Easy Frame for Art Combined With My Love of Gold Leaf

I have a great love of gold leaf and buy it in bulk. I found a piece of art made from bark while on a recent trip to Mexico and wanted display it. To get a canvas, or frame to fit (18"x50"), I would have had to spend well over $150. Considering I have a ton of gold leaf, since I buy it bulk, this project didn't cost me a thing. You can get smaller amounts at your local craft store.
I had a piece of plywood and cut it to size. Sometimes you can go to the big box home improvement stores and get a scrap piece. I then applied sizing and started to leaf my board.
Brush the size on and let dry for about 2 minutes until it is tacky. With powered fingers (baby powder) place the leaf on the surface. Gold leaf is delicate, but if it tears, you can place smaller pieces to cover.
Take a clean soft paint brush and gently to flatten and smooth out the wrinkles. Try not to get the glue (sizing) on the brush.
Once it is dry (a few hours) go back with another clean brush and remove all the excess leaf. At this point, you don't need to be gentle, you want all the little pieces to come off and have a smooth surface. It can be a little messy.
I like my leaf to look old and weathered. I use stale beer (good excuse to have one) and acrylic paint to make an aging compound. I like to use a brown, but you can use any color you like.
Brush on the aging mixture.
The mixture dries quickly so you will need to work fast.
I used a sponging technique with a paper towel and a rag and lightly removed some of the aging mixture. At this point you can add more or less to make it look time traveled and worn.
I wanted it darker, so I applied another coat.
After it is dry (about 30 minutes) I sprayed it with poly.
I used white glue and placed my art piece on the dry board.
Weighted it down with books.
Final piece.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation