From Dull To Vibrant- How To Use Silver Leaf

 Beirut Home Showing A Vibrant Silver Chest From Elle Decor Magazine 

Pump up the volume by applying silver leaf over a special accent chair or chest. The difference between silver and gold leaf compared to metalic paints is night and day. Silver and gold leaf are actually exceptionally thin pieces of metal which are applied to a surface using glue.

5 Quick Tips When Using Leaf

1. Prep Is Important.....

When silver or gold leafing, you want to prepare the surface well. The leaf will show any imperfection, so your prep work is important. Fill in any dents with wood filler, and sand your furniture to a smooth finish.

I prefer to use Mona Lisa spray adhesive because almost every other glue I have have used hasn't worked well, and it is one that I do recommend. The Mona Lisa adhesive dries quickly, so you do not want to step away from your project at hand. The glue starts to get tacky within 3 minutes or so.

2.  Be Money Smart When Purchasing Leaf...

In my previous article "French Furniture Restoration - Gold Leaf Tips" I suggested to purchase a specific gold leaf called "Simple Leaf"  The advantage of purchasing this brand is there is no leaf waste.  Gold and silver leaf alone is weightless, and can be broken up quite quickly when you apply it to furniture.  What doesn't get stuck on the furniture, often falls to the ground.  While you can save much of your leaf, there is always going to be waste.  On ebay you can buy large amounts of Gold leaf that it makes sense to not purchase the leaf from a craft store, but on ebay. Picasso Frame located in California sells leaf sheets in 500 stacks for $32 dollars compared to 20 sheets for $9 dollars at Michaels.    You can still support American small businesses by ordering on ebay.

3.  Invest In A Soft Brush

Squirrel hair paint brushes are used by professionals to smooth out the fragile foil over the object. If you use a regular chip brush, the foil breaks up and you end up with a mess.  Consider overlaping sheets slightly and fill any gaps with fragments of foil to ensure the coverage effects you desire.

Like I mentioned above, when you can buy 500 sheets of gold, silver or copper leaf for $35 dollars, why not take the extra step and leaf your furniture.  The final project will look so much richer than spray paint ever could produce.

Dylan Egon for reGeneration, gold leaf on lacquer

Silver-Leaf French Style Armoire From Style Our Home

Silver Leaf French Chest From fabulousandbaroque.com

An original Art Deco 1930s Silver Leaf Chest. From Fresh Vintage Miami

Silver leaf chest of drawers - $1800 vandm.com

Bombe Chest In Silver Leaf- From Lucy Willow

Original 1930s Deco Modern Ziggurat Style Chest - $6000.vandm.com

Pair of Silver-gilt & Painted Chests of Drawers

Pair of French Bombe Chests Greenwich Living

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