How to Apply Gold Leaf on Ceramic Tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Gold leaf can make ordinary objects, such as ceramic tiles, look as though they are sculpted out of solid gold. Although gold leaf is actual gold, it is extremely thin and can be purchased inexpensively. You can apply gold leaf to tile yourself, using art supplies that can be found at an arts and crafts supply store, such as a watercolour paintbrush and spray adhesive. This technique can allow you to transform plain, cheap-looking ceramic tiles into ones that look new and expensive.

Place the ceramic tile you want to cover with gold leaf on newspaper. This will allow you to work without accidentally getting leaf on your furniture or work desk.

Spray the tile with a medium coating of art spray adhesive. This will enable the gold leaf to adhere to the tile more readily.

Peel off the backing from a sheet of gold leaf, and press a butter knife against one corner of the gold leaf. Roll the butter knife downward, which will cause the gold leaf to wrap partially around the butter knife. Once the corner of the leaf is wrapped onto the knife, lift the gold leaf sheet off the paper backing.

Drape the gold leaf sheet over the sprayed ceramic tile. Pat and tap the leaf onto the tile, using a soft watercolour paintbrush. Using a watercolour paintbrush will allow you to press the leaf onto the tile without causing the leaf to tear or rip.

Continue applying more sheets of gold leaf until the entire surface of the tile is covered in the gold leaf. Repeat the entire process to cover as many ceramic tiles with gold leaf as you need for your project.


Gold leaf does not require a sealer. However, you may want to seal your gold-leafed tile if it's located in an area that gets a lot of use.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Art adhesive spray
  • Gold leaf
  • Butter knife
  • Watercolour paintbrush
  • Sealer (optional)
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