sweet baby Jesus, what have I done?

Friends, I fear it’s going to be a long, messy day.  A day that may end in the destruction of my sweet French chair.  Death by gold leaf.

I’m obviously a complete idiot for thinking I had the chops to tackle this project.  As I sit here with gold bits attached to my fingers, hair and apartment floor, I’m questioning why I didn’t hone my gold leafing skills before tackling my pretty chair.  Like, why not test it out on a block of wood, or some crappy piece of furniture I didn’t care about ruining?
Impatience is surely one of Decorating’s Seven Deadly Sins, and I’m the worst sinner of all.
Bri, not gonna lie, kinda blame you for giving me advice and making me believe I could do this.  OK, not really, but you make everything look so easy!
There are just so many curves and angles on this dang chair.  And my clumsy fingers are not navigating the sticky gold leaf so well.  Sigh.
I’m going to keep at it.  I thinking layering upon layering must fix some of this disaster.  I just may need to take a break and do some real work soon.
OH, And the scariest thought of all?  
There are two of these chairs.
(sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, just had to share my despair)
  1. Hello,
    Do you have any tips for finding auctions that you attend? I would love to attend an auction but I have never been to one before! I am nervous!!!
    Thanks for your tips.

  2. Ok, even though I totally feel for you because I’m SO guilty of the impatience sin when it comes to decorating, the title of this post made me laugh. I’m guessing in the end you’re going to pull this off and the chairs will be AMAZING. That’s always how it works out! Panic–> amazing results.

  3. Brandi

    You are brave! I would not have the balls to try this out myself so i commend you for that! You’ll get the hang of it soon. You can always sand and start again!

  4. Thanks for all the advice and support, guys!! I plan to work on it again Monday night. I will definitely “prime” the second one with gold paint before applying the leaf.


  5. Gurl I told you this sh*t was a pain in the ass! I did. I did too! Honestly, gold leafing is just something you have to have patience with. Just break it up into different days beacuse trying to do it all in one day will make you want to punch yourself in the face.

    It’s a very tedious process but you can DO it!! Finish it don’t you dare stop! Are you gonna let Gold Leaf beat you??

    P.s. I started another gold leafing project Monday.

  6. nkp

    You can do it! I believe in you. Burnish it once you’re done and I think it will look great!

    I had the idea to gold leaf a portion of my bedroom ceiling. I think I should nix that thought real quick like. Yes? ;0)

  7. This is something I would do. I just want to jump in and then it becomes a clusterf***. I think if you just hang in there and fill it in it will be divine and you’ll look back on it and think “I’m so glad I did”!!

  8. Kecia

    They make gold leaf paint. Maybe touch it up with that? I’ve never used gold leaf, but I used the paint and it’s easy peasy.

  9. I was about to order materials and start my first attempt at gold leafing a Chinoiserie chair with lots of faux bamboo. Sorry you’re having a frustrating time. I’m so glad you shared though because it looks like I needed a reality check!

  10. I meant good luck…stupid iPad.

  11. I am so sorry for your frustration and pain but happy to see your and commenters above being so honest! I had seen Martha Stewart do this years ago and it looked so easy, I was just going to try a mirror but I think I will rethink that project. Good lick we are all cheering for you.

  12. Aaaarggh how awful! You are so much braver than me- respect.Somehow I think you WILL pull this off!!

  13. I have absolute perfect confidence that you will pull this off in true Naomi style and it will turn out fabulous…in the mean time, drinking and swearing at that *&%#$! chair is not out of the question…(c: I was actually thinking it was looking pretty awesome…gold leaf has got to be a you-know-what to get perfect!

  14. Oh my I don’t even know what’s involved in gold leafing but you have successfully convinced me to never attempt it!

    So what’s the next step? Is it hopeless or are you going to give it another go before calling a professional? These are going to be stunning at the end of it all.

  15. I totally feel for you. This is really why I don’t DIY. I’ve got my fingers crossed – I believe it’s going to work out in the end, despite the painful process!!

  16. Ha! Thanks for sharing and making us all feel more normal when we hit such road blocks. Good luck! I hope you can save it!

  17. Lord…been there…done that…but not in a very LONG time. I am wondering why, and it must be that my experience sucked. I can’t remember.

  18. Yeah, I don’t even wanna know what kind of mess I would create if I even tried painting a block of wood. As of now I can only really manage spray paint.

    My cousin reupholstered her own chair with tufting and piping. While she was in grad school. Took her four months and shed a lot of tears, but heck, she did it. As could you!

  19. Oh, Naomi, I feel your pain – well not totally, but I get it. I gold-leafed a frame once and it was a mess! Have you ever thought of trying the gold leaf paint? I used that on some stuff and it seems to work pretty well. Also, what about that rub and buff stuff that some bloggers are always touting? Good luck to you. It will look great once it’s done, but the in-between sucks. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not the best DIY’er. I leave it to Bri!

  20. Lily

    Oh no !! Hope you can fix it !


  21. I had the same issues with a mirror I did! Get some thin cotton gloves so the leaf won’t stick to your fingers – will make it a million times easier…
    -e (modern24seven.blogspot.com)

  22. Hang in there. Do NOT forget to seal this in the end because it will scratch and peel otherwise. Can’t wait to see it in the end.

  23. Danika

    Got to agree with you, gold leaf is a messy sticky biatch. I have size still stuck on my kitchen floor from the last time I did it. Take breaks and drink wine. Thats my advice.

  24. Am hoping it will work out for you!! blogs tend to make everything seem easy, thanks for being honest! i want to try gold leafing sometime in the future..

  25. hang in there. the curves and angles will MAKE it after you apply the glazing or whatever goes atop to burnish it and tone it down.

    …and there’s always sandpaper and a can of paint if the leafing looks like $h*t!

    wishing you luck…

  26. Ashley

    Would you believe me when I said I am currently experiencing the same kind of gold leafing hell? Well, I am. Let’s commiserate together.

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