It’s becoming very common to see repurposed vintage flatware making an appearance, (even Anthropologie sells sets now!) but building and designing your own collection is of course more fun. Today we’re going to use multi-surface paint and silver/gold leaf to create our very own gorgeous custom silverware set!
- Eclectic flatware. You can find lovely pieces in thrift stores or use the keywords “vintage silver flatware lot” on eBay
- Paint – either an oil-based paint like Rustoleum, or Martha Stewart’s new multi-surface paint. There are a few different styles in Martha’s line, (metallic, satin, pearl, high gloss etc) and I liked the pearl best. I’ve used the rose-colored Antique Silk one here.
- Silver/gold leaf – I used a couple sets by Speedball, some are available with adhesive + sealer included
- Adhesive – best to use either the pen or paint-on kind, and not the aerosol can
- Silver cleaner, if needed
- Old paintbrush
- Floral foam
There are a few different ways to go about painting and leafing your silverware, depending on personal style and preference. I chose the pieces I wanted to use by the variety of the handles, and preferred ones that had a clear distinction where the paint would end.
Paint two coats, drying between.
For the silver leafing to look random, paint the adhesive on to the parts you want it to stick. The glue takes 2-3 minutes to dry and won’t be tacky at first, so wait 30 seconds or so before adding the leaf. Use either your fingers or a paintbrush to spread, and apply it slowly, in layers. Use the brush to bring out the detail in the filigree, and in a twisting motion to remove bits of the leaf. Since the glue takes a bit to dry, you can easily start over. Once finished and the pieces are fully dry, apply a few layers of the sealer. It should last well, but of course dishwashing isn’t recommended.
When drying, put them upside down into floral foam to avoid any markings in the paint.
There are so many possible variations! Try painting the handles white and using gold leaf, bronze leaf, or a combination. We’d love to try a bold color such as rich kelly green next!
Photography – Rebekah J. Murray Photography