How to make your old coffee table shiny again – literally!
You will need:
- table or other piece of furniture
- copper leaf
- copper powder
- soft, flat artist’s paintbrush for the size
- soft, wide paintbrush for smoothing out the copper leaf
- soft, small artist’s paintbrush for the copper powder
- sponge paintbrush
- universal undercoat
- enamel paint
- paintbrushes and sponge rollers
1 Clean the table, then paint it with universal undercoat and leave it to dry overnight. Apply two coats of enamel paint, leaving the first one to dry before painting the next.
NOTE: You can use any colour enamel paint – it won’t make a difference to the appearance of the copper foil.
2 Use a flat artist’s paintbrush to apply a thin, even coat of size to a corner area of the table. Leave to dry for 20 minutes or until it feels tacky.
TIP: Use your knuckles to check if it is tacky, not your fingertips, to avoid leaving marks that will be visible through the copper foil.
3 Use a sponge paintbrush to place a single sheet of copper leaf on the size. Work with care because once the copper leaf has touched the size you can’t reposition it.
4 Smooth out the copper leaf with a soft, wide paintbrush.
5 Repeat to cover the rest of the table top, letting the individual sheets of copper leaf overlap.
6 Carefully wipe off any loose bits of copper leaf for a neat finish.
7 Repeat to cover the edges and the top half of each table leg, filling in any gaps with copper powder.
8 Turn the table upside down onto a soft towel before applying the size to the rest of the legs. Start at the bottom of the legs.
Cut the book of copper foil sheets while you wait for the size to become tacky. Repeat the process as before to cover the remainder of the table.
9 Paint with a suitable varnish to seal and protect the copper leaf.
Words and images: Ideas magazine