DIY Decor


We’re back from California and ready to get things going in the house project department. First on my to do list, a quick and easy 1-hour project to curb some of my gold-loving cravings. I’ve really had a thing for gold lately. Gold jewelry, gold accents, gold nail polish, gold table lamps and even those cool phone handsets for iPhones… if it’s gold, I pretty much love it.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

First, let’s rewind a bit. When I saw this little guy in the dollar section at Target, I thought he was so stinking cute. I think I literally said, “Hey, little guuuuuy!” out loud… and I’m pretty sure the shoppers around me probably thought I was nuts. Even though he looked like he belonged in a play room, I wanted to bring him home, so I did. I let him hang out in the “future project stash” in my office for a while until I came up with an idea for him. My first thought was a few coats of bright spray paint. Spray paint can so easily transform just about anything, and has the ability to cover a multitude of sins. That was a little too expected, though. I wanted to try out something different. Then it dawned on me… gold leaf! I have a thing for gold, the “little guy” only cost one dollar, I had some gold leaf on hand stashed away in my office… so why not?

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

I gathered my supplies: Gold leaf, gloves or “gilding gloves” (not a necessity, but really nice to have), a small container of gilding size, sealer and a few natural bristle brushes. If you buy all of these things separately, it might total to around $20-$28. However, you can commonly find gold leaf kits for about $12 that will have everything you need.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

I started off by brushing a thin layer of gilding size all over our little bulldog. I tried to make sure there weren’t any puddles, but with all of the creases, it was bound to happen in a few places. After all of the surfaces were coated. I let him sit for 20 minutes.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

The time you have to wait depends on the brand of gilding size you’re using, but to see if it’s ready, just lightly touch the surface with the back of your finger to see if it’s tacky. Tacky = good to go. Sticky or gooey = not yet. Also, the gilding size should go from a milky white to clear when it’s ready to go.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

Once the size was set, I put on my cotton gloves and took out the first piece of gold leaf and lightly patted it down with my gloved hands.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

Now, here’s what I love about this stuff: it’s so forgiving. Obviously, the first piece of gold leaf didn’t cover the entire thing. All I had to do was put another sheet over the area that didn’t get covered, and there was no way to tell where one sheet ended and the other began.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

This “little guy” has soooo many grooves and hard-to-get-to areas – something I didn’t take into consideration before I started this – so it took a good amount of time to get everything completely covered.Β I’m sure it would be a lot easier on a smooth surface, and if I decide to gild anything else in the future, it will definitely be smooth. Oh, and it’s worth noting that a clean brush came in very handy when brushing off the excess gold leaf hear and there.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

Once everything was completely covered with gold leaf, it was time for the sealer. Using another brush, I brushed a thin layer on and let it sit for about 24 hours. In the end, it turned out well, and now I have a cute little gold puppy…

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

I’m sure I’ll end up moving him from room to room until I find the perfect place. But for now, he’s hanging out in the guest room.

DIY Gold Leaf Bulldog / 7th House on the Left

It’s a nice little way to curb my gold cravings while adding a little additional personality to the house.

DIY Gold Leaf Milk Bottle Vase / 7th House on the Left

While the bulldog was drying, I was standing there looking at the left over gold leaf and knew I just had to leaf something else, so I grabbed one of the left over “milk bottles” from our winter brunch and went to town.

DIY Gold Milk Bottle Vase / 7th House on the Left

A few minutes later, I had a cute little rustic glam milk bottle vase for my office. Oh, I figured out that if you “sloppily” apply the gilding size (like in the photo of the unfinished bottle above), you’ll get a “rustic glam” look on a smooth surface.

PS As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we have a new and improved design coming your way soon! Our plan was to have the new look published a few days later, but with life, our vacation and such, we had to push it back a little. We didn’t want to publish everything until every last pixel was in place. We’re hoping to have the new changes up by this coming weekend, so stay tuned!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Christina @ Homemade Ocean
    February 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I have jumped on the gold train also! I am loving that pup πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Megan S
    February 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Are you kidding me?! These are just too awesome for words! I love the look of the dog, LOVE IT!

  • Reply
    Cassondra Wiebe
    February 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    So fun! Gold was never my thing but has lately been awesome to me also, and this is a fun transformation as a spray paint alternative.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I love a bit of gold leaf. Seriously such a cute way to show a bit of personality, but still look put together and stylish. He’d be at home in any glamourous office!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Super cute!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    That looks amazing! I don’t think you should shy away from bumpy surfaces, it looks like it worked perfectly! I don’t even like dogs and it makes me wish I had that puppy at home. Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ Home Style Report
    February 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I love the gold puppy!!!! I actually thought it was kinda cute before but the after is awesome! I have a funny colored ceramic turtle that may be getting that same treatment soon!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve always wanted to guild something but been intimidated by my lack of knowledge. Not any more!! Thanks for breaking it down-btw that pup is adorbs!!

  • Reply
    Brad @ Mr. Write Away
    February 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I love that dog.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Oh! I would love to do me a silver something. Love your doggie πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

    This is fantastic! I’m totally inspired πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Love it! Will definitely have to try πŸ™‚ where did you buy that clock radio in the background ?

    • Reply
      February 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      I bought it from Bombay Company’s closeout sale – right before they went out of business a few years back. They’re back in business, but the style of furniture and accessories are very different from what they were before. Boo!

  • Reply
    L. Dyer
    February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Your photos always look amazing!

    • Reply
      February 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Aw, thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating
    March 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I have spray painted a thrift store ceramic animal before, but never would have though of gold leafing. Great idea!

    BTW, just found your blog via West Elm’s site. Love your style. Looking forward to seeing all your new house photos once they’re posted. In the mean time, I’m a new subscriber!

    • Reply
      March 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Awesome! Glad you found us : )

    Leave a Reply