Metallic Gourds

November 14, 2012Allison Murray


I don’t know how many times I have walked past the gorgeous little bottles of liquid gilding at the hobby store. Every time I considered buying it. Sometimes it even made its way into my cart. But for some reason it always wound up not being included in my bag as I walked out of the store.

The simple reason is this: I was intimidated by the stuff. I can’t really even explain why but those gorgeous little bottles seemed like they would be difficult to use and get good results.

My impression couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. I received a gold and silver bottle of liquid gilding from Martha Stewart Paints and decided that I would be using the stuff. A bag of fake gourds and a ruined paintbrush later and I found that I’m going to have to be very, very careful. As it stands now I want to gild every darn thing in this house. Honest to goodness question I asked “What would you think of gilding my night stand?”. Oh. No.

To tackle this project you will need:

FYI – gilding has some serious fumes and should be used outside or in a well ventilated area.


If necessary remove the stem or areas that you prefer not to paint and set aside. I removed the gourd’s stems.


Take a neutral acrylic craft paint and make a smooth and even base coat. Allow to dry.


Now don your gloves because this stuff is crazy adhesive and it takes days and a whole lot of scrubbing to remove.

Take your closed bottle of gilding and shake the crap out of it. At first there will be some oil separated. Do not open until the paint inside appears to be uniform.

Using your disposable brush, begin applying the liquid as uniformly as possible. Create a pattern and follow it. I started at the top or bottom center and brushed out from the center and down each side, flipped and continued. Allow all to fully dry (1 hour).


This step helps to make your produce stand out and as I was told “look even more like real metal”. Take the opposite color from your base and rub most of the paint off (this is called dry brushing)and make random strokes all over the piece. Make some darker and some lighter.

Allow a few minutes to dry and then go over with the base coat in the same manner to mute the opposing color. Allow an hour to fully dry.

Spray with a protective coat of polyurethane to protect from tarnishing.


Using hot glue, reset the stems or other items you removed in the first step.


You can arrange your gourds around your table, place in a basket or a glass hurricane for a really pretty fall decoration. Best news is that since they are fake, they’ll last forever!

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