Forget Paint, Try Copper Leaf Finish On Your Furniture

Look at this sweet little chest! I snagged it from a friend that was wanting to clean out her stash of unfinished projects. The most amazing thing about this piece is that it’s actually a mini bar. Yep, the top opens and out pops up a bar set up. Cool, huh? I’m thinking maybe a little copper leaf? I’ve always wanted to try it on furniture.


Copper Leaf, Not just for Faux Finishes

You won't believe the transformation this mini bar got! Wait till you see the copper leaf I added. #copperleaf


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Here are the products that I used to create this finish.



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Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint and copper leaf are the perfect combo! #copperleaf


I always prep and clean a piece before any makeover. Sanding is a must, just to remove a bit of the surface. I didn’t get really aggressive when I sanded this piece. Just enough to lightly rough up the surface for the paint to adhere. Usually, I would use a primer before painting, but for this project, I want the wood to be exposed on the lower part of the chest.



  I painted over everything!

Sometimes I paint over everything with Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint and then I add copper leaf! #copperleaf


Yes, I know, that’s sacrilegious. Who paints over hardware? Normally I don’t, but in the finish I think it worked.

The paint I used for this project is from the Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint line. It’s free of harsh chemical and has no odor.  It’s a clay based paint that can be reactivated by water. This paint is perfect for blending when you want that artist feel for your projects. I applied one coat of Mermaid Tail and that pretty much covered the surface. When I paint with lighter colors, I use 2 coats on a dark surface.  The darker colors usually cover with one.


Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint can be blended when reactivated with water. I think I'll add a little copper leaf in the mix. #copperleaf


The second color I used is called Anchor, also from Wise Owl Paint. The coat was overlapped with the mermaid tail and blended with my brush.


Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint! Amazing! I can't wait to show you the copper leaf I added. #copperleaf


I worked quickly as I didn’t want the paint to completely dry. I went back with the Mermaid Tail and added some different brush strokes to add character.


I use a paint scraper to add character to some of my paint finishes. Next, I'll add the copper leaf. #copperleaf


Now, here is the fun part! While the paint was still wet, I used my paint scraper to add even more texture. I used the beveled edge of the scraper to drag it across the paint and create vertical and horizontal lines. So fun!


Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint can be reactivated by water and blended for an artistic finish on your furniture.


I almost forgot to tell you… this is the messy part. You want to make sure that you have something under the furniture to catch all the water run off. I used a trash bag.

I took my spray bottle and misted the areas that I wanted to blend and went to town. The results will blow you away!

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I always use a sealer for all my painted furniture. Wait till you see the copper leaf I added! #copperleaf #paintedfurniture


The next step is a bit unusual as I usually don’t use this product over chalky based paints. It tends to cause a discolored yellow aged look. But, for this project, that’s just what I wanted. I painted the whole surface to seal the paint. The finish was aged and beautiful. Just the right amount of a yellow hues in the corners.  You must seal your paint before the next step. Sealing your paint is crucial when you’re apply metallic copper leaf to any project. It will not adhere to a porous surface. I don’t recommend wax.


Let’s apply the copper leaf!

Always applying a thin layer of glue prior to adding the copper leaf to your furniture. #copperleaf


After applying the topcoat sealer to the whole piece, I allowed it to dry overnight. Then with a small brush, I applied the glue in a thin layer where I wanted to put the copper leaf. I worked in small areas. After applying the glue, I gave it a few minutes to become tacky before applying the copper leaf. The glue was milky consistency and even looked white when I applied it to the furniture. If you apply the copper leaf before the glue gets tacky, it will not adhere properly. Trust me! I learned the hard way.


How to apply copper leaf to your furniture. #copperleaf


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Don’t Get In A Hurry


How to apply copper leaf to your furniture. #copperleaf


If you miss a spot, you can always go back and patch it. I used a super smooth cloth to rub the whole surface down after the application to make sure the copper leaf  came in direct contact with the glue.  Cheese cloth works well for this, but any soft lint free cloth will do. If you notice a bit of glue on the cheesecloth, throw it out and get a clean one. The glue will scratch the surface of the copper leaf. Go slow and don’t get in a rush.


Modern Masters Metallic Paint Clear Coat


After applying the copper leaf in all the right places, I sealed it with MasterClear. This product has been specially formulated for metallic finishes. You can use other products, but this one allows the metallic shine to show through the best. It’s worth the money in my opinion.

Be sure you don’t miss this step. You must seal the copper leaf to keep it from oxidizing and discoloring after the application. After all that work, you’ll want to keep that look for a long time.


The results are stunning!

Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint With Copper Leaf #copperleaf


The number 6 is dear to my heart. Well, until the 7th Grandchild comes along.


Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint With Copper Leaf #copperleaf


Thanks for stopping by. I hope this inspires you to try something a little different on your projects. It’s a great way to add expression and character to an old piece. A real conversation starter.

I love the metallic finishes and if you liked this makeover, you might like this one too. GOLD LEAF MAKEOVER.



Until the next project… xo, Do