How to Gold Leaf a Picture Frame

Written by rosemary rugnetta
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There is nothing more elegant than a gold picture frame. Whether it is large or small, it is always stylish and complementary to any decorating style. Creating a gold leaf picture frame is easy and fun to do. Instead of throwing away old picture frames, recycle them by adding gold leaf. Purchase old frames at thrift stores and flea markets and refurbish them with gold.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Picture frame
  • Sand paper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Gold leaf
  • Soft brush
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray sealer

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    How to Gold Leaf a Picture Frame

  1. 1

    Lightly sand the entire frame to rough up the surface. Any picture frame can be used whether it is new or old.

  2. 2

    Using spray adhesive, sometimes called sizing, spray the entire back surface of the picture frame which will be done first. Make sure not to miss any areas.

  3. 3

    Starting with the back of the frame, place a sheet of gold leaf over an area. Smooth it down on to the adhesive with a soft brush. Apply the gold leaf around the whole back of the frame. Once it is on the whole back, rub it with a soft cloth to remove any creases. Gold leaf sheets are small. Therefore, you will be working on small areas at a time.

  4. 4

    Turn over the frame and spray the adhesive making sure not to miss any areas. Begin applying the gold leaf to the front of the frame following the same steps as followed for the back. When doing the front of the frame, use the soft brush and make sure to get the gold leaf into any decorative carvings. Also, apply the gold leaf to the sides of the frame. When the front and sides are completed, smooth out any creases with a soft cloth.

  5. 5

    Use a clear spray sealer to seal the gold leaf. Spray the back of the frame and allow to dry completely. When dry, spray the front and sides of the frame with the sealer. Again, allow to dry before hanging.

Tips and warnings

  • When using the brush to apply the gold leaf, make sure to brush gently.
  • Always spray the sealer very lightly so it does not drip.
  • Be gentle when handling gold leaf. It is very delicate and crumbles easily.

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