DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Gold Leaf Lamp Shade

by Grace Bonney

I love gold leaf because it creates a surface with texture and dimensionality that you just can’t get any other way. It’s also a surprisingly versatile way to glam up vintage finds or even things you already own. To create an unexpected surface on this little bedside lamp I choose a fabric shade to gold leaf. The fabric’s subtle texture highlights the imperfections in the foil and gives the shade a warm and earthy elegance. A bonus of gold-leafing over a fabric shade is that your application can be less than perfect (ideal for first-time leafers). –Megan at One Kings Lane

The full how-to is after the jump!


The Process

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-2 clean, soft-bristle paintbrushes
-An 8-oz. tub of water-based sizing (I used Dux)
-Imitation-gold leaf (I used this)

Begin by painting your surface or objects with the water-based sizing. It goes on milky white and dries clear and slightly tacky. Once the sizing is dry, you’re ready to apply the gold leaf. Simply place the thin foil sheets onto the sizing until the entire surface is covered. Use a clean paintbrush to help maneuver the delicate leaf into place and smooth out the gilded surface. To finish it off, use the same brush to remove the excess foil.

Tip: The more you smooth the gold leaf with the brush or your finger, the less visible your seams will be, but be gentle.

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.