Make Your Own Gold Leaf Top Coat for Less than $6
I know that gold leaf top coat has been a thing for a few years now. Unfortunately I tend to run a quarter hour late to never on the hippest of the hip so I’m just now getting on this train. But when I decided I wanted it, I wanted it.
So I hop online and find that the stuff costs between $30 – $50 a bottle and decide that is wholly unacceptable. After all, I have a decent amount of gold leaf left over after making my suspended gold leaf bangle and a cheap top coat will cost me a whole dollar. Yeah, I’ll experiment for the investment of $1.
It’s a pretty simple project. Take your gold leaf and put it into the clear top coat. Mine came out okay but I’ll share with you what I learned from my mistakes to go from okay to awesome!
UPDATE — Going to get my gold leaf polish out today I saw that it had TURNED GREEN! The actual gold is fine but rather than the polish being clear, it is a nasty green color. I went all over the place and Googled the heck out of things only to find comments on posts just like this from disappointed readers who essentially ruined gold leaf and clear nail polish.
The answer is pretty simple, though. The gold has a chemical reaction with the chemicals in fingernail polish that cause it to quickly tarnish. If your gold leaf is faux and made of copper this is going to be even worse and may actually turn green within hours rather than days. Instead of using gold leaf purchased from a hobby store, you’ll need to purchase it from a beauty supply store, like Sally’s or you can buy some here online.
Sorry for the interruption and continue on with the DIY!
- I should have broken the gold leaf into smaller bits. I tested out the theory of making my own by pouring a bit out and mixing it up on a piece of paper. In the end, it was perfect. When I added to my bottle, however, I didn’t take the time to really chop up the sheets for some reason thinking they’d fall apart once they got in there. They don’t.
- What I did chop up I tried to use my fingernails on and I learned that gold leaf is kind of oddly sticky (which is why I quit chopping it up). Next time I will use my x-acto knife or perhaps a gift card or something instead.
- Because I can be the queen of overkill, I put waaaay too much gold leaf into my little bottle. I’d say put about half you think you’d want in there, give it a good stir (a wood skewer works incredibly well) and test it out. Needs a bit more? Keep going. Happy with it? Perfect!
Now I already had my supplies on hand so my experimentation was free. But the total cost would have been $6.99 for my gold leaf (at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon I actually paid $4.20 + tax) $5.30 with shipping via Amazon and my cheapie top coat was $0.99. So basically you can get everything you need to make your own gold leaf top coat will cost you under just over $6. That’s a far cry from $30-50, isn’t it!?!
But if you’re not the DIY type and more of an add to cart type, you can buy OPI’s It’s Real 18K for about $40 with shipping. So, what do you think? Gonna give your nails the King Midas touch?