Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Not to Silver Leaf

I found this great mirror at Goodwill for $1.00 last week.  I think it is the perfect size and shape for my dining room.  It had a poorly done coat of metallic silver spray paint that was very bumpy.

 I gave it a light sanding just to remove the bumps.

Part of the reason that I was able to get the mirror for a $1.00 when it was originally marked for $4.00, was that it had a crack in one of the sections.  I just added some wood filler that I had on hand and sanded it down.  It looks good as new.

I've been wanting to try using silver leaf for some time.  I once bought a side table at Ikea (before my thrifting days) with the intention of silver leafing it.  After buying the supplies and the table, it would have been like a $250.00 project.  I returned the supplies, disassembled the table, and returned it.  Especially not knowing how to do it, I didn't want to take the risk.  I figured this mirror was small enough. 

So I applied the silver leaf adhesive and as per the instructions let it sit for 45 minutes or until tacky.  I then applied the sheets of silver and used a small brush to rub it in. 
 The silver wasn't sticking, so I applied more glue. I didn't wait the 45 minutes at this point and ruined the silver.  This is what I got.  It looks bumpy and the silver was not sticking correctly.  I don't love it. 
Luckily, I had only used about half of one pack. I think I need to try something else.  Any suggestions? I really don't want to do the metallic spray paints, I don't really love the way the finish turns out.

Edit to post:  I've gotten some really great ideas today.  Feel free to give me any ideas.  I love reading your comments. 

I joined a linky party at Finding Fabulous


Lili 1/06/2011  

that mirror has potential....cant wait to see what you do with it! (sorry no advice here as to what to use)....:))

Anonymous,  1/06/2011  

I love that mirror and I'm going to be watching to see what you do - I've got some silverleaf projects in mind but I have never used it.

Oh, and you got that for $1? Killer!

Cassie {Hi Sugarplum} 1/06/2011  

I've been wanting to try gold leaf...let me know if you figure this out! :)

Jenn 1/06/2011  

sorry to add to the I don't know pile, but I don't know :( keep trying!!

A Perfect Gray 1/06/2011  

thank you so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate your thinking of me...

I enjoyed this post. It's such a coincidence! I visited my favorite antique shop the other day and a dealer I love had pumpkins (still!) in an old cupboard - but they were sprayed silver. They were beautiful. He said there is a new silver spray paint out that is terrific. He said it looks just like silver leaf when applied. I think he called it 'sterling'. but I don't know anything else about it - like who makes it, etc. i will try to find out....

thanks again, donna

Life, Crafts and Whatever 1/09/2011  

I can't wait to see what you come up with! I love this mirror, what a great find! I'm a new blogger, I'd love if you'd stop by!

Life, Crafts and Whatever 1/09/2011  

Thanks! Say hi to your newest follower!

Amber 1/20/2011  

You should use some craft glue spray adhesive and then apply the silver leaf. It has a orange top. It gets tacky right away! When your finished applying the silver leaft try some wipe on poly to keep the finish from scratching off. I have never tried it but I have seen it done on other blogs. follow my blog if you get a chance I am just getting started!

Anonymous,  1/21/2011  

I don't have an answer to your dilemma but apparently there's a spray paint available that will provide a silver leaf effect. See this site:

I've never tried this technique but it might be worth a try.


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