A Touch of Gold – bookcase upcycle

Turning this old brown bookcase into a beautiful gold and green vision was a relatively quick upcycling project. You will need:

Small wooden bookcase – this one was second hand

Paint of choice – Valspar Emerald Temple in premium satin

Polyvine metal leaf size and crystal clear varnish

Gold leaf – I get mine from Wrights of Lymm


Optional – Ox hair brush

First give the bookcase a clean and a good rub over with sand paper. Since we are painting it there’s no need to get it back to bare wood. Just rough up the surface and check there aren’t any lumps of old varnish that require smoothing out.

You could (and perhaps should) paint with a primer but since I’d bought the premium paint and the bookcase will only have light wear I decided to just go for it.

I gave it two coats before moving onto the fun bit. Apply the metal leaf size wherever you want the leaf to stick. It’s really sticky and impossible to get off if you accidentally get it somewhere you don’t want so be careful! Leave to get tacky according to the instructions.

I’m really mean with my leaf and cut strips from each sheet to fit the space to get the most out of them. Once covered you can either use a gloved hand or a brush to buff away the flakes until you have a smooth finish. Leaf always has some texture to it so don’t expect it to be completely smooth.

Leave to dry and then place and dress!

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