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Friday, March 28, 2014



What a WHIRLWIND life has been around here!

I know you're itchin' for more details and photos from around the plantation,
and we PROMISE they will be coming soon

For now, though, I believe I owe you a little tutorial, right?

Want to make things sparkle and shine? 
How about a little gold or silver leaf...

 (actually comes in sheets...this is my pile of debris...but it is still SO pretty!)

Step one is to paint your piece (if desired) with the paint of your choosing and allow to dry
(I used Amy Howard at Home One Step in Palmer Pink)

Next up is applying Bole (pronounced like bull)
Historically, Bole was clay-based, and used to make the leaf really "POP"...
the color of Bole is dependent upon the type of leaf (silver, gold, etc) and the desired effect
(I did a project with Bole and a project without...both are lovely)

Keep in mind that some of your Bole color will inevitably show through the holidays 
(areas where there is no leaf), and the brownish red under gold is very authentic

 The Bole will look like the ugliest paint color ever...but fear not!

 it gets LOADS better, I promise!

 Once the Bole is dry, you'll want to apply Size
Size is what makes the leaf stick
so you'll want to be aware of your coverage

Sparse coverage will give you a sort of mottled effect
while more thorough coverage leads to more complete coverage with the leaf

When the Size is tacky 
(use your ring finger to test...does it resist and stick a bit?  Perfect!)
you can begin to apply the leaf

The leaf is sold in sheets, and for this project,
 I cut a portion down to size by cutting the entire book in half
(photo above shows the already-cut sheets)
I used these more narrow sheets for the smaller trim work,
 and used the full size sheets for the legs

You'll want to apply the leaf sheet directly onto the Size, 
and avoid touching it too much with your fingers

See the orange tissue sheets that separate the leaf in the photo above?
If you keep your leaf attached to the book,
you can use that tissue to burnish over the leaf with your finger

Once you place your leaf, burnish, and remove the tissue
you will want to smooth over the leaf with a fairly firm brush

 See the areas where the reddish Bole is peeking through the gold leaf?
Those are the holidays

After you're satisfied with the leaf application, you're ready to seal the finish with wax
Can I tell you how HAPPY this makes me? 
 Wax does NOT remove the leaf...
if you've used Liquid Leaf and some other gilding pastes, 
you'll know exactly what I mean

So fancy :0)  

On a completely unrelated note...
I had this genius idea to plant miniature rose bushes in my old paint cans...
I say "genius" in jest...because I kill plants
Also, by "plant" I mean I ripped them from their little containers and crammed them,
dirt and all, into the paint cans

By some miracle, they did NOT die...
(well, at least SOME didn't die!)
and the little rosebuds are shades of pale pink and magenta...amazing

Be BRAVE and try silver or gold's messy, its fun, and it's GORGEOUS!



  1. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be found in gold leafing a project. I have a secret that makes it easier to apply! Wax paper! Here is a tutorial if you'd like to take a look!
    I love the end result of this nightstand/chest!


  2. That is beautiful! I can never get enough gold in my life :)

  3. Stunning , absolutely awesome work! Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

  4. I love gold leaf too, and, yes, it is messy, but so satisfying!! Love the white with gold leaf!!