I have never met a glossy black and gold gilded anything that I didn’t immediately go nuts 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. 

How to Make Your Own Gilded Drum Pendant Lights

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.

Step 2

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 3

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 4

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}

Step 5

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!

The Verdict

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!


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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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 😀

    …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!

  6. 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!!!!

  7. 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!

  8. 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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