– How to Silver leaf furniture.


Simply, I love silver leaf furniture. Perhaps one of the reasons I chose my blog’s name was my admiration for my silver leaf project. After I finished it, the dresser looked so expensive that I thought man I do have champagne taste 🙂

 Silver leafing is easy but you should have a little bit of patience and a vacuum cleaner 🙂 yes yes you heard me a vacuum cleaner because  it will get messy, like really messy,and don’t try to apply it outdoor ( like some blogs suggested) because it is so delicate that your own breath can make a big mess so what about the wind, so I found the best place to apply it is in my workshop garage.

 
So here’s how I did it:
 

1- I applied the oil base size with my dollar store cheap brush, waited for about 45 minutes until the size will get tacky, The proper tack is when the size does not stick to the knuckle and you hear a slight “tick” when the knuckle is pulled away. ( you will know what I’m talking about when you try it).

2-Then you apply the silver leaf by holding it with the wax paper ( the silver leafs come in between of 2 sheets of wax paper so use those papers to hold the silver leaf) so don’t use your own hands because the silver leaf will stick to your hands and not to the desk.

  3- Place the next sheet slightly on top of the previous one, when you overlap the sheets you will get fewer gaps and cracks in between when you burnish them at the end.


4- When you finish applying all the sheets to the desk, use a soft brush to burnish all the silver leaf, and make sure to be gentle on the seams or you will get lots of cracks.



5- Seal it, some blogs says you do not need to seal it but based on my mom experience the color will change after a while if you don’t seal it ( she lives on the beach so it might be weather thing I’m not sure) but I didn’t want to risk it so I sealed it with a transparent sealer ( some sealers has a yellow or red color).

P.S: When you seal it, the checkboard pattern will disappear. 



6-Thanks to centsational girl I knew this tip, you can fill in the cracks with Rub’Buff silver color it works like magic but of course, this should happen before you apply the sealer.


7- Don’t ever think you will get a perfectly smooth surface, no matter how hard you try you will have a textured surface or a few cracks so you better like the mirrored antique style.The perfect silver leaf style is not to be perfect 😉

 
Before:

 

After:

 



 
 

                    



                                                

 
 

                                                    
                                               I’ll tell you a secret, this was my first silver leaf project ever and it wasn’t that easy. I applied 3 times the silver leaf over that dresser.The first time, I didn’t like the way it turned out to be it was like a chessboard. The second time, I applied another layer of silver leaf over the first one so I can break that chessboard pattern but it was a very bad idea, it was all wrinkly so I used my sander and removed both layers. Third and it was the final one and it turned out prettay ( or I gave up and I convinced my self it is pretty lol)

 
 

 

 
 

For the small details and curves of the drawers for some reason silver leaf didn’t stick so I applied Rub N Buff, like Kate from Centsationalgirl did  

 

Hope you like my dresser cause I’m in love with it 🙂

 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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164 thoughts on “– How to Silver leaf furniture.

  1. I LOVE THIS! I can't believe how pretty this turned out. I've always seen disaster pieces when people tried to use foil! This looks fantastic. I re-did my master bedroom in silver, gold and purple. I painted both of my dressers metallic silver and then brought down the shiny-ness a bit with some black paint. Here's a look at my room, if you get bored!
    http://www.potholesandpantyhose.com/2011/10/the-master-bedroom-remodel/

    PS-Found you through Trendy Treehouse. Have a great Wednesday!

  2. Really pretty! You certainly have a lot of patience to do it three times. I have done leafing on frames, but have never tackled a large piece of furniture. I think I am inspired!

  3. Stunning! reminds me of old hollywood! did you buy small pkgs of silver leaf – or can you buy it in bulk? I have an odd little table that is screaming for something glitzy!

  4. Stunning!! I just bought this exact dresser at the goodwill the other day, maybe I should do a silver leaf treatment….because I just love what you did here!

  5. This is absolutely amazing. It looks like it stepped off the pages of "Veranda" magazine! Great work. Visiting from MMS.

    PS I host a linky party every Friday-Sunday. I would love it if you stopped by to link up. Thanks!

  6. It's so shiny!!!! I love it! I took a swing at using silver leaf once and did not like how things were going, but your dresser is making me rethink using silver leaf in the future!

