DIY Silver Leaf Frame

Today I’m sharing a DIY silver leaf frame project. Do you have a silver plated frame that is tarnished, but the tarnish can’t be removed? Follow along, and I’ll show you how to resolve the problem.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

The frame I have has a protective clear coat covering the silver plate. Unfortunately the clear coat didn’t prevent the silver from tarnishing underneath and now the tarnish can’t be removed. The best solution is updating the frame with silver leaf.


Tarnished silver frame.


DIY Silver Leaf Frame


DIY Silver Leaf Frame On Display


Gilding is an easy process creating an elegant finish that never goes out of style. I’m still learning about the gilding process through A Makers’ Studio. Such as how silver, gold and copper leaf can be applied to wood, metal, porcelain, even fabric with amazing results.

I truly hate the idea of discarding something, when a quick fix can give it new life. As a maker with A Makers’ Studio, my way of thinking is that, rescuing furniture and accessories is just a brush and a can of paint away.

Be sure to stop by A Makers’ Studio for gilding supplies, and see what else you can discover.

Supplies for gilding

  • Silver leaf
  • Gilding size
  • Small artist brush
  • Chip brush

How To Apply Sliver Leaf

First apply a thin layer of gilding size with an artist bush to the areas to be covered by the silver leaf. Size will look milky white in color and will dry clear. Think of it as the adhesive for the leaf.


Discolored and tarnished frame.


Once the size is applied, wait about 15 minutes, then test the size lightly with a finger to make sure it is slightly sticky or tacky. In gilding terms the size should come to tack.

Holding the edge of the silver leaf book, pull back the protective tissue paper to expose the silver leaf, and press the sheet onto the frame. Repeat until all edges are covered in the silver leaf.


DIY Silver Leaf Frame Process.


With a large artist bush or chip brush, carefully remove the excess silver leaf by brushing the pieces away that do not adhere to the size.

I’m in love with the little cracks and lines of the silver leaf finish and the application works so well on the twisty frame.


DIY Silver Leaf Frame supplies.


Be sure to follow Thistle Key Lane on Pinterest, where the boards are up to date with seasonal inspiration that you can use right now!


DIY Silver Leaf Frame


Interested in more gilding but you don’t know where to start, click on How To Create A Copper Leaf Laurel for the tutorial.


Copper leaf laurel on book pages.


For the easiest gilding project, see the post below by clicking on Silver Leaf Bowl DIY.


Add an elegant touch by adding silver leaf to a bowl.


Are you mentally making a list of things you can embellish with gilding?  On my list I have old hardware, wood frames and candle sticks, which I think is a pretty good place to start  for upcoming projects.


Restored frame with the silver gilding process.


If you have any questions let me know, and I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction.



© DIY Silver Leaf Frame first appeared on Thistle Key Lane™


7 thoughts on “DIY Silver Leaf Frame

  1. barbaramantelandtablecom says:

    Michelle, what a great idea! I’ve only used gold and silver leaf for chocolates (!) and I never thought about anything else, oddly! Now I’m excited to try gilding something non-edible! 🙂

    • Michelle Meyer says:

      You’ll be hooked on gilding once you try it. The best part is that it will last longer than those delicious chocolates! 😉

  2. Janet R Lorusso says:

    I LOVE the look of gold and silver gilding! It has such a richness and depth – more so than plating, I think. I love how your frame came out. And those pages with the copper leaf? Stunning!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.