Ikea Hacker | DIY | Gilded Drum Lamps

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I have never met a glossy black and gold gilded anything that I didn't immediately go goo-goo-ga-ga for. Be it furniture, accents, accessories, or handbags, hell, I'll probably keel over if I spotted an 80's style black velvet prom dress with dangling gold extras at my local thrift store. At this point I'd probably describe my own personal interior style as Shanghai Regency. If it's lacquered up and completely covered in something shiny and metallic, chances are I've got a piece just like it sitting in my studio. 

So every occasion that I get to personalize something store bought and mass-produced, my immediate inclination is to gold leaf the *ish outta it. A little flamboyant, yes, I know...uh, have we met?? I don't call it Living Out LOUD for nothin' ya dig. 

Here's what we started with: IKEA Kulla Pendant Lamp $69.99 

What you'll need: 
• (2) packets Gold Leaf Sheets (I recommend "Ready Leaf Gold" sheets with pre-backed wax paper for easy application)
• (1) can Spray Adhesive
• (1) can Spray Sealer
• (1) can 18 kt. Gold Plate Metallic Spray Paint
• Foam Brushes

(all of the above purchased from Michael's Arts and Crafts)

Step 1: Wipe the interior surface of the drum lamp with a clean, dry cloth. Holding the spray adhesive approximately 6-8" away from the surface, spot spray a small area and wait 20 seconds to dry, but still remaining tacky. 

Place a square of gold leaf sheet (gold face down, wax side up) directly onto the surface making sure to press down with your fingers as you go. When you reach the rim, use your fingers to crease the sheet along the edge to minimize gaps.

Step 2: Repeat step one and rotate until the entire interior is gold leafed. Tip: Place squares at random and overlapping on a angle for a truly haphazard effect. Spot spray and stick, spot spray and stick. Your fingers may get a bit sticky from the application, so use the dry foam brush to help flatten gold leaf sheets. You may also use the dry foam brush to wipe gold leaf from the edges of the lamp and to smooth over the entire interior when you're finished with the application.

Step 3: Once all the gold leaves cover the interior shade, you may notice that there are gaps and bubbles where the sheets have been applied. No worries, that's where the gold plated spray paint comes in. Lay your drum lamp on a flat surface and only spray the affected areas. You don't want to completely cover your gold leaves with paint, even if it's 18kt. Let dry for approximately 10 minutes and seal the entire interior with spray sealer (2 coats) and let dry overnight.

{Note: I gilded 2 lamps for my project. Double the amount of materials if you're doing the same}

Hang and enjoy! Now your interior space can be bathed in a glowing gold light making food look much tastier and your guests looking totally glitzier. (Is that a word...who cares?!) You just got served hunnies!

Time: 40 minutes prep and application. 24 hours dry time.
Cost: $69.99 (per lamp) + approx. $50 materials= $120 gilded drum pendant lamp...
Sure beats paying thousands for the designer variety seen HERE and HERE

Hope this helps, Happy DIY'ing Peeps!


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  1. Great project--looks awesome :) I love DIY projects!

  2. We love DIY's! And we just moved into a new place and are looking for lights so this is perfect!

    P.S. We love the name of your blog! So witty!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. wow what an amazing DIY! this turned out so great!

  4. hi Julie Thankyou for your visit I WILL BE ENJYING EVERY MINUTEOF THE DAY HOPE YOU DO TOO Love fay xx

  5. Love how the final look turned out

    great idea

  6. omg it's incredible!great blog, I'm now following you!check out mine if you have a time ;)


  7. Great idea-- so much bang for your buck!

  8. Great DIY, luv.

    P.S Thanks for the comment. Nice blog you have.
    Btw, let's keep in touch. I'm following you now;
    #169 follower. Followed back?


  9. wow interesting! nice work :)


  10. This is awesome! What a great idea, thanks!

  11. Great DIY! it looks amazing..

  12. Great blog! and i LOVE this DIY! totally looks I even could do it!!!
    xo allison

    Spicer + Bank

  13. gold and black, love the combo. such a great project!

  14. These look fabulous...thanks for the great tutorial!!

  15. Too cool, great job Julie!!


  16. What a fantastic idea! You make it look effortless!

  17. This looks like a really fun and tedious project. I wish I had a place to hang lamps! :)

  18. Great job on taking nice lampshades and making them elegant. Great tutorial as well.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. It always makes my day to have a new commentor.

  19. That looks amazing! I'm impressed!

  20. Thanks for the visit to In Good Taste, Julie! Love these lamp shades - so chic! xx, Laura

  21. Love love love this project! Also, thanks for stopping by Recently. I, too, think Harry is quite the catch!

  22. Holy Catfish...that project is a stunner! Must steal and use :)

  23. Great idea! I like this lamp now :)


  24. Love that. You taught me some tricks I didn't even know--and I thought I was the gilding Queen. Thanks for another great post. I'm loving your blog :)

  25. Absolutely brilliant. I love the look of gold on the inside of lamps...it just has such a cool effect! Happy Monday, dah-ling...

  26. super duper clever!!! thanks for your comment too babe :)


  27. Question- why not just use the gold spray paint?

  28. Thank you for all your lovely comments and interest in this undertaking! I've been eyeing those Kullas for some time now just waiting for the perfect space to showcase the DIY in :D

    ...and to answer the question about why not just use the gold spray paint?...If you look closely, gold spray paint cannot achieve the textured quality that the gold leaves leave behind...It's actually quite a beauty upon closer inspection! Love that a metal shell can reveal something more intimate and a bit disheveled inside it's tough exterior...I'm all about the contrasts!

    Thanks again for reading guys!

  29. whaaaaaaaaat???? those look so amazeballs!!! LOVE THEM! And dang, you can set a pretty table too!

  30. Just linking over now and seeing this from Cassie's blog- these are AMAZING!!! Seriously gagga over them and your table...to die!!! I adore the end chairs, the mirror, the table itself, the wallpaper- all of it- totally fabulous!!!!

  31. Came over from Hi Sugarplum. Love the shades -- toyed with the idea of doing a lamp myself but opted to do spray paint b/c I didnt like the bronze color of the leave. However, now I am going to try to gold leaf something really soon!

  32. Hello! I have a Kulla lamp shade left over and I would love to use it as a pendant. Can I ask you what sort of hanging mechanism you used (like the light source and the cord). It's a heavy lamp shade and I wasn't sure if a light bulb on a cord would support it. Did you add any osrt of hardware inside? Thanks!!!


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