    Nikki @ the ambitious procrastinator

  7. This is just gorgeous! I love it, especially with the wall color and the purple runner! I will be pinning this as inspiration for our basement reno:) Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  8. WOW, this dresser is just simply too beautiful for words. I love the rich shine of the silver leaf. I have never used silver leaf but I understand how you might get that effect. How did you solve that problem on your third attempt?
    Thanks so much for sharing this piece it is devine.
    Traci

  9. I know first hand silver leaf and gold leaf is not easy to work with. Good for you for sticking with it! Love, love it, and no you didn't convince yourself it was pretty, it is!

  10. wow absolutely ammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing i luff luff luff it and now i want one ha ha i guess ill be on the lookout for a dresser like this great great job

  11. Yep, this is pure awesomeness. I can't believe it. It's absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing with my peeps! It's beautiful! I've seen everyone bragging on you everywhere! Great job!
    Melody
    ChattyChics.com

  12. This is such and amazing piece! I've seen you popping up everywhere. Job well done …

    … would you like to share at our multi-blog "Imagine the Impossibilities" link party? I think everyone would really enjoy it as much as I …

    Here's the link: http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/2012/01/imagine-impossibilities-2012-link-party.html

    We stay live until Friday midnight (CST). Hope to see you at the party!

    Linda
    itallstartedwithpaint@gmail.com

  13. Visiting from Furniture Feature Friday. (My post is next to yours!) I love this piece. I am always painting things silver…lamps, picture frames etc. I have yet to try furniture but have wanted to. Hmmm. When I find the right piece I am going to make the leap. I am thinking maybe bedside tables in my master! I am bookmarking this post.

  14. Wow….what a bold and beautiful transformation! This would look awesome in a dining room too. I'd love to know how you got the third layer to not look like patchwork. Is there a trick to that?

  15. That turned out beautiful! I was checking paint samples in Lowe's yesterday to paint a nightstand I am making and saw they had metallic paints in some beautiful colors, but wondered about how it would look on furniture,this gives me a good idea! You did a great job!

  16. I saw that you didn't glaze it, is it hard to clean? Or does the silver rub off when trying to dust or wipe it down? I'm thinking of doing something similar in my daughters room…. Thanks!

  17. Totally awesome as well as original – nice work! Thank you for linking up to my Creative Inspirations party – I am so glad you came by! I would love for you to come back this week to link up again!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  18. Beautiful job…one of the prettiest pieces of furniture I've seen! I have a linky party starting tomorrow (midnight tonight) and running through Friday…I'd love to have you share this there! 🙂

  19. Love at first sight. I would love that in my living room. Can you post what specific paint did you use. Did you use varnish to make it shiny. I thought in the beginning that its kinda brownish, but its the reflection of the floor that changed the color. So so amazing transformation.

  20. Really cool. I will be featuring this tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

  21. This is absolutely stunning! I don't think I've seen anything like it – looks like it would cost $5,000 in a store! Do you think it will chip off?

    I would love if you would post it and share it with my readers! Join the Community and share any of your creative project!

    Susan @ Oh My! Creative

  22. I found the same style (french provincial) high boy chest and nightstand off of craigslist some time back that I bought for my daughter's room. I've been trying to decide on what I want to do with it (painting) because I don't like the stain that's on it currently. I stumbled across this project of yours and it looks absolutely stunning. I'm just not sure if I'll have the time to accomplish something like this…especially being 5 and a half months pregnant. Was this terribly expensive to complete?… Seems like it would need quite a bit of silver leaf to cover it.

  23. Questions: How many silver leaf sheets did your dresser take? (in a single coating since I know it took multiple tries). What type/brand of adhesive did you use? What did you apply to protect the surface after you were finished? What types of sponges or brushes did you use? Did you use authentic silver leaf or aluminum/imitation silver leaf?

    Thanks a lot, I love your blog!!!

  24. What do you suggest I use to seal a chair….Varathane Polyurethane or miniwax polycrylic? I am looking for a nice smooth finish

  25. LOVE what you've done..so beautiful. I just reading up on different leaf products and one manufacturer said "The same applies for 'Dutch Gold', or 'Composition Leaf'. But due to the large brass content, this imitation gold must have a sealer applied to prevent tarnishing, unlike genuine gold leaf" Made me wonder if that is why your Mother's started to change color like you'd mentioned?

  26. wow… awesome idea and it looks fantastic!
    I have an old dresser with lovely lines but couldn't decide what to do with it… well now I know.
    Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  27. It is looking so beautiful, I also love silver leaf furniture. Thanks for sharing about silver leafing, and its process of applying. Keep sharing this type of articles with us.

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