Copper Leafing with a Stencil

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If you couldn’t tell by now one of my favorite things is gold (or silver or copper) leafing!

It’s a fast, easy and truly authentic way to add a gorgeous gleam to a piece.

copper leaf


Here’s how I use a stencil to create a design with copper leaf.


Supplies needed:

Honeycomb Stencil

Copper Leaf



Frog Tape

Small Sea Sponge

Bowl of Water

Scrubby Soap


Step 1, position the stencil where you want it to be and then using Frog Tape, tape it down. This is important as we don’t want the stencil shifting.


Step 2, moisten the sea sponge and wring out very well. Pour a small amount of size into a bowl. Dip the sponge into the size and off load excess onto a paper towel or rag so the sponge is not soaking with size.


Step 3, carefully dab/pounce the sponge with the size onto the stencil and apply an even coat. Do this in an up and down and not side to side motion to keep the size from going under the stencil.

Step 4, carefully lift the stencil up and off and put into some warm water to make cleaning later easier. Let size dry until it comes to ‘tack’. This means it’s no longer milky looking but clear and when you touch it it feels tacky but does not come off on your finger.

Step 5, When the size has come to ‘tack’ it’s time to apply the leaf. Get your book of leaf and open up to a sheet of leaf. Holding the book open, turn it over and put the sheet of leaf down on the design. Repeat this until all of the stencil design is covered with leaf. Using a piece of tissue from leaf book, put the tissue down on design and gently rub with your hand to make sure there’s good contact.

Step 6, using a soft brush, brush away excess leaf to reveal the stenciled design. 


This is a wonderful technique that opens up so many more possibilities! If you prefer a video tutorial, watch below 👇🏻 

If you’re interested in taking your furniture painting skills to the next level join me in The Surface Anthology Membership, you’ll get virtual painting workshops, private Facebook group, discount on all products in the Chalk Mercantile shop and more!

Happy painting!


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