How to Use Gilding Wax to Enhance Anything

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Over the past 3 years, one of the most popular how~to posts I’ve written is about how to use gilding wax to embellish your home decor items. What’s gilding wax, also called embellishing wax? It’s a product that can be used on so many materials and you for so many applications. I wanted to share again this wonderful DIY product again.

Just a side note: although I’ve tried to improve on the photography, this original post was one of the very first posts I wrote on the blog (which started as Bluesky Kitchen) 3 years ago in August, 2015. I can’t even remember what camera I was using or if I used my old iPhone. So I hope you’ll focus on the subject of the photos and forgive the lack of clarity and lighting in these images.

Do you have an item in your house that needs a little pick-me-up, a bit of bling, some metallic shine?  Yes, you can use spray paint it in one of the available metallic colors available, which I have done many times. But sometimes, that isn’t practical or the best application choice.  What’s an alternative? Gilding Wax allows you to put exactly how much shine in exactly the place you need it.  No laying down of plastic to cover surfaces where you don’t want paint all over your garage floor, no taping off other areas, no mask so you don’t breathe in fumes. Knowing how to use gilding wax to embellish anything will really give you an extra way to dress up your home.

How Use Gilding Wax to Enhance Anything

I first used gilding wax right after we moved in our house 5 years ago.  As my decorator was helping me arrange furniture and accessories from our other house, we realized that some of the finishes were just not quite right in our new home. This was especially true of picture frames.  The art was great, but the frames, although beautiful, were too gold or brassy. Well, I already had some gilding wax on hand and thought this is the time to try it out.

Where to Use Gilding Wax

  • wood
  • metal
  • glass
  • ceramics
  • leather
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plastic
  • plaster

How to Use Gilding Wax

  • enhance picture frames, mirrors or trays
  • marbelize a surface
  • stain wood with it
  • give shine

jar of silver gilding wax

 

I had seen gilding wax used in a workshop so I decided to try it on a couple of frames. This painting was in the entry of our other house.  I love the Venice scene and the gold frame looked great in that area. In our new house, we had a large space in our master bathroom between the mirrors.  The painting fit perfectly, but in our new bathroom, we used silver and chrome, antique-looking mirrors, a crystal chandelier, and mercury glass accessories.  The gold frame just clashed.  I thought of my little jar of gilding wax.  Wearing the same plastic gloves that I use in the kitchen, I rubbed the Silver Gilding Wax on the gold frame with my finger in places to tone down the gold and highlight the carvings.  Here’s what it looks like now:

silver gilding wax on painting

silver gilding wax on frame

My decorator was amazed at the difference.  I liked this so much that I used the silver gilding wax on a very gold-finished mirror in our dining room. It made a huge difference.

silver gilding wax on mirror

I had made a shelf for our bathroom with two corbels I bought at an antique mall.  I painted them Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue, a perfect match for our wallpaper.  I added a piece of wood cut to size and painted it in Duck Egg Blue.  The wallpaper has a bit of silver in it, so it made sense to add the gilding wax to the corbels and a little to the shelf.  I love this little shelf.  It’s on the wall above our bathtub.  What do you think of Sweet Shark and me as little kids? He’s cute.  I can’t believe my hair was so curly.

close up of blue shelf and silver gilding wax

One more thing for our bathroom: a little tray that I keep perfume bottles on.  When I bought it (another garage sale find), it was a funky shade of pink and had a picture in it.  I painted it Duck Egg Blue, then rubbed the silver gilding wax on it.

perfume tray

I also had this print in the bathroom.  Again a frame I found at a garage sale (can you tell I love frames?) and a print found at a flea market combined for, I think, an appropriate bathroom accessory.  It just needed a little silver bling.

woman in bath framed picture

silver gilding wax on frame

My latest use of gilding wax was this transformation:  I bought a large gold letter L at Hobby Lobby, regularly $20, on sale for $10.  Gold was not the color I needed for the bookcase in the living room, so out came my gilding wax.

using silver gilding wax

TIP:  Using plastic gloves, like the ones you can buy at a restaurant supply or a beauty supply store, are the best way to rub the gilding wax on your project without getting it on your fingers.

silver gilding wax on letter L

Now it adds just the right layer of grey/silver to that shelf.

silver letter L on bookshelf

At Thanksgiving one year, I added a little silver gilding wax to a few beautiful pale blue~green pumpkins that I bought in Roundtop. I love the shine that the gilding wax gives to the matte texture.

blue pumpkin iwth silver gilding wax

TIP: Have a light touch when you add the gilding wax.  You barely dab your surface. You can always add more.  If you do get too much gilding wax, gently rub or spread a little Clear Wax on top with a lint-free paper towel or rag and that should do the trick.

Now that A Maker’s Studio has a line of Embellishing Wax in silver, gold, and copper, I’ll be working with those and sharing new projects. As we get into decorating for fall and Christmas ~ which will be here before we know it ~ I’ll be using the gold and silver Embellishing Waxes.

A Maker's Studio Embellishing Waxes

If you try embelleshing wax, please let me know about your project.  I’d love to hear.

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22 Comments

  1. Beautiful Carol! I’ve never used gilding wax before and will have to give it a try!

    1. Tracy, you would love it ~ just a little bling. I think silver would go with all your blues. You can order the embellishing wax from A Maker’s Studio from the link on my blog.

  2. Carol,
    Great information. I have used Rub ‘n Buff in a gold tone, but think I should try some silver to with some white Christmas decorations. I will be watching for your posts that show what you do with silver.

    Judith

    1. Judith, silver would be beautiful at Christmas. Please check out the silver embellishing wax from A Maker’s Studio. The link is on the post.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration! I have Duck Egg Blue paint and the gilding wax is just what I need to complete a project!

    1. Terry, I would definitely order the embellishing wax from A Maker’s Studio in silver. You can do that on the blog.

    1. CLearissa, I understand. I hope you’ll try the embellishing waxes from A Maker’s Studio. The link is in the post and in the sidebar.

  4. I really learned something, so thanks! I have a number of gold mirrors that could use being toned down….think I’ll get to work! xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

    1. Kathleen, I would order some Embellishing wax and use it for your mirrors. You’ll love the transformation and all the ways to use it.

    1. Katie, I’m not familiar with Rub and Buff, but I’m sure there are similar products on the market. I appreciate the feedback.

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