I have been intrigued by gold and silver leaf for as long as I can remember. My mom had a kit in her craft supply when I was young and I remember playing with the thin sheets of metal wondering how something so delicate could produce such a lovely finish. I don't think I ever saw her apply it to anything so I have been intimidated to try it myself up until recently.
I refinished a little occasional table last week that I wanted to apply silver leaf to so I went out and bough a kit. The kit includes everything you would need from the size ( glue ), leaf, brushes and sealer. (Check out the Refurbished Table if you want to know how it was painted)
I had seen some silver leaf applications with the use of a stencil to create a design and knew this was what I wanted to do. I checked Michaels Craft store for some stencils and came across this really pretty and delicate design.
Make sure to center the stencil and tape it down so that it doesn't move. The masking tape I used didn't pull off any of the chalk paint but other tape or types of paint may peel so test a smaller section first.
How to Apply Silver Leaf
Next you want to apply the size (glue) to the stencil. Take the smallest amount possible on your brush and dab it onto a paper towel. If your brush is over loaded with glue you will find that it will bleed underneath the stencil. This actually happened a little bit to my stencil but I liked the outcome in the end anyways.
Once your glue is applied carefully remove the stencil. The instructions mentioned letting the glue dry for an hour and only apply the leaf once the glue has gone clear. I noticed my glue went clear within minutes and the glue was becoming less and less tacky so I ended up applying the leaf right away. Keep a close eye on your glue and as long as there is no wet or milky appearance it is safe to apply the leaf.
After your leaf is firmly applied you can then brush away the loose excess and expose the design. I lightly burnished the leaf after but didn't notice any difference.
I absolutely love the way this turned out. The texture of the chalk paint came through the leaf which gives it a very interesting appearance. I cant wait to apply silver leaf to other projects.
Word of the Day: Burnish
Make an object shiny by rubbing it with a tool.