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Metal lampshades often come with a painted surface. If unpainted, apply a coat of cream-colored latex spray paint, and let dry.
Wrap 1/2" painter's tape around the lampshade in horizontal stripes. The placement doesn't need to be precise. Press the edges of the tape firmly to the shade.
Use a 1" brush to apply a layer of gold-leaf adhesive to the untaped areas of the shade. Let the adhesive dry about 5 minutes, until it's tacky to the touch.
To prevent the fine, tissue-like gold leaf from blowing around, do the project in a very still area. Carefully position a sheet of gold leaf on the shade, covering as much of the sticky area as possible. Use a Chinese brush or another soft-bristled brush to gently tap the gold-leaf sheet to the surface. Allow to dry for about 10 minutes.
Peel the taped strips from the shade. Remove any adhesive left on the shade with a cotton swab dipped in mineral spirits, and wipe clean with a dry rag.
Use a 2" brush to apply fruitwood wood stain to the entire shade. Marie suggests Benjamin Moore stain to achieve proper consistency and tone for the antiquing procedure.
Before the stain dries, crumple a few soft paper towels, and pounce the lampshade. This is called "ragging off" and adds a rich look to the surface.
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