Techniques

How to: Use Gilding Wax on Furniture

So I’ve got this old piece of furniture and I’ve painted it many times over the years so it’s got a lot of texture on it. It’s an old looking piece… probably not that old, but it’s an old looking piece and so I want to give these bits here a nice gilded look and I’m going to use… it’s called ‘Warm Gold’, but it’s really like the colour of Victorian gold. It’s warm, very slightly coppery and red. I’m going to use that mainly and then I’m going to use just a little bit of the light, brighter gold.

So to do it, I’m just going to put a little bit on my finger… a tiny bit and then I’m going to start wiping just to show up the relief. And because there’s quite a bit of texture in the paint, it’s not applying it flatly, which is perfect.

It’s all looking good but what I’m going to add is a second colour, which I’ll sort of use to highlight and slightly blend in. So I’m going to put it throughout the centre part, I think. Not everywhere, just in parts and not equally. Don’t get it too balanced. Otherwise, it’s too predictable. If it’s too flat, you don’t get that lovely authentic uneven look.

Some of you won’t want to use your finger. I like it because it’s sensitive, but you could put a cloth over it, or you could use a brush. It’s just that you have to be a little bit more sensitive to it, but it’s fine. It’s your choice.

So that’s it, all finished! And I’m going to leave it now until tomorrow, and then maybe just buff up a little bit to get that lovely shine. I’m really pleased with it!

Learn how to gild painted furniture using a combination of Gilding Wax colours for an authentic finish

If you love the gilded look, but are nervous about gilding with gold leaf, look no further. This technique couldn’t be easier with the help of Annie Sloan Gilding Wax. Gold, copper or silver – choose a metallic to match your chosen Chalk Paint® colour and then all you need to apply the wax is a lint-free cloth or a small brush. For this particular technique, Annie used two gilding wax colours – a lighter gold on the raised areas and darker in the recesses – for a more three-dimensional or contoured look.

Gilding Wax is particularly good for bringing out ornate carvings and mouldings, enhancing texture and detailing. You can use it on furniture, but you might want to try it on decorative items such as a lamp base or picture frame too.

Step by step guide to using gilding wax on furniture

  1. Paint your piece of furniture in Chalk Paint® moving your brush in every direction for a textured finish.
  2. Once the paint has dried, seal it with a coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax.
  3. Apply Annie Sloan Gilding Wax in two colours (e.g. Bright Gold and Warm Gold) building up the wax in layers for an authentic, uneven look.

Gilding Wax is the quickest way to add a touch of metallic to your painted furniture. If you want to try a larger project, you could also try applying a stencil with Gilding Wax, too. There’s plenty of scope for multiple projects – with every tube of Annie Sloan Gilding Wax, there’s enough to cover a whole dining room chair! For more tips and techniques, take a look at our Gilding Wax Fact Sheet to help get you started.

For a more traditional technique, gilding with loose or transfer leaf – brass, silver or copper – is also worth looking into. If you’re curious to find out more, Annie has also created a video tutorial on gilding with transfer leaf for a modern look.

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