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Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf

As promised in my last post, here’s another great project that involves gold leaf.  You can do this with any wooden object.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Years ago, back when I was still single and living in a rental, I didn’t want to invest too much time and money into decorating a place that was only temporary. I bought this cute little wooden vase from Crate and Barrel, but I still had no solid vision for how I wanted my place to look. I bought it not thinking about how it would coordinate with everything else.  So now that I’m really seriously decorating a home that I own, I find that the dark wood blends in too much with my dark, neutral decor. It basically just disappears, and does not fit in with my over-all vision for the place.

Not ready to get rid of a relatively high quality item, I decided that a color blocked (or dip-painted) paint job with gold trim would be the perfect way to brighten AND glam it up! Here’s how I did it:

To start, find the midpoint of your object and mask off a straight line.  The grain of the wood helped me to keep the line straight, but measuring might be required for a more irregular shape. Use old news paper or scrap paper to shield the rest of the vase that you want to keep the original wood finish.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Next prep your surface for painting.  I used the exact same technique and paint that I did for my kitchen cabinets. This video does a great job of explaining it. Anyway, clean and sand your surface.  Make sure to wipe off all of the dust with a damp rag.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Next brush on a thin layer of primer.  I used Behr Enamel Undercoater Primer and Sealer for glossy surfaces. It was left over from when we fixed up the kitchen.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Once the primer is dry, start applying paint.  Here are a few tips that I’ve mentioned before:

-Don’t wait too long, primer works better if you act quickly.
-Keep your paint thin.  It’s better to do several thin coats than one thick coat.  It will be smoother with less brush stroke texture.
-Always send your paint strokes towards the direction of the area that you’ve already painted.

I used the left over white paint from our kitchen cabinets (Behr Interior Semi Gloss Enamel).

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

To get that pastel orangy-peachy color you see in the pictures I added a squirt of red and yellow interior paint samples that I happened to have lying around. Make sure to mix it thoroughly if you don’t buy pre-mixed paint.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Unfortunately, since I’ve had this old can of paint for quite some time, it had started to thicken.  I was too lazy to buy a latex conditioner and my paint went on with a bad brush stroke texture.  I’m hoping it will flatten out over time as it dries more.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

You’ll probably need to apply two or three coats.  When everything dries, remove the masking tape VERY CAREFULLY! I found the best way to do this is pulling flat against the surface, in the opposite direction from the painted area.  Do this VERY SLOWLY to prevent the paint from tearing off with the tape.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

If you do accidentally tear off some pf the paint like I did in the picture below, Just touch it up with a small paint brush.

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Now that all the painting is done (and dry), you can finish things off with the gold leafed trim.  I did this the exact same way I did the picture frame in my last post.

Sand, clean off dust, paint on adhesive:

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Apply gold foil:

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

This whole project was really quick and I think the vase now looks super trendy, modern, and just over all happier.  Love it!

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf  - >> joeandcheryl.com <<


6 comments to Wooden Vase Update Using Paint and Gold Leaf

  • Wow, just noticed the redesign of the site! Great job on the site and on the vase 🙂

  • cheryl

    Thanks!! The banner at the top is actually a photo of a print I designed for myself and got printed on fabric at spoonflower. I’m going to make a pair of shorts and throw pillows out of it soon =)

  • Lisa

    Nice vase! I’m impressed with all your step by step pics. How do you manage to sand, paint and take photos!

  • cheryl

    Thanks Lisa!! I use a tripod and the camera timer. Then I pose with both of my hands in position and wait for the timer to go off. Its actually a pretty comical process.

  • What a great change, and so simple! Just found your blog – so glad I did!! 🙂

  • cheryl

    Thanks so much! I’m so glad you like it. It was a really fun project =)

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