Do you love to attend flea markets and yard sales? I used to be a confirmed Saturday morning junkie. Three passionate girlfriends and I met for coffee, planned our route, and made a mad dash for “the good stuff.” After a few years of this rain or shine junking, yes, I accumulated lots of stuff.
After removing all of the holiday decorations from our overflowing mantel, it seemed so sad and uninviting. So I dug around in our freezing cold attic and found this old panel that I had painted Old White Chalk Paint® ages ago. It has a pretty raised pattern already, but, with my love of all things metallic for accents in our home, I decided some silver bling would add more interest. Especially on the mantel where some reflected light would look great.
Normally, I would encourage young children to assist you, but not for this project. The little silver leaf bits will go everywhere, including their mouth and nose. Also, turn off fans so the air remains still.
- Clear Royal Stencil Size
- Royal Design Studio ½” stencil brush
- Imitation Silver Leaf
- Old White Chalk Paint®
- Decorative element in wood, plastic or terra cotta
- Paper towels like Bounty, wax paper, 220-grit sandpaper, soft brush and stiff brush
Clean the piece and let dry. Use the existing finish.
Paint one or two coats of Old White or any other color of Chalk Paint® and let dry.
Dip the stencil brush into Stencil Size, then offload any excess onto the paper towels. Brush over the raised areas of the piece only. Wait about 15 minutes until the Size comes to tack.
Pick up one sheet of silver leaf and lay it over the pattern. Use a soft brush to smooth it into place. Continue until all of the design is covered. The leaf will not stick to areas with no size, so you can use the loose leaf to fill in missed spots. (If you are wondering what the red is in the photos, it’s my shirt. The leaf is really reflective.)
Use a piece of crumpled up wax paper to rub over the leaf to compress it into the surface. Then use a stiff brush to remove all of the little bits of leaf. Continue using wax paper and a brush to remove all of the leaf.
Sand all of the relief areas with 220 grit paper to further compress the leaf and remove some of the shine. Wipe.
Add a picture hanger on the back or simply prop in place like I did. To accessorize my winter mantelscape, I headed out to the yard to cut berries and greens to place in my yard sale pewter and Derby cups. I raided the deck for the two heavy decorative iron elements and concrete pineapples.
If you like changing your mantel often, and love a stenciling project, here is another tutorial that shows you how to create Chic African Rustic Frames.