Creating a faux gilded antique look can feel like a big undertaking but the process is easy and the pay-off is worth it, as the photos of this piece perfectly illustrate.
This project called for thick texture, so before starting to paint, 84 Square used a little-known Chalk Paint™ hack. If you put Chalk Paint™ in the fridge or other cool area (for example a garage) the formula will thicken and coagulate. When you then use it to paint, you’ll be able to apply lots of paint at once and it will hold texture brilliantly. Just be sure to allow extra drying time for thick layers of paint. 84 Square decanted some Honfleur into a Tupperware and left overnight.
The first step to this fabulous piece was to lay down a coat of Chalk Paint™ in Honfleur. This rich, chocolately, brown works beautifully as a primer with golden gilding because of its neutral, earthy qualities. Annie also recommends Primer Red as a fabulous base for gilded projects, for the same reasons. Once the base coat was dry, 84 Square took her refrigerated Honfleur and applied it to the furniture using a spatula to give lashings of texture, like a thickly frosted chocolate cake and just as appetising!
The next step was to apply Gold Size all over the cupboard. “Size” is an old English word for glue. Gold Size is an extremely strong glue specifically formulated to be used with Gilding Leaf (Gold, Silver, or Copper).
The key point is to apply Gold Size and then wait for around 10-15 minutes for the glue to go from being white, then purple as it dries, and finally transparent. Once the Gold Size is transparent, it is ready for metal leaf to be applied. Unlike other glues, Gold Size remains sticky once dry so there is no need to rush the application of the Gold Leaf. 84 Square gilded the entirety of this piece for an utterly jaw-dropping statement look. Follow 84 Square’s lead and apply a coat of Gloss Chalk Paint™ Lacquer to protect and seal your gilding. Not sealing the gilding can lead to oxidisation.
Next, time to distress and “grunge” the look. 84 Square mixed Chalk Paint™ in Graphite and Honfleur to create a darker brown and applied to the very top of the cupboard. Using a spray water bottle to wet the paint and then allowing it to drip and run adds to the faded grandeur of this piece.
Once this mixture had dried, the whole cupboard has been covered in Clear Chalk Paint™ Wax to protect for epochs to come. The bottom of the piece, the edges, and the top have been coated with Dark Chalk Paint™ Wax to further emphasise the feeling of age, history, and times past.