DIY Gold Leaf Coffee Table

DIY Gold Leaf Coffee Table

Add gold leaf to an existing coffee table to give it a new, glamorous look.

5 col

Transform a bland old coffee table into one that shines with metallic paint and gold leafing sheets.

Existing coffee table
Electric sander with 220-grit sand paper (or sanding block)
Safety glasses
Dust mask
Metallic gold spray paint & primer (all in one)
Silver liquid gilding paint
Foam paintbrushes
Gold leaf sheets; (18 pack) 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches
Painter’s tape
Spray adhesive for metal leafing
Water-based sealer glue and finish
Paint roller
Painter’s tape (optional)
Plastic drop cloth (optional)


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  1. With safety glasses and a dust mask on, sand the coffee table with an electric sander with 220-grit sandpaper (or sanding block). Sand the edges and legs of the coffee table with an individual sheet of 220-grit sandpaper. You just want to remove any dings or dirt, and remove the glossy surface of your table.
  2. Run a damp rag around the table to remove all the dust.
  3. Spray paint the top of the table with metallic gold spray paint and primer combined in one. (Tape off the legs with tape and plastic if you don’t want them to get hit by overspray from the spray paint.)
  4. Paint the legs of the coffee table using a paintbrush and silver liquid gilding paint. You may need to apply two coats of paint for full coverage. Let the paint dry.
  5. Once the paint is dry, spray adhesive for metal leafing over the top of the table. Hold the can of adhesive 8-10 inches above the tabletop, and cover the entire surface including the edges of the tabletop.
  6. Wait 2 minutes for the adhesive to become tacky. You can gently touch your fingers to the top of the table and feel when the adhesive is tacky. (The adhesive stays tacky for 24 hours, so you don’t have to rush.)
  7. Line up the first sheet along the edge of the tabletop so the gold leaf is facedown. Use a foam brush to press the gold leafing into the adhesive, pressing down all four edges. Start on one end of the coffee table and peel the paper backing off the gold leafing. It’s okay if there are a few holes in the gold leafing because you will go back later and touch these spots up. For now, focus on applying the leaf sheets across the surface.
  8. Take a second sheet of gold leaf and overlap the first sheet by at least 1/8”. Set the sheet into the adhesive and run a foam brush over the top. Make sure to press down all four edges of the sheet. Start in one corner of the gold leaf sheet and peel back the paper backing. Repeat this process until the entire tabletop is covered in gold leafing.
  9. After you’ve laid gold leafing over the top of the table, move onto the edge of the tabletop. Line the sheets up so they overlap 1/8 of an inch. Use a foam brush to press the gold leaf into the curves and crevices. Gently peel the paper backing off, and repeat his process for the entire edge.
  10. Go around the table and fill in holes where small sections of gold leafing are missing. Take a sheet of gold leaf and press the gold into the holes or gaps. Run your brush over the gold leaf to press the gold into the adhesive. Peel the sheet back slowly to reveal the gold leaf. Repeat this for each hole you find. (It’s okay if there are a few small gaps you don’t fill in.)
  11. Use a paint roller to apply a thick coat of water-based sealer (glue) over the tabletop and sides. Let the sealer dry. Apply a second coat of sealer, and let it dry. 

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