DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top

Hello!  My name is Jackie.  I am the creative force behind Teal & Lime, a blog with one simple goal: empowering you to decorate your own home in an easy and approachable way!  I share decorating tips, DIY projects, and inspiration to make it home, make it you.  Today, I have a drop-dead gorgeous furniture makeover to share with you.  You will not believe how easy this project is until you try it!

Amazing technique for applying gold leaf to a glass table top on #goldleaf #furnituremakeover #DIY

I think we all have a glass top accent table somewhere in our homes. They are nice, but a little plain. Over the summer I found this amazing faux bamboo end table at a garage sale for $15. It was in great condition, except a few small scratches on the glass top.

I originally planned to replace the glass top or put a different kind of insert entirely, but then the furniture hacker in me took over. Why replace an entire thick beveled glass top for a few small scratches? Instead, I figured out a chic way to update the glass top and disguise the scratches.

My refreshed glass top is now a shining example of how to update plain furniture you have grown tired of.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

For this makeover, I started with a few coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue on the table frame. Followed by my secret top coat for a modern satin finish. But, the real beauty in this make over lies in the shimmering gold underneath the glass top. I finished the table off with a dazzling gold leaf pattern under the glass.

The intricate looking gold leaf pattern took less time than painting the table. I chose a simple herringbone-inspired fretwork pattern….the perfect pairing with those awesome faux bamboo legs. Any simple geometric pattern will work for this project, or you could gold leaf the entire glass surface.

Even if you have worked with gold leaf before, be sure to read on, because I have some important tricks for applying gold leaf on glass and saving time on the whole process.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top Tutorial


  • Gold Leaf (Ready Leaf is best)
  • Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive
  • Glass
  • Gold Leaf Sealer
  • Graph Paper
  • Drop Cloth

A few important tips before we get started:

  • Gold leaf is an imperfect medium, that is part of its beauty.  You will not get it perfect, but it will still look amazing!  See below for some troubleshooting steps for common issues.
  • Gold Leaf is available at the craft store as “ready leaf” with 18 sheets per package or a package of 25 loose sheets.  Get the ready leaf.  It already has a wax paper backing applied to the gold leaf, making it easier to cut and apply.
  • Instead of gold leaf sizing, I recommend using Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive.  It speeds up the process, because you can immediately apply the gold leaf after spraying with the adhesive.
  • It is important to keep your hands from getting too sticky.  Remember the gold leaf will stick to the stickiest surface it can find.  You want it on the glass, not your fingers.  The best thing to do is take periodic breaks to wash any glue residue off your hands.  I like to rub my hands first with olive oil and then wash with soap and water.
  • Clean your glass thoroughly with water and dry completely before starting.

How To:

1.  Carefully cut your gold leaf into strips.  Use sharp, clean scissors.  I made my strips 3/4″ wide, which gave me 7 strips per sheet of gold leaf.

2.  Sketch out your pattern on a sheet of graph paper to serve as a guide under the glass.  I made a template of my 3/4″ wide by 5.5″ long strips to trace my pattern.

3.  Place your pattern under the glass aligned with the top left corner (or top right, if you prefer).  As you work across the glass, you can reposition your pattern guide as needed.

4.  Set up your work area.  I placed my glass on the floor with a large drop cloth off to the side for using the spray adhesive.  I laid my gold leaf strips in the center, but out of the spray area.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

5.  To apply the gold leaf to the glass, hold a strip by the wax paper tail over your drop cloth and spray with a light, even mist of spray adhesive.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

6.  Immediately apply it to the glass following your pattern.  Press the gold leaf to the glass by rubbing your finger over the wax paper backing a few times.  Remove the wax paper backing.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

7.  Repeat step 5-6 until your full pattern is applied.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

8.  Apply gold leaf sealer with a small brush on any areas covered with gold leaf.  Although it dries clear, I do not recommend coating the bare glass with sealer.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on


This project is easy, once you accept gold leaf is an imperfect medium, which adds to its beauty.  But, if you encounter one of the below issues, I want you to know how to fix it.

  • Bare spots – As you are working, do not worry about areas missing gold leaf.  You can go back after the glue is dry and apply another layer of gold leaf to any bare areas.
  • Excess adhesive – If extra adhesive gets on the glass from the edge of the wax paper, simply wipe it iff immediately with a damp paper towel, being careful not to touch your gold leaf.
  • Excess gold leaf – If you accidentally stick gold leaf where it shouldn’t be, you can use a razor blade to scrape it off the glass.  It is best to do it right away.
  • Spots or blotches on your golf leaf when looking from the other side of the glass – This is a sign of too much adhesive.  Make sure you are using a light, even mist.  Frequently shake your spray adhesive while working and do not use an almost empty bottle, which has a greater tendency to sputter.
  • Bubbles in gold leaf after drying – There may be spots on your gold leaf that did not get enough glue and will bubble up after the adhesive dries.  You can press them down before sealing or use a soft brush to brush off the gold leaf in that spot for a more distressed look.

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

Amazing right?!  The glistening gold design under the glass instantly updates this end table and makes it look much more expensive than a $15 garage sale find.  The beautiful fretwork detracts the eye from seeing any scratches on the old glass.  Imagine how amazing this would look on glass front doors.  This has to be one of my favorite furniture hacks of all time!

I love taking furniture pieces and giving them new life with my simple furniture hacks.  And, I know the key to successful furniture hacking and decorating is finding the right pieces to begin with.  Come visit me at Teal & Lime to learn more through my 5-part mini series on finding the right fit for your home!


Metallics are hot right now! Check out our best metallic finishes to get inspired, or try these 3 simple DIY gold home decor accents and this rough quartz and gold mirror tutorial to bring this trend into your home.

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Jackie turned traditional decorating advice on it's head with her signature simple approach to creating a dream home in any home at School of Decorating. Jackie’s blog Teal & Lime empowers everyday women (like you) to uncover their individual style so decorating becomes a breeze.

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One Comment

  1. Brilliant! I would never have thought about Spray Adhesive instead of sizing! SO much cheaper ;-). I am IN LOVE with your curtains! Where are they from? Thanks for a great post!