Despite all of that, I still bought a few sets of bookends and some agate slices but my haul was much smaller than I was hoping it would be. One of the sets of bookends I brought home got the gold leaf treatment yesterday:
I've gold leafed agate slices before but never an agate bookend. I love how Jessica at The Aestate's bookends turned out and Shannon's make me wish I could have found a green set!
My bookends looked like this from the front:
And like this from the back:
They were one of the prettiest sets I could find:
I gathered my gold leaf supplies:
- Gold leaf sheets
- Adhesive size AKA glue
- A foam brush
Supplies not shown:
- Paper towels
- A soft bristled brush
I started by applying a thin and even coat of adhesive size to the backs of my bookends:
I used the foam brush so I could get into all of the nooks and crannies. I tried not to leave puddles of glue anywhere but some of the nooks were deeper than others and the glue pooled up a little bit in those spots.
After I added adhesive size to the other bookend, my first piece (the left one) was almost ready for the gold leaf:
I waited to apply any gold leaf until all of the adhesive size went from milky white to clear:
I took a large sheet of gold leaf and gently laid it on top of one bookend:
Don't worry about the gold leaf sheet tearing, it's easy to fix!
Keep applying gold leaf until the entire surface is covered. Dust off any excess with a soft bristled brush and save it for later.
Both of my bookends looked like this after my first round of gold leaf:
You can see the spots where I either didn't apply enough adhesive size or simply missed adding gold leaf to them.
I filled those spots in by adding a little adhesive size over the areas and adding scraps of gold leaf to them:
After most of the empty areas were filled in with gold leaf, my bookends looked like this:
They're not perfect but I was happy with how they looked!
At this point you can consider them finished or you can dust off any excess gold leaf pieces with a soft bristled brush and then seal them with the sealer shown above. I chose to seal mine but some people opt out of that step because it can make the gold finish look painted on instead of leafed.
Here's the finished product:
They look great from the front:
And the back!
Just for fun, here's how the bookends looked before:
And here's how they look after I applied the gold leaf:
Are you a gold leaf fiend like I am? If so, check out some of my other gold leaf projects!
I'm sharing this project at Vintage Revivals' 'Rock What Ya Got' link party!