paint 3 Ounces -Gold Leaf , but it looks promising.

Dupli-Color Instant Gold Spray Lacquer, is another brand I have not tried either, but looks interesting.

I have tried the Mona LISA Adhesive Pen, and I would NOT suggest it.  I find that the spray has always worked quite nicely.  I have not tried the brush on glue, but I hear it works nicely, although I haven’t tried it

Gold Urn1 Easy Gold Leafing

One finish that perplexed me for the longest time is how to achieve an antique finish like the Urn pictured above, until I started experimenting with oil finishes.

To achieve this look, I often take a brush and dip it in black oil paint, and then wipe off the entire brush well, leaving  no paint on the brush. Then, as you brushing it over the gold, it will leave lines like the urn in the picture. You can use a dark red oil paint, as well as brown oil paint for a antique look following the same technique. It is just another way of adding depth to your French styled furniture.

Mademoiselle Cezannes French Slipper Chair2 500x500 Easy Gold Leafing

If you are looking for a unique french styled ornate accent chair for your living room or bedroom, do consider Mademoiselle Cezanne’s French Styled Slipper Chair. This scaled french slipper dressing chair is elegantly upholstered. This 18th-century French antique replica is crafted from intricately hand-carved wood finished in faux gold leaf. The measurements of this lovely chair are 24″”Wx20″”Dx27″”H. 21 lbs.”

Antique Replica Hand-Carved Solid Hardwood Gold Leaf French Chair Easy Gold Leafing

Sale!! Mademoiselle Cezanne’s French Slipper Chair

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