It all started with a trip to the thrift store…
Don’t you feel like all your posts and projects start out this way? You’re on you’re way home, innocently driving past your neighborhood thrift store, when you suddenly realize it’s been a while (a day? a week? a month?) since you’ve last thrifted. You remember the thrill of the last item you scored, which makes you turn your car sharply toward the direction of the closest parking spot. If you’re like me, you’ve already unbuckled your seat belt and opened your car door before putting the car in park. Then, you walk to the entrance as fast as possible, just a hair slower than a run, I mean, you don’t want to look stupid running into the thrift store, right? You all know what happens next…
This is exactly what happened with this chair. I rewarded myself with a spontaneous trip to the thrift store, after having finally sold my white coffee table. I found this chair for $5. It was sticky and smelly, the seat wasn’t attached, and the back leg needed to be reinforced. The chair was clearly a mess, pure garbage in anyone else’s eyes. I was pretty sure I struck gold…
I struck gold, get it? Ha! Sometimes I think I’m so clever. I love before and after shots, don’t you? Here are some of the close-ups…
That diamond detailing was just yucky before, but dressed in gold it’s stunning!
Look at those legs! I am so in love with this copper bicycle. It’s fully functional! The pedals, wheels, and chain turn and everything!
I’m sure you have a lot of questions right about now, like, how do you go about gilding a chair? Did I use metallic spray paint? Where on earth did you find that bicycle?
Ross. I freakin’ got that bicycle at Ross of all places! So, tell me! How does one gild a chair? With gold leaf! But before we jump to that step, let’s review the basics of restoring an old chair…
1) remove the seat
2) sand with fine grit sanding paper, I used 400 grit just to get the dirt and grime off the wood
3) wipe away the dust left behind from sanding with a damp cloth or baby wipe
4) reupholster the seat, but first, remove all old staples and tacks, then follow the same steps I shared when I recovered 4 antique dining chairs.
5) cover the chair with tacky spray adhesive (you don’t have to use the gold leaf brand, but I had a coupon at Michael’s and got it for $2)
6) apply the gold leaf*
*here’s where it gets tricky, you can choose to follow the directions on the gold leaf package by applying piece by piece – OR – you can follow this tutorial by applying the leaf in what seems like a hap-hazard manner, then buffing it in place with a soft artist brush. Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend using a SOFT ARTIST BRUSH, and not the cheapo foam brush pictured in the gold leaf instructions.
7) after your first layer of gold leaf, fill in the gaps with more adhesive and excess flakes of gold leaf that fell off from the first layer. I sprayed some adhesive into the cap, applied it with a small artist brush, and then applied the gold leaf using the same method as step 6
8) next, seal the chair with spray acrylic. Some people will say to skip this step, but I on the other hand think this step is very important. It will not dull the shine of the gold leaf, it will protect it from flaking off or getting damaged. Let the sealant dry overnight.
Lastly, mount your seat, and enjoy!
Do you like the pink-ish red striped pillow? I shared a tutorial yesterday on how to make a no-zipper pillow cover. Check it out!
Gold leaf is impressive. Recently I have been pinning all things gold on Pinterest, so it just made sense to test it out on a cheap-o piece of furniture. Move out the way, BF, this chair is my new love.