Jewelry Box Makeover Using Metal Leaf

6 Materials
2 Days

My last tutorial was how to make a piece of missing molding on this jewlery box using bondo. You can find that tutorial here..

This tutorial is all about how I refinished this lovely case and how to apply metal leafing...

Even when using chalk paint, I recommend a bit of prep. It takes 15 minutes or so and ensures no chipping and a lasting finish. Clean the piece very well, I like to use LA's totally awesome from the dollar store. Then sand using 220 grit paper. You really just want to sand out any scratches and give it a nice scuff so the paint has something to adhere to. Then wipe with a damp (water) cloth. Now you're ready to paint! I used Dixie Belle's palmetto for this piece. If you're using a light colored paint, use a primer first.

After the first coat has dried, about an hour, sand with 220 grit paper to rid of any brush marks. Then wipe with a damp cloth

Apply the second and final coat (unless its a lighter color in which case 3-4 coats may be necessary). Once dried, sand with 400 grit paper and then wipe. Now get ready to apply the metal leaf sheets! You'll need metal leaf sheets, metal leaf adhesive, a small brush for the adhesive and a soft fluffy brush to press the sheets into place

Apply the adhesive where you want the metal leaf to be. The sheets will only stick to where the adhesive is. Wait about 30-60 seconds until the adhesive is tacky and then carefully lay a metal leaf sheet over it. Using your soft brush, gently press it onto the adhesive.

The metal leaf is very messy. If you wear thin cloth gloves, it can help with keeping the leaf from sticking to your skin and crumpling

Time for the hardware! I used rub-n-buff in autumn gold. I absolutely love this product! Super easy to use and a little goes a long way! Dab a bit on a small brush and paint the hardware. Let it dry overnight, and you can buff if you want more shine

Now you can seal with the product of your choice. I'm a wax girl. I mostly use trewax paste wax, and did so for this project, even over the metal leaf! Polycrylic will work great too!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Mary Killough
    on Mar 10, 2019

    I'm moving into an apartment that has a old concrete flooring and I don't have a lot of money and I don't have any time how can I make it livable

    • Kyra
      on Nov 9, 2019

      If the landlord is okay with this, you can paint the floor in sections with concrete paint

      That allows you have fun with stencils and painting faux rugs and making it look fantastic with colors you love

      Do it in sections ... be sure to research floor prep so paint adheres well, and seal with clear coat if needed

      This is a great opportunity to be creative and make it fabulous ... look at this sample:

  • Sarah Banagis Humphrey
    on Nov 9, 2019

    I have a jewelry box that is very similar but it's missing a small drawer. Any brilliant suggestions for that spot?

Join the conversation

2 of 8 comments
  • Bek
    on Feb 15, 2019

    Well, SPIT! I am now thinking of a good 15-20 things around the house that would only be all the better for a bit of metal leafing! Oh, thanks. No, really. I just LOVE stuff like this! I'm prone to going a little crazy, though. The cat may be in danger.

  • Vicki
    on Feb 20, 2019

    This is such a great idea! I plan on using it on quire a few items in my home...first up my bargain find Eiffel Tower bedside lamps! 10*****!!!

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