Friday, December 9, 2011

DIY Gold Leaf Tray

Again, last spring I was busy working on a few HGTV DIY Tutorials for this Holiday Season. Nothing like working outside the given season to confuse a person, just a little. Kind of like right now, we are in the midst of the biggest holiday of the year and I'm currently focused on the Spring issue of House of Fifty! 

Regardless, here is an easy way to update a tray, great for the holidays or any time of year!

Materials Needed:

  • lacquered black serving tray
  • painters tape
  • gold leaf sheets
  • liquid adhesive
  • gold leaf sealer
  • gold leaf antiquing
  • 2 foam brushes

Gather Supplies

Source black lacquered serving tray, collect needed supplies. Tip: Can't find a lacquered tray? Create the look of by paiting a wooden tray with glossy black spray paint.

Apply Painters Tape

Line inside lower edges of tray with painters tape, running the tape edge flush to tray surface. Press firmly in place.

Apply Adhesive

Brush tray surface with gold leaf liquid adhesive. Let the adhesive set for approximately 30 minutes, or until tacky.

Apply Gold Leaf

Lay sheets of gold leaf over tray surface, overlapping slightly as necessary. Press into place with a foam brush. Tip: Don't worry about applying gold leaf perfectly. Folds and gaps in the leafing create surface interest.
Once the entire surface is covered with gold leaf, brush away loose particles with a foam brush.

Apply Sealer

Brush on a layer of gold leaf sealer. Let dry 30 minutes.

Apply Antiquing Finish

Brush on layer of gold leaf antiquing finish.

Finish the Tray

Rub antiquing finish into cracks and ridges. Wipe away any excess with rag. Then, remove the tape. The tray is ready to be stocked with drinks, spirits or appetizers!

To see this and more DIY projects visit


  1. Great project. Very elegant for the holidays. Would make a great gift as well.

  2. I'd love to receive one of these as a gift!

  3. Janell this is so elegant and I love the gold leafing. You made it into a stunning piece!

    Still many surprises coming up in our amazing 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!! The French Basketeer has a lovely offering right now!


    Art by Karena

  4. Fun! I may have to try this since I have a package of gold leafing picked up from a yard sale-just need to get the rest of the supplies! Thanks for the great idea.

  5. You never cease to amaze. Great project and so easy to follow. I really confused my poor three year old while snapping advent calender photos back in September. Have a great weekend.

  6. I love gold leaf. I used it to gold leaf a coffee table and a chandelier. It came out beautifully. Easy to use.

  7. A lovely little bit of glam! That was one of the only things I didn't particularly enjoy about working in mags - starting to shoot for Christmas in July and make it look like winter. By the time the holidays came around, I felt like I had already been through Christmas! :)

  8. this looks like such a fun and easy project. i think this may have to be added on my to-do list! Thanks for inspiring me =)

  9. Janell,if you start wearing summery flowing skirts and tank tops we will start to worry about your seasonal mix up!! HAHA....just remember it is spring/summer in Australia, a little getaway to there may be in order after editing and finalizing the spring issue....On to the tray, great idea and easy, thanks for the tutorial!

  10. Yet another reason why I adore you and your creativity. It's fabulous!

  11. Oh I wish!!! I LOVE AUSTRALIA!! We wanted to go last year (for my big birthday)but the cost just was insane...another day! I'll try to refrain from pulling out the summer wear...Janell

  12. LOVE gold leaf anything- your tray is fabulous!

  13. you are brillz!


  14. Looks beautiful! I have the same tray and I think I may try silver leaf.

  15. Oh, silver would be beautiful! Love leafing...(I once did a whole ceiling in a dining room with silver leaf. NEVER. AGAIN. Beautiful, but the neck cramps...)


  16. That must be tricky to source things out of season! Great little tray!

  17. This is lovely, Janell. Classy and elegant. I think I may go in search of a tray this weekend and give it a try. It would make a nice gift as well as one for myself! Hope you have a great weekend.

  18. I have a tray that needs this sprucing up. Lovely!

  19. Hi Janell, I'm thinking of trying this out on a mirror - do you recommend a brand of gold leafing over the others? Thanks, liz


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