Have you ever wondered how gold leaf and gold spray paint compare when used on the same object? We made it our goal to find out in this DIY.
This is not a sponsored post, but we’ll share with you the products we used in case you would like to use them yourself.
Here’s a video of our DIY or you can scroll below to read about it.
We purchased two identical wooden stars that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby.
On one, we spray painted it with Rustoleum Metallic Bright Coat in gold. We bought it at Home Depot, but you can find it at a variety of stores.
On the other, we applied Martha Stewart’s gilding adhesive and then applied Martha Stewart Gold Leaf.
We knew beforehand that the gold leaf would have more reflective properties and more texture and this was proven again in our DIY project. What we really wanted to compare was color and see how far off the gold spray paint was from the gold leaf. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the color between the gold spray paint and the gold leaf was practically identical. And even though the gold spray paint was not as reflective as the gold leaf, it still has a decent amount of reflective properties.
The main reason for this DIY was to help me figure out what to do with the feet of a clawfoot tub I am painting. I am painting the underside of the tub black and I want the feet to be gold. But I wasn’t sure of the best method of getting them gold. After doing this DIY, I have decided that I will spray paint the feet of the tub, at least at first. It will be easy for me to do while I already have the tub set up outside for painting. If after placing the tub inside I feel the feet aren’t shiny enough, then I can add gold leaf to them. One of the nice things about gold leaf is that there’s no overspray or fumes and you can do it in your home. Also, since the gold paint and leaf match so well, I can just add touches of leaf for embellishment if I would like to.
If I do apply gold leaf eventually, I would definitely practice more before doing so. I would also purchase a proper gilding brush that helps you lift the leaf sheets without tearing it.
Gold Leaf Pros
- Beautiful finish (if applied correctly)
- Timeless style
- Sheen and texture
- Can be applied indoors
Gold Leaf Cons
- Somewhat difficult application
- Delicate finish that’s not highly durable
Gold Spray Paint Pros
- Ease of application
- Speed of application
- Fairly durable finish
Gold Spray Paint Cons
- Best if done outside, so dependent on weather
- Not as reflective as gold leaf
- No texture except texture of item being painted
We’d love to hear about your gold leaf or gold spray paint projects! Did this DIY help you decide which medium you will use on a project?