Looking through to the “bones” of this hutch by Amy Somerville London Ltd, we realize that is not that extraordinary. Its greatness lies in the clever surface pattern: blocks of color and what appears to be gold or silver leaf. Somerville’s website told the story “satin-finished ebonised walnut…detailed in high-gloss red and green lacquer, white gold leaf and patinated brass…bespoke handles and solid brass hinges with a patinated finish.”
Ikea’s pine Hemnes wardrobe, already stained a dark black brown, might make a good base in which to color block high gloss paint (use oil-base for serious gloss; water-base can’t achieve it). But what about metal leaf?
We know it to be beautiful stuff. We once gold-leafed a pear for a photo shoot for Harper’s Bazaar. And our friend Tom Booth silver-leafed a ceiling in his apartment in a pattern of moderne squares. The leafing looked something like this (Tom’s was rougher and more burnished):
Gold, silver and aluminum leaf comes in boxes of squares as thin as tissue paper. We used a sable brush (which created static electricity) to pull a corner of one up and gently lay it on the pear. We found an explicit how-to using aluminum leaf on furniture at Little Green Notebook. You coat the masked-off block you want to leaf with 3-hour Quick Set Gilding Size, available here and at most art supply stores. Then place a sheet of metal leaf on it and brush it down, repeating until the space is covered.
You’ll find materials and videos for using gold, silver and aluminum leaf here. There are endless possibilities for what you can do…