Gilding projects And How Tos, How To's, Outside Spaces

DIY Gold Leaf Planters

After Spending what felt like months improving the kerb appeal of the front of the house it’s time to start on the back. The dreaded area that is my back garden. Now I have always said that I would never share my back garden. To say it needs tending is rather an under statement. I mean I have dandelions and bare patches of earth where there should be a lawn. I have more dandelions a plenty coming up through the patio. Three outhouses and a lean to that are falling down. And a back door hanging off! So rather than feeling overwhelmed I have broken the garden down into areas and with a make do and mend attitude I am making a start. And to add a bit of RFW magic I’m adding some DIY Gold Leaf Planters.


Victorian Walled Garden Makeover Plans


The first area to tackle is the lean too over our back door and the two areas adjoining it, a path and a small patio area by the outside tap. I have fixed the door so that it now opens and closes again (a novelty that hasn’t happened for a couple of years). And I have also replaced the putty on the windows. And rendered the walls of the lean which were previously painted brickwork. The old paint was pealing off and many of the bricks had lost their pointing. So this was an important step to ensure it didn’t fall down in the next couple of years. OK, the rendering isn’t perfect but as a first attempt I’m so pleased with how it’s come out.


I also repointed the path to the back door and extended the small patio area by our outside tap. I was lucky to have some paving slabs left over from when we originally laid our larger patio and this area which gets shade for most of the day is now just the right size to sit when it’s too hot. So now it’s time for the fun bit. The faffing and styling. And as I am very much a make do and mend person and as always on such a small budget I thought I would revamp some old pots I found in the outhouse. They are not in great shape with lots of chips but that doesn’t mean they can’t be given a new lease of life. So this is my little DIY on how to transform old planters with a lick of paint and some gold leaf.


DIY Gold Leaf Plant Pots


What You Will Need to Make Your DIY Gold Leaf Plant Pots

Terracotta Pots

Black Masonry Paint (Or a Colour of Your Choice)

A Paintbrush For Painting the Pot

Gold Leaf

Gold Size (A Special Glue)

An Artists Paintbrush for Applying the Size

Loose Gold Leaf (You Could Use Silver or Copper etc too)

A Soft Brush (Like A Blusher Brush) for Polishing The Gold Leaf

Gloss Varnish


DIY Gold Leaf Planters



This is such an easy and enjoyable DIY, it is literally so easy anyone can do it. First up give your terracotta pot a couple of coats of paint. Remember also to paint inside the rim which will be visible once you have plants in them. Unless of course you are thinking of bringing your compost up to the very top of your planter.


DIY Gold Leaf Planters



Once you’re second coat is on pop away the paint and give your brush a wash. Whilst doing this have a think about how you would like to decorate your plant pot. Mine are moulded so the natural progression is to use the gold leaf to highlight the shapes. But if yours are plain you could create stripes, spots, zigzags! The choice is only limited by our imaginations. Once you decide on your pattern grab your artists brush and paint your chosen design onto your plant pot using the gold size.


DIY Gold Leaf Planters



I personally prefer oil to water based size as it stays sticky for longer. You get more precise edges too. Whichever version you chose wait until it goes tacky like sticky tape before you start on your gilding. For this project I’m using loose leaf as it easier to get in the nooks and crannies than transfer leaf which comes attached to a backing paper. It’s a little more fiddly to handle though as it does rather have a mind of it’s own. All you do is keep adding bits of leaf onto the size until it’s all covered.


DIY Gold Leaf Planters



And now for the fun part. To reveal the design and polish the gold leaf. Use your make up or soft brush to gently flick away all the gold leaf that isn’t stuck down. It’s so much fun watching as the tiny pieces of gold leaf flutter away.  And seeing your design coming to life. All that’s left to do now  is seal the gold leaf with some gloss varnish. This isn’t strictly necessary but if you don’t do it  your leaf will eventually tarnish and become quite dull. And hey, if we’re going to do a job we might as well do it properly, right? Be careful though to only apply the varnish to the areas with gold leaf. Unless of course you want your whole planter to be shiny.


DIY Gold Leaf Planters


And there we have it. A simple and easy to follow DIY on how to transform boring terracotta plant pots into gold leaf designer style planters. It only took me around half an hour per pot on a sunny day too. The paint was almost dry as I was applying it. It’s one of those simple yet truly effective makeovers. All that’s left to do now is fill them with your favourite plants.


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  • Reply Adele October 2, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I love this quirky website, your style is so unique!!

    • Reply Rachel Edmonds October 4, 2020 at 7:38 am

      Aw thank you, that’s such a lovely compliment.

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