Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DIY Silver Leaf Lampshade

Yay for short work weeks!  I love that I'm almost 1/2 way through the week even though it feels like it just started.  The three day weekend flew by though with my 4 college housemates in town (Hey girls hey!!!).  We played a lot of games, had a ton of fun and only drank a little ;).  By the end of the weekend I think we were all wishing that we got to spend nights like this together a lot more often.  But now it's back to reality, a.k.a. work, so for me that means I also want to get posting on here again.  The first thing I want to show y'all is how I silver leafed the inside of the lampshade that now sits on the lamp on the campaign dresser.

I bought the lamp at a local thrift store for $3, but the shade that came with it was all wrong for what I had in mind.  My search for the perfect lampshade took me to 5 stores over the course of about 2 hours.  All I wanted was a basic white drum shade!  Ugh.  I finally found one at Lowe's and instantly brought it home and got to work on the silver leafing.  I already had the supplies that I needed on hand since I had tried some silver leafing on a failed wedding project.  Unfortunately I didn't quite have enough actual silver leaf so mid project I had to run back to Hobby Lobby for another pack.

The things you'll need for this project are silver leaf sheets, medium (adhesive specifically for leafing), some wax paper and a soft paint brush.

Start by brushing your entire surface that you want covered in silver with the medium.  Try and keep it a nice, thin, even coat.  Let it dry about 20 minutes or until it is clear.  However if you're painting something white, you won't be able to tell if it's clear, so wait about 20 minutes then touch it.  It should be tacky, but not wet.

Then using a square of wax paper a little bigger than the squares of silver leaf, place the wax paper over a layer of the silver and gently lift it off the paper backing in the package.  The silver should cling to the wax paper.  Then place the square of silver over part of tacky medium and press down with the wax paper.  Next I like to brush over the wax paper and silver with the soft paint brush to try and get as much of it in contact with the medium as possible.  Remove the wax paper and smooth the silver down a little more.  Don't worry about removing all the loose bits just yet, that can be done at the end.  Repeat that process until your entire surface is covered.

Then you can use the brush to remove the loose bits and add silver to any spots that were missed.  You can also use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe the surface.  Just a warning though, the little pieces of silver leaf will fly everywhere and seem to just float since they're so light weight.  That's it!  If you wanted to you could paint your surface first if you want a different color to show through any cracks that remain in the silver.

Silver leaf EVERYWHERE

I like that the silver adds a different metallic to the space so it doesn't get too gold with the dresser hardware and the vase.  Now if only I could get that darn shade to sit straight on the lamp...

Have a great (short) week!

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