Trying out Silver Leafing (tutorial)…And No, the Baby Isn’t Here Yet

by ilene on October 22, 2012 · 2 comments

in decor, tutorial

Well, no baby yet.  Still waiting. At my 39 week OB appointment last week, my doctor told me now that our baby may come late now and have to be induced!  I went from being told she was going to come a couple weeks early, which sent me into a “I’m not ready!” panic attack last week convinced that she could come at any moment, to scheduling an inducement day in case she went past her  official due date this Friday.  These things are so hard to predict!  The last couple weeks have been a lesson in patience and trusting God, both of which I am not good at.  One thing that I am grateful for though is for the bonus time that Jeff and I have been able to spend together.  Every day that passes and I haven’t gone into labor has been treated like it is our last.  Every morning that I wake up, surprised that I didn’t go into labor that previous night, and think “what fun thing can we do today?”  So we’ve been checking out new restaurants in the city, hanging out with friends and crossing off things on our list of things we’ve always wanted to do.  Every extra day has been a gift!

I’ve been keeping busy working on the nursery and also finishing up decorating our new place. There are a few furniture pieces that still need to be purchased and artwork to be hung, but we are pretty settled in our home now.  We had our condo freshly painted last month and I’m just getting around to decorating each room and hanging things on the walls.  One of the projects I worked on last week was silver leafing these “You & Me” letters:

You might remember these letters, they were purchased at Hobby Lobby last year and they used to be gold:

I wrote about them in an earlier blog post here.

We had our master bedroom painted a blue gray color and I decided that the gold didn’t go well with our new color scheme anymore so I decided to change them to silver.  I thought about just spray painting the letters silver but I think silver leafing adds more dimension and looks a lot nicer than a coat of paint would. I’ve never leafed anything before and wanted to try it out so I trekked over to Michaels and got a bunch of materials:

The materials I needed for this project was silver leaf ($9.99 for 25 sheets), spray adhesive made for gold and silver leafing, soft paint brushes, wax paper and a starter kit that included a glue adhesive and sealant ($9.99).

Instructions

1. Clean surface with a damp cloth.  Spray the spray adhesive evenly across the surface that you are going to leaf.

2. Lay a sheet of silver leafing over the surface.  The silver leaf paper is really delicate so you want to be really careful. Don’t worry if it rips, you can fill in gaps later.

3. Lay a piece of wax paper over the silver leaf. Using a soft foam brush, lightly press silver leaf down into the glue through the wax paper.

4. Remove wax paper.  Use foam brush to lightly brush off any loose pieces.


Since the letters I was covering were already textured and bumpy and had some odd crevices that were hard to get to, it was difficult to silver leaf evenly the entire surface the first time around. There would be little gaps that would be hard to fill so I used the glue adhesive that came in the starter kit and used a small paint brush to dab glue at the gaps that needed more silver leaf.  I waited about half an hour for the glue adhesive to get tacky and then added small pieces of silver leaf to those bald spots.  Then, brush off any excess silver.  Finally, I sealed each letter with sealant to protect the surface and keep it from flaking off.

After the letters dried, I had to figure out how to hang the letters on the wall evenly.  At our last apartment, they were hung a little wonky and it always drove me nuts whenever I looked at them. The letters are hard to hang straight because the holes on the backside of each letter are uneven and random, making it hard to measure where the nails should go:

I decided to lay the letters on the floor exactly how I wanted them to look on the wall:

Then I traced the letters on white paper that I taped together:

Using a pencil, I marked where the holes were by holding the paper and letters up to the light so I could see where they lined up:

Then all I had to do was tape the paper up on wall above the bed, exactly where I wanted it:

And nail through the paper where I had marked each hole:

Tear off the paper and hang up the letters and VOILA!  Perfectly lined-up letters:

I really like how the silver leafing turned out!  It looks fancy and I love the texture that it adds to letters. Silver leafing was a cheap way to easily convert old decor into something new!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nikol October 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Looks great Ilene! I bet you can’t wait to meet your baby.

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2 Anonymous October 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

How are you not already the new Martha Stewart?!

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