So there’s this eyesore in my home….and I was truly going to just remove it completely and hang a picture in its place but then I stopped and thought that this would be a great opportunity for breathing some new life into a fixture. Upon taking this picture and reviewing in on my computer I’m quite embarrassed at how dusty it is. But it was a high shelf and as I am quite challenged in the height department I won’t beat myself up about it.
The great thing about this project was that since I had originally intended to just trash it, if anything went wrong it was no big deal. As you can see this is a simple Ikea Lack Shelf and once upon a time I was quite enamored with it, but now the lime green has become an eyesore and I’m ready for a change. I briefly considered finding some wallpaper to cover it in but decided against it as I am so indecisive I was surely never going to find a pattern/color/texture I could commit to. So I went for an adventure to my local craft supply store to see what I could come up with.
I settled on covering it in metal leaf and I wanted to go the silver leaf route as I thought the gold leaf would eventually wear on me as much as the lime green had. I mean how hard could “leafing” be? You slap on some glue, you slap on a sheet of metal. Easy-peesy. Wrong. Here were the tools I started with.
So I began my venture on a rather large piece of cardboard in the living room
because there’s more space so I could watch my new show “Switched at Birth”. I began by examining my shelf (after dusting it of course), only to be thwarted by my arch enemy…Clide the pug! He was in the mood to play and I really didn’t feel like having him “play” with my silver leaf.
So with a small sigh I relocated to the kitchen table and set up shop once again. It was probably for the best because silver leaf gets everywhere. And I literally mean everywhere! All over my hands, and it has stayed on my hands despite washing my hands obsessively six times in a row. I began by trying to just add a little glue then add the silver leaf, repeat. But I came to notice that pieces were sticking to my hands instead of the shelf and sometimes I’d leave a little hole. My other problem was that when I tried to slowly brush the leaves down with the foam brushes the began to tear and stick to the brushes. So I figured I would treat it as a paint job-something that needed two coats. I covered it best I could in the evening, and let it dry over night. Here’s my slow progress shot.
Obviously there’s still some green showing through, so the next morning I took my foam brush to it and light brushed off the loose pieces and began patching up the holes with a second coat of silver leaf. It’s much more textured than I thought it would be due to the extra coats of leafing but it looks pretty cool. After I was done with the second coat I sprayed it with a sealant. Notice all the leftover silver leaf debris all around it, I had to brush the extra off.
And now it’s perfect, with a few black and white pictures to balance it out and maybe
some mason jar candles a large pink plastic puffin bird, I think it’ll look pretty nice!
Here’s a straight on angle but because the paint is so dark and the shelf is silver it reflected all the light and sun I had pointed at it. So sorry about that.
How about all of you, have any of you reevaluated items in your space and decided they were long over-due for a makeover? Have you learned any great techniques on silver/gold leafing?
-You know you love me-
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