Friday, March 4, 2011

Glammin’ Up French Candlestick Lamps

I have been staring at my candlestick lamps for about six months now and thinking it’s time to rejuvenate them.  I bought them twenty some odd years ago and the original finish was an antiqued yellow glaze.  Then I refinished them with a more rustic look (remember that spray on rust paint from the 90’s?)  for my Texas den with pickled knotty pine walls…but we left that house 10 years ago!  They have been sitting patiently in our den for years and have watched the wall color change from BM “Cork”, to “Greenbrier Beige” and currently “Spice Gold.”  I just love these classic and pretty lamps and they will be with me forever.  I have lots of French designed furniture and antiques in my house and they will always fit in. 

I see reproduction French candlesticks and lamps everywhere these days at outrageous prices.  I wanted to give these an aged patina with a bit of gold leaf.  The job first started with a good cleaning and dusting.


Here’s the “before” shot…


of the rustic finish before cleaning.


The supplies are relatively simple to use and inexpensive…I really like the clear glaze from Lowe’s.  The rest you can get a Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.


I mixed up a beige color with glaze and used a sponge brush to paint it on the entire surface.  Then I took an old rag and lifted off the paint I wanted to remove.


OK-time for the layering of paint!  I’m going to do this a few more times with the same technique and colors making sure it dries in between coats until I get the effect I like!


I try to give nooks and crannies a good rub with the rag


Two coats of the same color…and below I add a slightly lighter hue and use the sponge brush to highlight the details. 

I wrap the rag around the lamp and squeeze to lift of the paint.



Here’s the result…I like it!


I add glaze to a metallic color called metallic taupe for some shimmer


highlighting the details and lifting the paint off again…


until I get the coverage I want.  The lamp on the right has the metallic paint added to it.


I age the piece with gel stain and rub it into all the nooks and crannies, then lift off again.


It’s hard to tell from the sunlight, but the piece on the right was aged with stain.  Now for the fun stuff…gold leafing!


I was inspired by this architectural piece that has a rubbed gold leaf effect.  That’s what I ‘m shooting for!


Gold leafing is really quite simple…brush on the liquid sizing and let it dry to a clear tack. I just hit the areas I wanted the gold to appear “worn from age.”

2011025620110258Using an old stencil brush, I brush out the extra leaf and press harder to give it a burnished look.


A fine sanding block is rubbed over the area to lift off even more gold leaf.





The finished products…they look good with or without the lights on! 

I added new linen shades and it changes the look completely


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