How to Antique Gold Finish Furniture

There is 2 common way how to antique gold finish furniture which is using gold paint and using gold foil. The final result of the two is quite different, for gold paint tends to not glow very nicely, but they are easy to apply and also cheaper.

As for gold foil, the final result is really nice and looks solid like metal. But the downside is they are hard to apply and more expensive. But anyway, we will share our way of how to antique gold finish furniture both using paint or foil. The way we used to do it in our Indonesian furniture factory.

Using Gold Paint

  1. Sanding, of course, will all start from fine smooth sanding. Check every crack or defect from your furniture at this stage. It is only a headache when you find defects after gold paint is applied. So make sure everything is in good shape at this stage.
  2. Basecoat filler, it’s always a good thing to have the first coat of base filler before applying any color. It will smoothen everything up and close some small holes or unwanted wood pores. Apply a thin layer using a spray gun or smooth brush, let it dry and sand it all down until wood grain is visible again. one layer is enough in our experience.
  3. Apply a base color, and read the directions to use the paint carefully. Every brand has its own way to apply. *tips: paint your furniture in white if you want a bright gold finish, and use black or dark base color if you want more subtle gold or if you use a silver finish. Let it dry…
  4. Spray your gold or silver paint. 3 thin layer of paint is better than 1 thick one. Let it dry…
  5. Apply glaze to gain an antique look, you can read here on how to antique furniture using glaze, let it dry…
  6. After you are happy with the way it looks, apply a clear coat to seal everything up. you’re done

gold paint furniture

How to Antique Gold Finish Furniture Using Foil

  • Points 1 – 3 would be the same as if we use gold paint
  • After the base color is ready, apply a special adhesive to the wood
  • After the adhesive dries, place your gold foil on top of the wood surface and gently rub the foil so it sticks to the adhesive. *Important note: use dry and clean smooth cloth gloves to do this. NEVER touch gold foil with your bare hand, it’s not dangerous for you, but it will leave burn marks on the foil due to acidic hand sweat.
  • Only after you are satisfied with how it turned out, you can spray or apply a clear coat to protect the gilded finish.
  • Do the gilded process nice and quick, don’t leave bare uncoated gilded furniture overnight as it will turn dark like a burn mark.
gilded furniture process

There you have it, antique gold finish furniture using both paint and gold leaf. You may wonder what to choose, either paint or leaf, in our opinion, gold leaf is way better if it’s done by a professional. But if you want to do your own gilding, paint is the safe way to do that.

Another important note is, don’t do gold leaf on teak wood and other high oil content wood such as pine, the natural oil of the wood will damage the gold layer and turned it into dark burnt brown color. Unless this kind of rustic color is something you desire, you should avoid gilding this wood species.

That’s it for now, leave a comment if you got something to ask for or if you want to discuss your furniture project with us, thank You and have a nice day!

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