DIY and How To’s

How to add Gold Leaf to ANY Furniture


Recently, I found my newest obsession and I’ve been throwing it on EVERYTHING (even adding it to as much of my Abstract Art as possible)

Gold Leaf

 Supplies that you’ll need to tackle a project similar to this one:

Gold Leaf
Medium Sanding Sponge
Paint Brush
Vinyl Paper
Primer (I prefer oil-based)
Paint (latex and whatever sheen you prefer)
Old Rags
Gold Leaf Adhesive
Gold Leaf Sealer

The process of applying gold leaf is actually quite simple, but first I want to show you a little before/after pictures of my project and a few techniques I’ve learned working in a paint store for the past five years (the knowledge comes in handy!)


I CANNOT stress the importance of this step when it comes to ANY paint project. Working in a paint store for years, I’ve preached countless times on this subject. You can put a million dollar coat of paint on a desk, but if you didn’t prep it correctly, it may never stick! Always make sure your surface is CLEAN, DRY, AND DULL.


First things first, clean that sucker down! You know it’s been stuck in storage for ages, so gently wash that beauty off with a degreaser and allow to dry.

Now that your surface is dried and clean from any dirt or grease, it’s time to remove any shine (clear coat) by lightly sanding the entire area with a fine/medium sanding sponge. This will allow your first coat of oil-based primer to have something to grip.


Okay, so now your surface is CLEAN, DRY, and DULL so- it’s time to crack open that quart of oil based primer and slap on a coat of it.

After allowing the primer to dry,  I added two coats of latex paint. For this partiular project, I chose to use low sheen latex paint I happen to grab off my local Sherwin Williams “mistinted” paint pile for a HUGE discount. I even got lucky this time and scored a good color, SW 6586 Heartfelt.

Now to get down to the real reason we’re all here, how to add gold leaf to any furniture

Applying it was much easier than I anticipated and I’m honestly mad at myself for not trying this before! I actually got so caught up in doing this part I forgot to even take pictures during the process.

After pouring yourself some Gold Leaf adhesive into a container large enough so you can dip your brush in, start by applying a thin coat on to the desired area. Let the adhesive sit for 20/30 minutes or until it has turned clear.

Now for the fun part, carefully remove the gold leaf using the tissue paper to lift and place it on the desired sticky area. I found that keeping the tissue paper covering the foil helped to keep it from tearing too much since it’s so thin) Lightly pat the top of the tissue paper to make the gold foil stick. You’ll more than likely end up with a few wrinkles but don’t fret, at this point we’re just aiming to get the gold leaf to adhere.

To avoid getting the gold leaf stuck to your finger, I like to use a piece of paper towel to gently rub across the top of the gold foil to smooth it out.  This should remove any access and leave you with a smooth look.

Now for the final step, sealing the area. After the adhesive has cured it’s time finish up the project. Using a specific gold leaf sealer There are sealers you can brush on, I found spraying it was much easier (and faster!) Ultimately protecting the leaf from being chipped off and leaving you with beautiful results.

Here are photos from before and after:


One coat of primer


Another fun thing I like to do to give my dresser/desk projects a little more personality, is adding some new hardware and DIY draw liners, I made out of vinyl using modge podge. I linked both of these items above where I list supplies that I used.

What do you think about this project? Comment below and let me know!



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I am a wife and a mother just trying not to forget the clothes in the washer, again. When I’m not coordinating colors for clients, I’m out in my garden tending to my succulents or paint abstract art for my Etsy shop • • Want to chat? Shoot me an email at I look forward to hearing from you!

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