Experimenting with liquid gold leaf | How About Orange

March 13, 2014

Experimenting with liquid gold leaf


I'm still shopping for enormous plants, but in the meantime, I operated on some lamps.

You know how IKEA's model living rooms always look so inviting because there are little light sources everywhere? Or in movies, the libraries and dens are always so cozy? Lights on the bookshelves seem to add a lot, so I was determined to put some on our shelves in the parlor. Like a less glorious version of this.

I shopped online a bit, and brass picture lights are expensive. So I bought a couple of these NON lights from IKEA. But I wanted them brass or gold to go with the parlor light fixture instead of the silver color they came in.


I considered spray painting them, but was worried about the paint making a mess and going inside the lamp's little holes. It seemed easier to brush them with something, so I tried out some Liquid Leaf I bought at Michael's. Sort of like gold leaf in a jar.

I shook up the bottle to mix the paint and then brushed it on with a small craft brush. Because the lights were very slightly textured (they're plastic), it adhered beautifully. Brushstrokes evened out and disappeared. It was like brushing on fingernail polish, and smells the same, too. In minutes the paint was dry to the touch. In an hour it was hard and set.


The coverage from one coat was almost enough, but I put on two for good measure.

I cleaned my brush with mineral spirits— not sure what you're supposed to use, but that worked well.

This color is Florentine Gold, which is more coppery than straight-up gold. The store was out of bronze, which would have been nice, but I'm pleased as punch. You can't even tell I used any from the little bottle, so there's plenty left to gild Alex's computer when he's not looking. Now I just need to put up the lights!


15 comments:

Stacey at Dohiy.com said...

Nice! I did this with some Ikea wall lights, but I used gold-tone acrylic paint and then sealed them. It's ok, but your solution looks (a) better and (b) more durable. Viva Ikea!

Grandma G said...

They look great! But I'm gonna warn Alex......

Mum

tuulikki said...

Your lights look great. Never would have guessed they would turn out this well.

In the 3rd Ikea photo (white bed on floor), the lights look like they are watching. And judging.

Hope yours don't do that to you!

titancia said...

These look fantastic!

Meghan said...

Great idea! They turned out lovely.

Lora said...

Awesome, what a transformation of simple lights! I should try this in my guest room where I'm having a hard time finding non-silver lights.

Mindy said...

Woah! This post sparked so many ideas! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Ana said...

They turned out great! Do you think there's any hazard to painting the cord, too? I suppose you could wrap it in a nice embroidery thread or something and that might be a nice alternative, if painting it is harmful.

Charlie said...

This is fantastic. I love the end result. I am thinking of getting this Magis puppy and giving it a bronze finish, so it looks like a sculpture:

http://www.miniobjectsofdesire.com/magis-puppy?gclid=CP-M6Ia5lb0CFZDKtAodBDcAKQ

jen said...

I'm so glad you did this…I have two silver reading lamps in a room that I feel really needs more gold/bronze accents! Off to Michaels I go…

travelbyseashop said...

Ooo... That turned out quite lovely. Thanks for testing this paint out--I can already think of a few things to paint with it (plain black corner lamp... I'm looking at you!!). And it doesn't look like something cheesy at all, which is the (sadly) negative impression I have of gold leaf!

Carissa(GoodNCrazy) said...

Think there is a problem with the heat from the lamps and the paint? I'm looking for a way to paint my bathroom light fixture?? But worried about the heat?

Jessica Jones said...

So far I have no trouble, though the lamps do get pretty warm. I'd probably only use this stuff on small projects, and it helps that my lights had a slight texture on them so the paint stuck well. Brushing it onto shiny, smooth metal might not work as well-not sure. You could also try Rub n Buff or metallic spray paint.

PattyP said...

Once the paint is thoroughly cured, the solvent base - which is flammable for these type paints - would be gone. I doubt that it would be a problem for most lamps, except one possibly with a halogen bulb that might possibly scorch the paint over time or smoke. Lamps, except halogen, are not normally considered high heat devices though they can get warm. One would not use most paints on high heat devices like stoves, space heaters, machinery, toasters and so on. That all having been said, I have a modern lamp similar to the one shown that I believe is a menace. Though it says on the tag on the cord that it is okay to use a 60 watt bulb under the hood, it stinks of overheating every time it is on longer than 10 minutes. I would not consider it safe for any paint except stove paint, which usually only comes in black. Even then, I don't leave it untended.

PattyP said...

Carissa, if the bathroom light is overhead and anyone could ever conceivably in the future place a heat lamp bulb in it, I'd say absolutely not. I've had a few overhead fixtures with lights and fan built in. Some people like to put a heat lamp bulb in the socket to warm them when they step out of the shower or bath. They use the vanity light for regular light in the bath. If you are speaking of the vanity light, most do not get warm enough to be a problem. Just be aware that the resulting finish will never be as shiny and reflective as plated metal.

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