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Why you need gold-leaves on your bathroom cabinet

August 4, 2010

So today I thought I try to explain gold-leafing. The results from doing this are always really nice – a lot nicer than doing the short-cut and paint with gold paint. Though as almost always seems to be the case – the nicer something looks the more complicated it has to be do it.


Not to scare anyone off but yes, gold-leaf can be a bit trying on one’s patience. Nevertheless – I am all for it.

This is what I did with it. In our bathroom was a typical 1930’s-40’s square wood cabinet. Not particular interesting. So as you can see from this extremely bad photograph – I apologize for such lousy shot but it is the only “before” picture I have – I tried to spice it up a little with a hindi writing but still felt it could be more fun. Out comes the gold-leaf.

In all honesty, this cabinet I had already gold-leafed in the past but fixing the gold leaf is exactly the same thing so just ignore that parts of the cabinet already have gold-leaf on it as you can see it needs some help at the bottom of the corner.

Gold-leaf comes in these pre-cut squares. They are plain impossible to handle without breaking not to mention gluing – besides part of them will stick to anything in sight while the rest will end up everywhere in your house for centuries to come. So I usually like to cut them – keeping the protective paper in between – into smaller squares.

I then paint a thin layer of regular paper-glue on to the surface 

…and let it dry for a minute or so before taking a deep breath and hoping the gold leaf won’t sort of attach itself before I am ready. 

After the gold leaf is on it will be intensely “goldy”, which is a little much for my taste. To bring it down a notch and get more of the worn feeling I like to paint it with red and brown paint I have mixed with double the amount of water. And there it is. In a few weeks the gold-leaf will get darker and mix in with the rest.

And finally – good as new!
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