DIY Gold Leafing Sheets

dark waxing over gold leaf

DIY gold leafing sheets is an easy ad elegant process to add to pieces we find. Have you ever wanted to try gold leafing sheets? Have you been wondering how difficult and messy adding gold leafing sheets can be?

Well today at Cloches & Lavender I am going to share information about using gold leafing sheets for DIY projects.

My husband recently visited a local shop to pick a piece up for me. While there he saw a Florentine plaque nearby. He knows how much I love Italian Florentine, so he had bought it to bring home.

However, the previous owner did apply some kind of paint. Also, in a few of the details did add what looks to be black marker. What are people thinking when they do this, I have no idea.

Florentine plaque before getting repaired

It’s also the DIY Challenge and this month it’s Trash to Treasure. Terrie from Decorate and More with Tip is our host. Thanks for hosting each month.

How to Use DIY Gold Leafing Sheets to Fix Florentine Plaque

How Hard is it to Add Leaf Sheets?

I have to say when it comes to applying gold leaf sheets it isn’t that the process is difficult. It takes patience and it can be tricky because the sheets are delicate.

Now because the sheets are thin and delicate, I recommend wearing thin rubber gloves when doing this DIY process.

Before I go any further, I am going to list the supplies for any do it yourself gold leafing projects.


  • speedball leafing sheets
  • speedball leafing adhesive
  • leafing brush
  • thin rubber gloves

First, apply a thin coat of the leaf adhesive as I did to my plaque. Now let it dry for approximately 15 minutes. By the way, this goes on milky white however dries clear and will become tacky.

applying the adhesive so I can add the gold leafing

Also, as per the instructions when applying the adhesive for the leaf sheets make sure the adhesive is smooth.

How I Contain the Mess of the Excess Flakes from Spreading Allover When Smoothing

Containing the Mess While Using this Product

During the smoothing of the leafing sheet flakes to spread. To keep cleanup to a minimum I add a piece of craft paper under my project. So, when the project of smoothing the leaf is complete. I carefully roll the extra paper keeping the loose pieces from spreading on the floor.

Here’s a roll of crafting paper for a great price!

Applying the Gold Leaf to My Florentine Plaque

Adding the Leaf to My Plaque

Now, this when I put my gloves on to add my leafing sheets. For the most part when adding the leaf piece, I do this in full sheets. However, for this DIY gold leafing I did this process with smaller pieces. Namely because of the small areas.

speedball adhesive
speedball gold leafing sheets in the package

After laying the foil piece down on my do it yourself project using my leafing brush I flatten and smooth each piece. Now this piece was a bit challenging because of the black marker I mentioned. I think the marker consistency was the issue. Here is where patience comes into play when using leafing pieces for DIY projects.

laying the DIY gold leafing sheets on the plaque

So how did I fix this problem, well I did add a bit more of the leafing adhesive and let it dry for 10 minutes and applied more imitation gold leaf. This is one thing I have learned with this process. Applying leafing over pieces already down still works.

small DIY gold leafing to the plaque
using a gilding brush to smooth the leaf

By the way, in the above picture you can see how this piece is painted. Covering the gold leaf.

adding more gold leaf to my project

I continue this process until my leaf sheets cover my DIY plaque. This took me approximately 15 minutes.

This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. All opinions are my own.

Adding Dark Wax to Add Age to My DIY Florentine Plaque

Bring Out Age by Adding Dark Wax

Lastly, I apply a thin coat of dark wax to my plaque. I do this namely, because I have many Italian Florentine Pieces and the frames have different variations of color. This is an optional step; however, I think the dark wax adds character to the gold leafing sheets.

adding dark wax to the plaque

What Kind of Items Can I Use Leafing on for an Elegant Look?

Pieces to Use this Process on

The answer, you can apply these gold leaf sheets to many items. Such as, fake fruit, frames, glass, furniture, statues, clear plastic Christmas balls bowls and even coasters.

finished project with Florentine plaque and boxwood wreath

Are There Other Colors to Buy in Metal Leafing?

Other Colors Available For This Product

Yes, there is. I did notice these are colors are available. The variety of colors is fantastic. I see some colors for fall I am loving!

I hope you enjoyed how to use DIY gold leafing sheets and give it a try. I’d love to know if you have used leaf sheets and on what!

Please visit and see how these bloggers made their piece from trash to treasure!

graphic sharing each project for the trash to treasure challenge
Have a great day! Cindy

Decorate and More with Tip

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The House on Silverado

Pallet and Pantry

Cloches and Lavender


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47 thoughts on “DIY Gold Leafing Sheets

  1. Your gold leaf update certainly makes the plaque look fresh, unique and quite beautiful, Cindy! Like you said, can’t imagine why they used black markers on the finish!

  2. You have such a sweet hubby for bringing you home such a wonderful treasure. So annoying that someone would try and ruin it with marker, but thankfully you saved it! I’ve not used gold leaf often but you definitely have a practiced hand. What a beautiful piece you have now to showcase with all your other lovelies!

  3. I have gold lead but haven’t been brave enough to try it yet but this looks great! Thanks for sharing.

  4. It was so nice of your husband to pick up this piece for you to makeover. The end result is gorgeous.

  5. I have never used gold leaf before but you sure have inspired me to give it a try. Love that you used the dark wax on it too!

  6. My hubby likes to surprise me with some vintage items. The best gifts ever! This is so pretty!

  7. Kudos to your husband for bringing home this pretty plaque that needed help. I love to use gold leaf to give objects some glitz and glam. You definitely improved the look of this little treasure.

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