How to apply metallic finishes for craft easily

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

What are the best ways to apply metallic finishes for craft easily? Our illustrated step-by-step guide takes you through several easy metallic processes.

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Candlesticks, picture frames and even walls can be upgraded with gold and silver, gunmetal and bronze metallic finishes. Our examples show how easy this is.

Gold and silver always set very special accents in the wall design and decoration and transform even the most inconspicuous objects into shimmering treasures. There are several ways to cover small objects with gloss. The simplest and cheapest DIY methods are presented here.

Ways to apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Beautiful effects can be achieved, for example, with metal lacquers from the can, as these two wooden candlesticks prove. Here, only a pre-painting with acrylic paint is necessary. The border on the wall is also easy to implement. Prerequisite is a smooth substrate such as a fleece wallpaper. After painting with a wall color, the stencil pattern is spotted with gold paint and brush.

Gilding with stencils

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

The liquid gold paint is particularly suitable for stencil technology and is one of the best ways to apply metallic finishes for craft easily. The interplay between the fairytale ornaments in gold and the matt wall paint in red creates a delightful contrast. Stencils in countless patterns are available on the Internet. Or just design your own personal pattern!

Painting metallic finishes for craft

Step 1/3: Paint wooden candleholders

The substrate for this wooden candleholder must be pre-painted with an acrylic paint before the liquid gilding. The best match for gold and bronze is red, and for silver and gunmetal is a cool blue.

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 2/3: Gild wooden chandeliers

Stir the gold paint well with a wooden stick before applying, as the pigments settle downwards. Add some colour to an old saucer and apply the candlestick evenly from bottom to top. The gold color dries quite quickly.

Step 3/3: Sanding the gold

In order to give the candlestick an antique touch, the gold covering is slightly sanded with steel wool after the drying period, so that the red paint shines through in some places.

Gilding with the leaf technique

In the case of transfer or leaf technology, as the name suggests, the gold covering is transferred to the object. This type of processing includes traditional gold leaf, transfer gold, impact metal or even foil. For hobby artists, the transfer gold,which is just as effective as gold leaf, is easier to handle,as it adheres to a paper support layer. The same applies to the cheaper impact metal. If you only want to apply symbols or fonts made of gold, use transfer foil for the best effect.

Various gold editions:
Transfer gold is offered in different tones. This ranges from pure gold leaf in 24 carats to white gold to a bright yellow gold. Significantly cheaper is impact or decorative metal leaf.


apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 1/4: Pre-paint picture frames

The picture frame is first pre-painted with an acrylic paint. After drying, sand the surfaces well and apply a second coat of paint.

Step 2/4: Apply Mixture

Then a mixture is coated with the brush on the dry and dust-free substrate. This ingenuity oil is necessary for the long-lasting durability of the transfer leaf gold. About three hours after the application, the ideal adhesive force for the application of the leaf metal is achieved. When you rub over with your finger, a slight antiqued tone is created.

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 3/4: Apply transfer gold

Now the real gilding begins. For this purpose, a sheet of transfer gold, which is placed on a piece of silk paper, is applied with a slight print on the prepared frame (paper side upwards) 

Step 4/4: Smooth gold

Peel off the paper and smooth the gold leaf with a cotton wool ball. Carefully rub to ensure that the thin gold sticks.

Gilding with impact metal

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 1/4: Apply glue

In order to apply impact metal, an adhesive must also be placed on the substrate. This is an acrylic adhesive that dries quickly.

Step 2/4: Apply impact metal

Impact metal must be processed as a whole sheet. Since it is thicker than gold leaf, it can be removed by hand and applied to the almost dry adhesive.

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 3/4: Pressing the impact metal

With a soft brush, the impact metal is pressed onto the substrate. It is easy to lay it around edges and corners. Collect and process the leftovers on a sheet of paper.

Step 4/4: Apply clear varnish

Since impact metal is made of copper, zinc and aluminium, it starts easily in humid air. This can be a nice, intentional effect, but must be protected with clear varnish.Next

Contours in transfer technique

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

This is ideally suited for individual messages, but the golden metallic even holds on to textiles and similar surfaces with this technique, using ‘Magic Art’ adhesive.

Step 1/2: Paint with glue

The adhesive forms the contour and lets it dry until it is transparent. Then put on the gold or silver foil and rub. 

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

Step 2/2: Remove the foil: carefully peel off.

Glitter to apply metallic finishes for craft easily

To turn small accessories such as chip boxes into glamorous eye-catchers, metal powders, glitter sticks or spray paint from the can are suitable, as handling these materials is easy. You can also make your own Christmas decoration in no time. Nuts, pebbles and ornamental pumpkins only really come into play when the golden and silver shimmering surfaces reflect the candlelight.

Metal powder can be processed as well as glitter. However, it is also suitable for being mixed with a clear varnish. This strokeable gold mass can then be applied well with a brush. The small glitter sticks are scattered on the still moist glue, which is applied beforehand with the brush. The glitter is then immediately evenly distributed with the fingers.

Spray to apply metallic finishes for craft easily

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

If you like to browse flea markets and enjoy the finishing of everyday objects, you might take this candlestick as a model. Candlesticks are available in craft shops and flea markets. Raw wood must be primed, old layers of paint must be sanded before painting.

With effect spray in gold, we have refreshed the good piece of metal. Important for a satisfactory result is a stainless, dry substrate surface. In order to achieve a great high gloss, one or two layers are sprayed on. They are grip-dry in an hour.

Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to preserve the gloss permanently. A coating with clear varnish would dissolve the acrylic spray. There is only one thing: spray a new layer of gold spray when the gloss fades.

Rubbing gold

apply metallic finishes for craft easily

The rubbing metallic paste is ideal for restoring old picture frames or antique wooden chandeliers as well as for modeling defective stucco strips. It is applied with the finger or a soft cloth and rubbed away to leave the desired effect.