Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold

When I was a child my mother had ‘pretty stuff’ and ‘ordinary stuff’; I think everybody can relate to that. The pretty things were for guests and the rest we had to use. Because times have changed and today, we generally have one living room, one set of china, one set of cutlery whatever we use daily we also use for our guests. That is why I like to have extraordinary ‘ordinary stuff’.

Gilding can be very time consuming but produces striking results. I particularly enjoy combining it with other craft techniques and the eye-catching results. Most of the objects for this month need to be gilded.



You will need:

object to gild

sponge brushes

universal undercoat (if necessary)

top-coat paint (if necessary)

vinegar (if necessary)

sheets of gold, silver or bronze leaf

water-based size (glue for gilding)

cotton gloves

a pair of scissors

good quality artist paintbrushes

small piece of velvet fabric

water-based varnish

  1. Prepare the item you want to gild. If you do the gilding on raw wood, it is advisable to fill in the grain and sand the surface to make sure it is perfectly smooth. Any defects will show up. Use a sponge brush to paint the wood with a universal undercoat and top coat paint. Choose a dark paint colour (brown, black or red) for gold or bronze leaf, and a light-coloured paint (white or yellow) for silver leaf. If you gild directly onto glass, clean the surface with a little vinegar added to lukewarm water; it needs to be grease and dust free.
  2. Make sure the item is completely dry. Using a sponge brush, apply the size evenly and thinly with strokes across the entire surface you want to gild.
  3. Allow the size to dry completely (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the container). It is important not to touch the size as it will mark. The best way to check the state of the size is to use the hair on the back of your hand: if you feel a slight pull, the size is ready.
  4. Before working with metal leaf, ensure that your work area is draft free. It is important to wear cotton gloves when handling the leaf. Pick up a sheet of leaf along the tissue border laying the foil against the size surface and pass your fingers very gently and slowly over the back of the tissue. Metal leaf is extremely fragile. Repeat the process until the size area is completely covered. Cut smaller pieces of leaf for smaller areas and to fill any gaps.
  5. Small creases will appear. Don’t worry; brush the creases away with a paintbrush.


How to do the gold pot

Recycled items:

old pots (ceramic or plastic)

black paint


You will also need:

gold leaf sheets

size (glue)


good quality artist paintbrushes

sponge brush

cotton gloves

small piece of velvet fabric

water-based varnish


  1. Follow the above gilding steps to create this pot.

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