I loved the shape of it but it needed a ton of work. It had previously been spray painted gold and had names carved in the top. To top it all off, someone had used some acrylic paint to hand paint some lady bugs on it, and this was clearly not the work of an adult. Since the end table wasn't wood, it wasn't a candidate for sanding off the raised lady bug and painting it. Normally, I would have passed on something like this, because even chalk paint couldn't save it. Luckily a light bulb came on in my head before I left with nothing- this would be perfect for silver leafing. It would cover up all the crazy stuff going on underneath.
So how do you silver leaf? Well I'm going to write my second tutorial ever so bear with me.
First of all you'll need supplies.
1. Silver leaf- You can buy this at crafts store or the Internet in thin sheets. I bought mine on eBay. I looked at my local Hobby Lobby and was unable to find any.
2. Adhesive- The brand of silver leafing you buy has a glue that is sold for this specific purpose. I had read somewhere that someone just used a spray glue so I opted for that because it was cheaper. It worked great!
3. Paint brush
4. Sealant of your choice, I used a clear Minwax water-based polycrylic
First, I primed my end table with a spray primer like Kilz.
After the primer dried, I applied one coat of cheap black spray paint. I wanted a darker color to show through on any cracks and crevices for an antique look.
Once your paint is dry you can officially start applying your silver leaf. I suggest starting with a flat surface first such as the top. Spray the glue adhesive on a small section. Then take your silver leaf sheet by grabbing the silver leaf liner and lightly press it down. The silver leaf is very delicate and rips easily if you grab it directly. Pull off the silver leaf liner.
Next is when your brush comes into play. Use your brush to gently push it down into place. Again the silver leaf is so delicate using your hands is out of the question. I overlapped my pieces and also applied ripped pieces, because I didn't want my end table to look like a whole bunch of squares put together. It's especially hard to get the silver leaf to stick into tiny little details and crevices, but I have read that some people use a wax product called Rub N' Buff to fill them in. Amazon sells it here if you want to check it out. I wanted it to have an authentic look, so I let a lot of the black paint show through for an aged feel.
Linking back to...