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DIY: Metallic Gold Leaf Tray

Project and Photos By: Jennifer Kirk
Here's an easy and oh-so-chic way to add a little glimmer to your wedding day!
You'll Need: 
10 3/4" x 14 3/4" wooden tray from craft store
3/4" wide masking tape
Metallic gold leaf sheets
Size (adhesive for gold leaf)
Foam brush x2
White spray paint
Spray gloss laquer (clear)
Fine grit sandpaper
Paint brush with small, fine tip
White acrylic paint
Hand-vac or vacuum with hose attachment (to clean up bits of gold leaf as you work)
Step One
Lightly sand away any rough spots on tray
Step Two 
Spray entire tray white (I didn't bother with the underside). Let dry completely.
Step Three 
Starting from the upper right corner of the tray, stretch a piece of masking tape down to about 7 3/4" in from right side.
Step Four
Lay down three more strips of tape flush with one another.
Step Five 
Remove the third tape strip completely and save, using as a "spacer" to evenly add more masking tape diagonals to the left.
Step Six 
When the left side of the tray is completely masked, begin the opposite diagonals on the right side of tray. Each strip must be cut straight at the top and should just touch the perpendicular diagonal.
Step Seven
Once the right side is masked, carefully remove the perpendicular diagonal. Burnish the tape with your fingers to make sure each strip is firmly adhered to tray.
Step Eight
With a foam brush, apply a thin, uniform layer of size to exposed white stripes. Allow to dry for 30-45 minutes.
Step Nine 
Carefully expose a sheet of metallic leaf. With clean, dry hands (the leaf will cling and tear if your hands are wet), gently tear off a small corner piece. Press into the corner of the tray using your fingers and/or a dry foam brush. 
Step Ten 
It helps to first leaf where the side of the tray and bottom meet. Use the straight edge of a leaf sheet to get a straight, clean line.
Step Eleven
For the longer stripes, tear off strips of metal leaf and press down onto the white areas prepared with size. Gently smooth and burnish the metal leaf with your fingertip. If you're like me, you may be a little impatient and want to remove the masking tape as you work. Before you remove the tape, clean up any residual leaf with a vacuum attachment and hose, but be careful not to scratch off any leaf you just applied. Next, very slowly peel off tape, burnishing the metal leaf as you go.
Step Twelve
Use a small piece of masking tape to clean up any leaf clinging to the sides of the tray. Tiny pieces of gold leaf may cling to white areas of the tray. Use a bit of white acrylic paint to touch up any wayward leaf. When finished, spray a couple of coats of protective clear laquer.
Last Updated: March 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm
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