Monday, July 18, 2011

faux silver leaf side table tutorial

What is faux silver leaf you ask? Aluminum foil, of course! :)

I picked up this table a while back for a steal!

and I wanted it to look like an old, worn out, well used, industrial table. Here's what it looks like now:

So here's a little tutorial for you.


spray paint (or paint of choice) I used Barn Red
foil - I've read some tutorials that call for heavy duty. I prefer the thin cheap stuff because it acts more like silver leaf.

Step 1: Turn table upside down and spray paint the legs and any part that won't be covered in foil. I didn't get a picture of the table upside down and me painting it, you get the idea though, right? Here it is after it's painted and dry ready to be foiled!

Step 2: tear foil into little squares. For this table I used the tearing strip on the foil box, but since then I've just used a straight edge to tear the foil so you don't have to deal with the teeth marks. Tear a lot. Then tear a few more just in case. I just tore the strips in half for this table top. For a smaller project I'd tear them smaller - maybe 4x4. These were around 6x6.

Step 3: Start applying the modpodge in one corner and laying your foil down making sure to overlap the edges of the table.

I folded my corners nicely, like this:

Step 4: Continue adding glue and overlapping until the table is covered. You'll have to add modpodge on top of some foil so the overlapped piece will stick down.

Here's where I didn't take pictures. {sorry!} I repeated this whole process on the shelf as well. When the entire table was done and dry (a couple days later) I started the 'aging' process. Now, keep in mind I didn't do any research on any of this I was just flying by the seat of my pants. So, I poured some modpodge in a little bowl and added a little walnut wood stain. Sounds super intelligent, right? Exactly. It was...weird.

The stain sits on top of the modpodge (in the bowl) and I just went with it. I applied it like I would wax a piece of furniture. I got a rag and an old paint brush. I would get stain with a little modpodge on it and slop it on. Then very quickly I would use my brush to push it all around where I wanted it to be. If there was too much, I rubbed harder and not enough I did it again. I did this over all the foil on the piece and then when it was all dry I went over all of it with hard coat modpodge. I basically used the modpodge to 'hold' the stain where I wanted it to be then I let it dry.

That's it. Here's how it looks finished - again:



  1. Super cool effect! Love that you flew by the seat of your pants. :)) Kudos!
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  2. Ooh, I love how this looks with just the top "foiled!" Great work.

  3. Love your easy instructions, the way you tell is east to understand. Can't wait to try it.

  4. Great tute! Just an FYI though,The reason that the stain just sat on top of the modge podge is because Modge Podge is latex based & Walnut wood stain is oil based.Normally not compatible (Rule of thumb is You can use oil based OVER latex but not latex over oil)..I'm surprised it didn't bubble & peel off,You got lucky & the DIY Gods were smiling upon You! Next time,A glaze medium with walnut colored paint,Or clear (Oil based & stinky smelling) furniture wax,Mixed with oil based wood stain would be better options.I'm just afraid that if anyone attempted a clear coat for durability,Thats when the incompatibility & chemical reaction would start..But You do give a perfect,visual description as Your giving a tutorial.Nice job!1


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