I took two old black lamps I have had for years, added some gold leaf, and turned them into fabulous stunning buffet lamps. Here is how you can DIY gold leaf lamps.
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I hardly ever get rid of a lamp. If it works and has a nice shape, you can always change the color and add a little sparkle to brighten them up. I’ve had two of these black lamps for years. They were in my living room and were fine. When I got new lamps in my living room, I decided these guys might work in my dining room. They looked okay, but they were black and so are my walls, so they didn’t really pop. My first instinct was, of course, to spray paint them white. Which, I did. Then they just sort of evolved and took on a life of their own.
DIY Gold Leaf Lamps
STEP ONE: SPRAY PAINT THE BASES
I spray painted the bases white after I taped up the cords and the electrical parts at the top of the lamps. I used Devine Color by Valspar Satin Color Paint & Primer from Target.
STEP TWO: PREPARE TO APPLY GOLD LEAF & TAPE OFF SECTIONS
Then I gathered my gold leaf supplies. I used Gilding Sheets by Martha Stewart Crafts in gold that I got at Michaels. However, I did not use the recommended adhesive because I could not find it in the store. I had some rubber cement at home and I decided to forgo the recommended adhesive and give the old rubber cement a try. You can, of course, grab Rubber Cement at Michaels. It worked great. First, I decided where I wanted my gold leaf and I taped off those sections with green Frog tape. At first I just wanted a little gold leaf in stripes around the base of the lamp. I did one lamp at a time and reused the tape from the first lamp on the second lamp.
STEP THREE: PAINT ON ADHESIVE
Next, I used an old paint brush to paint rubber cement where I wanted my gold leaf. I left it alone or just a little bit until the rubber cement was tacky.
STEP FOUR: APPLY GOLD LEAF
Then, I placed sheets of gold leaf on top of the rubber cement and tapped on it with a dry paint brush to get it into the small spaces. Here is a video of how I did that.
STEP FIVE: REPEAT WITH MORE GOLD LEAF
After I was done with my gold leaf accents, I decided it wasn’t enough. So, I went for it. I added gold leaf around the top and the bottom of the round part of the base of the lamp. I put green tape around the base and used it as a rough guide for where I wanted to stop the rubber cement.
STEP SIX: BRUSH OFF EXCESS GOLD LEAF
Here is what they look like completed.
I really don’t handle these lamps at all, but I can see that if I really wanted to, I could rub that gold leaf off in some places. At some point I might decide to seal it up with polyurethane or clear spray paint. So far I haven’t and it’s been fine.
I also added fabric to the inside of the lamp shades which I will post about separately.
There you have it – how DIY gold leaf lamps for a total lamp revamp. Since I have done this project, I have used the slightly cheaper gold leaf sheets I found at Michaels and they were much harder to use. They were much more difficult to handle because they did not have a waxed paper backing. I think the $1 difference in price is well worth it. Go for the Martha Stewart brand.
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