DIY Network

How to Add a Gold Leaf Finish to Embossed Wallpaper

This gold-leaf finish for an embossed wall or ceiling is made affordable with the use of composition-metal gold leaf.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prep the Wall Surface

Apply a base coat of paint and allow it to dry (the deep brick red used as in this example replicates the red-clay color of historical wall coverings).

Apply a coat of sizing to the entire surface.

Step 2: Roll Out the Gold Leaf Sheets

Carefully roll a sheet of gold leaf onto the painted surface. Continue with each sheet until you've covered the entire wall.

roll sheet of gold leaf onto painted surface

Step 3: Rub the Surface With a Paintbrush

Use a dry paintbrush to brush and tap the gold leaf into the crevices of the embossed surface. Tiny flakes of gold leaf will crack loose as it is tapped into the surface.

tap gold leaf into crevices of embossed surface

Step 4: Use a Rag to Add Contrast

Carefully rub the gold-leafed surface with a rag, breaking through the gold leaf and rubbing off a bit of the gold to reveal the base coat underneath.

rub gold leaf surface with rag to reveal base coat