Gilding the Lily

Well, it’s not a lily. It’s a picture frame. I’m linking up with Edie at Life in Grace (and many other fabulous bloggers I haven’t gotten to meet yet) for this month’s Ditto DIY challenge, Going for the Gold. The challenge is to gild something or paint it gold. I decided I wanted to try gold leafing (is that a real word?) something, so this was my chance. Here’s what I used:

gildsuppliesFrog Tape, gold leaf, sizing (which is just a fancy name for adhesive), a 3/4″ paintbrush, and a chunky wooden picture frame. I knew this particular frame would be a challenge, but I wanted the juxtaposition of the rustic texture of the wood and the refined elegance of the gold leaf.

First, I taped off the stripes using my beloved Frog Tape (oh, how I love Frog Tape). My trusty helpers made sure the edges were pressed firmly to the rough frame.

gildhelpersThen we applied the sizing medium with the paintbrush. Blondie is a great helper. And cute, too.

gildsizingNote: because of the rough texture and the wood was quite porous, we decided to use two coats. After a bit of drying time it becomes tacky. Next we gently applied the gold leaf. Essentially the thin sheets of “gold” will adhere wherever the sizing medium is applied. It is a bit tricky, but it’s fun!


We went back and applied a bit more sizing and leaf in a few spots that were a little bare. After that I took this baby outside and burnished (another fancy word that just means rubbed) the whole frame to dust off the extra bits. Next I gently removed the tape….et VOILA!

IMG_3813You can really see the texture of the wood. Had the surface been more smooth, the stripes would have been more “perfect,” but perfection is often overrated, don’t you think?

IMG_3822And there you have it. A fun project that adds a bit of sparkle to everyday stuff. What would you choose to liven up with a little gold leaf?


17 thoughts on “Gilding the Lily

  1. This is beautiful! If only I had your skills with the golden stripes! 🙂 I love the texture! Thanks for linking up to Ditto DIY today!

  2. Love! I always love a high-low look. The thing I want to gild is the inside of a glass-fronted cabinet. That is a project that’s been on the list for years, but I still love the idea!

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