Gold is making a come back. Metals are in. So when the Dwell with Dignity Folks asked for the help of the Atlanta Bloggers Group to create the decor for an upcoming makeover for a deserving family, we were happy to help! Erin Spain is the leader for this project. Her blog is http://diyonthecheap.com/. She has done so much of the hands on work, coordinating the blogger group and conveying the designer’s ideas, along with delegating decor assignments. I was asked to gild the mirror that another blogger had donated. Erin and some others painted it, and all I had to do was gild up the corners, according to the designer’s wishes!
The process is really so easy.
Gold Leaf Packet (Imitation, unless you have mega bucks!)
Soft Brush and Soft Cloth to Burnish (but not scratch) the Golf Leaf.
Gold Leaf Size (Adhesive)
Brush to Apply Size
Painter’s Tape (to tape off areas you do not want to size or gold leaf.)
Cotton Gloves (so oils from your fingers don’t transfer to the leaf.)
I got the Gilding sheets at Michael’s, using my 50% off one item coupon. I also got the Martha Stewart gloves there. They do have the gilding size there but I used some I already had. Ditto for the painter’s tape and brushes.
Even though you can’t see it, I applied the (sort of invisible) size to just the rosettes in the corners of the mirror. Read the directions on the bottle, but basically you must allow the size to “tack up” for about 10 minutes to a half an hour. You can test it with a knuckle. It should be dry but very tacky (sticky.) I also taped the edges of the rosettes so that no size got onto the parts I did not want to leaf. You can also see I am just about to lay that leaf onto the sized rosette. You only have one shot to place it! Of course, you can then take pieces to fill in any cracks, if you so desire. It is not an exact science. If you want a color to show through cracks in the leaf that is other than the base color, you would paint it before the size step. If this had been mine, I might have done a base coat of black. It is a personal choice. One note of caution; the piece must be sealed before gold leafing. In other words, you must seal such porous items as bare wood, for example. In this case, the piece was sealed with paint.
Keep the tape on while working. As you can see, it is needed! This is a floor length mirror. As I worked on each end, I pulled it off the edge of my work table so that I could better get to the edges.
Let the leaf sit about ten minutes or so, before doing any additional aggressive burnishing. I used my cotton-gloved finger to further burnish, along with the soft bristle brush. As you can see, I have removed the tape at this point.
At this point you can wait about 24 hours (at least) before adding the recommended top seal to the leaf. This protects the leaf and insures against tarnishing in the future. You can also use an antiquing medium and then seal, too, if you want more of a distressed look. Any clear sealer will do. You can choose satin or gloss, depending on the look you want.
I know! WHERE is the Beauty Shot of the ENTIRE MIRROR!? I promise I took it. It was really pretty. Um. I just tried using a batch edit program and I obviously need to know more about what I am doing! When I thought I was so cool watermarking and cropping several pics at a time, I did NOT realize that this very nice program (Photoscape) did NOT save my originals, but only saved the cropped and watermarked photos!
DANG it all to …
Lesson learned. BUT, the mirror is already on site, ready for installation. Maybe someone will be nice enough to take a pic of the very updated, gilded mirror and send it to me!
Guess what?! I found the full length shot! I put my thinking cap on and remembered that when I got my pics from my camera, it also added them automatically to my Google account! (No, they were no longer on my memory card for my camera. I had already deleted them from the card.) They were not even in my Dropbox folder. Huh? I have to go check my settings for Dropbox. Sheesh. Anyhoo, Google had them, including my beauty shot! It’s not that much of a beauty shot, but here it is…
And, here is the same photo all purtied up using www.PicMonkey.com. I LOVE Pic Monkey! It is just plain FUN.