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Monday, July 30, 2012

Don't Try This At Home

Remember how I said that I am a little superstitious about photographing a project?  That if I want a project to turn out, I don't take pictures for the blog because that ensures it will be great?  Well, I should have listened to my own advice.

After reading about Jenny's success doing a gold leaf project, I decided I wanted to try one, too.  I bought this tole wheat table base a while back.  It is a fabulous piece and just needs a glass on top to make it a gorgeous Hollywood Regency coffee table.

The gold paint finish had long faded over time, so I thought it would be a great gold leaf project to start on.

I went to Michael's and bought a gold leaf kit.  Or what I thought was a gold leaf kit.

After bringing it home, I realized that it was just the sheets of gold leaf and that they would also require adhesive and sealant.  So back to Michael's I went.

At this point, I had invested over $30 in gold leaf supplies in addition to the cost of the table, which was not insignificant since I bought it "retail."

I decided to start on this sad little leg. 

I applied adhesive.  The directions aren't very clear, but they state that it takes 20-40 minutes for the adhesive to become tacky.  I assumed that meant to wait 20 minutes before applying the gold leaf so that it would adhere properly.

Here is where I must say that Jenny was smart to start with a flat surface (picture frame).  Gold leaf comes in sheets and is thinner than you can imagine.  It is so much thinner than tissue paper.  So trying to wrap it around a very ornate table base is no small feat.  And definitely not for gold leaf beginners like me. 

After about 30 minutes of messing with it and a few choice words (my children were napping), my fingers looked like this:

And my table looked like this.  And I had already used half of the sheets of gold leaf.

That meant it would take at least another $50 worth of gold leaf to finish the table. 

Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and throw in the towel, so that is what I did.  I gave up.  It pains me to do that, but I can't invest any further in a project that isn't going to work out.

Not wanting to be a total pessimist, I'm planning to scrape off the gold leaf and just paint it with gold leaf paint and a paintbrush.  That is what it was originally painted with back in the 1960's.  But I will save that for another day when I have more patience.

Have you had to give up on a project before because you knew it was going to cost you more than it was worth?


My Crafty Home Life said...

This was so ambitious of you to try. Gold leaf is much easier on a flat surface. I hope you are happy you tried? I look forward to seeing the painted version.

Vickie H. said...

So sorry, but you DID try! And you were wise to cut your losses. That gold leaf paint will work beautifully and be much easier than the gold leafing you attempted. I am afraid that would be one of those "never again" lessons learned for me!

Melissa said...

I was in line at the Salvation Army the other day behind a guy buying an old set of dining chairs I had started scraping, painting and reupholstering-- before just plain giving up and donating them...

Kathleen said...

If you want to give it another try, use a soft bristle brush to help guide the gold leave onto the surface, pushing it onto the surface and nooks and crannies. Then when you are done with an area, go back over it with brush and brush off the extra bits of gold leaf for a smooth application. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Gold leafing is really fun if you stick with it. Michael's has adhesive that gets tacky faster than 20-30 minutes. I worked with it briefly and in order for it not to get all over your hands, it's best to pick up the sheet of gold leaf with a paint brush or tweezers then using a dry brush, paint it on- maybe you did this? Anyway, I think a rounded surface adds an extra challenge so the paint is probably the way to go.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Oh, so sorry for your trouble. I saw a gold leaf gone wrong coffee table at a thrift store a while ago and that's all I needed to see. The gold leaf paint should work beautifully - and in the end all of your trouble will be worth it - that table is divine!

Anonymous said...

You may want to consider rub n buff. I've used the gold leaf paint pens (on frames) but think the rub n buff is easier to useand comes in so many variations of gold. Good luck!

Emily said...

I also tried to do gold leaf on a pair of vintage Italian wheat sconces and it was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I ended up using Rub n Buff with a cheap hardware store paint brush and I got much better results and coverage than with the sheets of gold leaf. You might also want to try the liquid gold leaf and paint it on. Good luck!

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna Benedetto said...

Take a look at my I have a fool proof method for is so easy. Always spray what ever you are leafing either silver or gold...depending on what color leaf you are using. This way if there are misses..from the leaf they are less noticeable..once you antique the leaf you will never see the misses. Don't be discouraged...this would be gorgeous leafed...your up for the won't be sorry.

Jess @ said...

If I were you at this point I'd just spray paint the whole thing. LOL! Good effort though, sorry it didn't work out!

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