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Silver-Leafing Candlesticks


Gilding leaf, available in silver, gold, and other metallic colors, brings a rich luster to unfinished wooden pieces. When applying the leaf, wear gloves and handle the delicate sheets carefully.


  • Size (an adhesive available at art-supply stores)
  • Unfinished wooden candlesticks
  • Small craft brush
  • Cotton gloves
  • Gilding leaf (in silver or gold)
  • Soft-bristle brush


  1. Step 1

    Apply size to the top and sides of a candlestick, using a small craft brush. Let size set until it becomes tacky, about 20 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Put on cotton gloves, and lift a silver-leaf sheet. Drape over top of candlestick, and smooth gently with fingertips, working it inside the candlestick opening. Using soft-bristle brush, even out texture, removing stray flakes of leaf. Repeat, overlapping sheets slightly, until top and sides of candlestick are covered.

  3. Step 3

    Reapply size and leaf to sections that aren't fully covered, as directed above. Then flip candlestick over, and apply size and leaf to bottom of candlestick, as directed above.