This is what it looked like before, minus the gold faux satin fabric curtain behind the mesh wire on the center doors. It looked like someone had sprayed stain along the top and bottom edges in an attempt to darken the finish. Did I mention they did a lousy job?
See how dull the hardware was? Yuck! I typically just tweek the hardware finish but this hardware screamed for a facelift.
I knew the piece was going to be bronzey with gold accents. The piece was sanded and thoroughly cleaned. I started with a metallic copper/bronze primer base. This alone greatly improved the piece.
You can see on this door where the hardware was that the piece was originally more golden amber in tone.
The doors of course were primed the same way as the base. Since they were being COVERED in gold leaf, I applied the adhesive size directly to the bronze primer. If you would like a more detailed explanation on how to gold leaf, my blog sponsor, The Gilded Planet has some awesome video tutorials on gilding.
Does it make me weird that I get so excited at how awesome gold or silver leafing looks on really ornate objects? It's an awesome way to transform outdated picture frames and mirrors. I will be hosting a basic gilding kit giveaway starting Sunday night. Be sure to check back so you can enter. Or even better, click that " Get my blog posts sent to your inbox" button on the right so you don't miss out!
Somewhere along the way (which I did not photograph), I top coated the primer coat with a bronze metallic paint. I used Charred Brown Brass from Blue Pearl. Their metallic paint has so much shimmer so that when you glaze over it you achieve a really rich, warm glow.
So here's the piece with the metallic base with the gold foil accents. It would look awesome in Las Vegas! Not so much in the average persons home. That's where the glaze comes in to play.
I used a raw umber oil glaze to tone it all down. You can see the difference in glazed and unglazed. The left picture of the doors show the glazed door on the left. The picture on the right shows everything glazed, except for the top drawer. What an amazing difference!
I let the glaze dry for several days, then coated the entire piece with an oil varnish. It really turned out cool. I truly apologize for my photography skills (or lack of). I am working on it. I think you get the idea. This piece was a beast so shuffling it in and out to try and get better lighting was a challenge.
So don't forget for all the gold leafing junkies out there, I will be giving away a basic gilding kit in the next week. Sign up by email so you don't miss the post. What piece would you transform with a gilding kit for gold leafing?
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