Florentine Upcycled Tissue Boxes

Hello everyone, today I’m taking part in a new Do It Over Designers blog Hop featuring Upcycle, Recycle and DIY created by Ann at The Apple Street Cottage

Please visit the talented ladies’ links listed at the end of my post.

We’ll look at upcycling pieces that may no longer work in your décor and give some thought to reinventing the piece.

Let’s Take A Look

Creating Florentine tissue boxes for example. I’ve had two for many years and decided they could be updated a bit. I’m fond of Florentine and decided to create the look.

Items Needed

Let’s Begin

First, paint your tissue box the color of your choice. I selected chalk paint because I love the coverage and color pallets. Let this dry.

Next, using light weight painters tape, tape off along the edge creating a straight line.

Start to Add Gilding

Use gold craft paint as a base it adds texture and dimension to the gilding because this process of Florentine was originally done with different metals.


Apply a thin coat of gilding adhesive to the top of the tissue box. Don’t leave puddles of adhesive, keep it smooth to cover the paint.

If a tiny spot is missed don’t be concerned, this will add texture. Let the adhesive dry for half an hour, it will dry clear and sticky.

Now add adhesive to any appliques being used.

Tricks Learned

A good trick I learned; keep damp and dry rags near by in case your fingertips get sticky. This helps the foil from sticking to your fingers or becoming messy.

Adding Gold Foil

Once the adhesive is dry, this a good time to foil the appliques burnishing the foil with a soft stencil brush.

Foil Sheet on Applique
Starting to Burnish
Taking Shape
First Applique
Second Applique

When laying down the foil, I found small pieces worked best. Pat pieces down lightly using your fingertips.

Next Step – Burnish The Foil

I use a soft, large stencil brush in a light circular motion.

Beginning to Burnish
After First Burnishing
Burnishing Complete

After Burnishing/Adding Texture

A great trick is using two different metallic paints to give each tissue box their own look.

Looking at Florentine pieces I have around the house gave me the idea to use Gold and Champagne metallic paints because I noticed the aging will appear lighter and darker in areas.

Application of Paint

Use a small chip brush, they are inexpensive and the more they are used, the better. After applying a stroke of paint, use a soft cloth and rub the paint in lightly, no need to worry if it isn’t perfect. Allow to dry for a few minutes.

Gold Metallic Getting Added
Gold Metallic Paint Finished/Second Tissue Box Champagne

Almost Finished

Sparingly apply clear and dark wax, lightly rub into the paint. Dry for one hour.

Once wax is dry you will notice the variation in the different metallic giving it the look of aged Florentine.

Last Step Optional

Last step is optional. I wanted to make sure the gilding wouldn’t get damaged if someone had wet hands while reaching for a tissue, I applied a light coat of Artisan Enhancement top coat, Polyurethane will work well too.

I hope you feel inspired to give upcycling a try on a piece in your home.

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Hello, my name is Cindy and welcome to Cloches & Lavender. I enjoy making our house a home with antiques and thrifted finds. Antiques are used as my staples in my dcor to remain on a budget. I will often upcycle pieces with paint to make them new again. I enjoy DIYs

27 thoughts on “Florentine Upcycled Tissue Boxes

  1. These are so elegant! I need to make some for our bathrooms. I’m so tired of mismatched tissue boxes messing up my color scheme!! 😉

  2. How useful and such a great idea. It turned out great! Love repurposing and upcycling! Thanks for sharing and wonderful creating with you.

  3. I just love trying to do the jobs that you do. It’s fun even if it never turns out the way that yours does.

  4. What a beautiful transformation, Cindy! I’ve never used foil, but you make it look easy. Thank you for sharing your technique.

  5. Super relove of this box. It is very pretty. Happy Saturday Cindy. xoxo

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! Now I wish I hadn’t thown out an old tissue box I found under the bathroom sink the other day lol Love the gilding, I will have to try it. xo Kathleen

  7. You did such an amazing job!! And, such great tips! My fingers always get sticky from the glue and the gold leaf foil ends up sticking to my fingers more than the project itself….it turns into a mess!
    Loving this transformation!! You are so talented!!!

  8. Looks awesome, Cindy! I’ve never tried gold leafing but you make it look so easy I think I might have to now!

  9. Be still my heart, Cindy, this looks AMAZING! I’ve never used gold leafing like that but I always like the way it looks so I really appreciate being able to see your technique. This tissue box doesn’t even look like the same piece! Cold and flu season will never be the same again. It’s beautiful! Hugs, CoCo

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