Friday, March 21, 2014

Use Foil for an easy Silver Leaf finish!

 Aged silver leaf on a cabinet is a beautiful look.
Want to get the look without the hassle?
Our lovely cabinet was not so lovely to begin with,
take a look at its transformation.
This wood cabinet is an old stereo cabinet.
The front panels had cracked decorative panels that we removed.
Next step was using Annie Sloan's wonderful paint to cover.
We used Graphite Chalk Paint for the base to our silver leaf effect.
After the paint dried we applied a coat of Artisan Enhancements Leaf and Foil sizing.
Its like a watery glue that you paint on with a brush.
Colin and I painted the sizing on together working from either ends
of the cabinets.  We were undecided about the panels so we did not
apply the sizing inside the paneled area at first. Later we changed our minds
and did size that area as well. Wait for the sizing to dry to tacky status,
about 45 minutes.
Then start with a sheet of foil that will cover an area.
Foil is thin and on a roll (you can see it on the floor next to me).
It comes in silver, champagne and gold.
Where ever you paint the sizing on is where the foil will stick.
I roll off about 18" and then stick it matte side to the sized area.
Then rub it on with a scrub brush or a dried sea sponge to make good contact
before you peel the sheet of foil back.  The metallic foil will stick to the cabinet
and the sheet will come off almost transparent, as you can see above.
This is soooo easy and fast! Foil doesn't flake like silver leaf and you can do
large sections at a time, making this project go very quickly indeed!

Rubbing it on, peeling it off~this is the look.
You will see the brush strokes of the sizing and it creates a 
very natural leafed effect.
After a bit of debate, Colin went ahead and foiled the interiors of the panels.
Then he selected a stencil and used Graphite Chalk Paint to go over the silver.
Look at how amazing this looks!
Our stencil pattern was Royal Design Studios Small Eastern Lattice.

You can see how it looks after Colin finished the first door,
After it was all finished he protected it with Artisan Enhancements Clear Top Coat.
We use this over special finishes, like foil for a clear protective coat.
You can finish it with Annie Sloan's clear soft wax but it will dull down the foil.
Finished silver leaf effect cabinet!
Finished in one day! Hooray!
To see how easy it is to apply foil,
watch the quick short video below.



  1. That turned out so pretty and interesting looking. I've never seen a piece of furniture done like that before.

  2. THAT is quite amazing! I never knew you could use foil like that?! Is is ANY store bought foil or a special Kind? that peels??? Also the idea for stenciling was brilliant, the effect wonderful! beautiful piece, please let me know about the "peeling foil"...blessings, lady

  3. Absolutely stunning! I love the look and thank you for showing us how it is done!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  4. Hi Amy,
    I saw your comment on Tina's blog post about me, and PLEASE PLEASE don't feel intimidated!
    Think of the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz - the little man behind the curtain pulling lots of strings to look big!
    I have a dozen professionals/people helping me with this home renovation project - it is NOT me on my own!

    I looked at your projects on your last fe posts, and I'd never be able to do what you do, let alone make it so easy!


  5. What a gorgeous finish. It looks like something straight off the pages of Veranda magazine. I love the look

  6. The silver leaf is nice and looking awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    Loom Home Textiles

  7. I LOVE this technique and look forward to trying it on a small decorative hutch. Do you have any pieces you have done using the champagne foil that you could post a photo of ?? I have a particular piece in mind, but not sure whether silver or champagne is best for this particular project. Love your result! Thank you for sharing.

  8. This is stunning! I love all your makeovers, but this one is quite special. You are all so talented! Best, Beth C.

  9. That is the coolest stuff, Amy! What an amazing transformation with that old cabinet! I'm thinking that this foil may be fun to use on candlesticks, little trinket boxes, etc to give them a semi-florentine look??? Great job and thanks for the video, too!!!!

    xoxo laurie

  10. Amy, that is so beautiful!!!..Just love the finish!

  11. It is nice and seems to be easy to do, thank you to share!


  12. Oh My Heaven this is glamourous
    Your tutotial made it seem effortless. ITS A MUST TRY
    goes well with a mix of silver and gold I can see those long fur tibetan pillows in this room
    Dixie from Utah

  13. Can you tell me what the name of the foil is called and where it can be ordered?

    1. Teresa, This is foil used to replicate silver leafing and can be found in many craft stores. This particular foil is by Artisan Enhancements and carried by stockists that sell their products. You can go to their web page and see who sells their metallic foils or look for booklets of metallic foils at Michaels and other big craft shops.

  14. Could you use the cricut metallic foil? They have a lot of cool colors!

  15. Looks wonderfull. Congratulations!. I ll try it first with the foots of my coutch!. Best regards from Buenos Aires

  16. So beautiful. I am from belgium and do lots of crafts. I wonder if I can find the foil over here. Thank you for the idea. I love it.

  17. It looks so simple (but maby it's not) but it looks just great!


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