If you’re looking for tips for how to apply gold leaf on concrete, you’re in the right place. Applying gold leaf to a variety of surfaces can add sheen, glitz, and sparkle. Today, we’ll be uncovering the benefits and methods you can use to add gold leaf to the surface of concrete.

So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it.

Table of Contents

Can I Use Gold Leaf on Concrete?

First and foremost, you’re likely wondering if gold leaf can be applied to concrete in the first place. Actually, yes! Although concrete is rough, bumpy, cold, and hard, adding a bit of gold leaf to it can add lovely detail that can liven up an otherwise dull surface to give it regal flair.

Know also that it is totally possible to apply other types of metal leaf to concrete besides pure gold. Though pure gold is often the most elegant option, you can also opt to apply silver leaf, copper leaf, and even imitation gold leaf to accomplish much the same goal.

Having said that, it is important to remember that if you plan to use gold leaf outdoors, you must choose pure gold, as imitation gold leaf won’t have the same durability that real gold will. Instead, you should opt to use gold leaf that is at least 23 kt gold for gilding anything you plan to keep outdoors. You’ll also need a specific type of adhesive but don’t worry. We’ll get to more about that later on in the post!

gold leaf on concrete

How to Apply Gold Leaf on Concrete Materials

Applying gold leaf to concrete is doable, but let’s first review the tools and products you’ll need to make it happen. These include:

  • High-quality primer
  • Soft hair squirrel brush
  • Adhesive (oil or water size)
  • Gold leaf (pure gold foil or imitation, depending on project)


Start by applying your primer to the stone surface you plan to cover. Applying a primer helps create the perfect surface for the gilding process.

Next, you’ll want to apply your adhesive to your concrete surface. This adhesive is often referred to as “size”. The adhesive will either be water or oil-based, depending on your needs. Oil-based size is ideal for projects that will remain outdoors, but it also has less “open” time. This means you’ll have significantly less amount of time to apply your gold leaf once the adhesive is painted on. Water-based size has a much longer open time, however, it can be less forgiving in terms of streaks and imperfections. It also isn’t ideal for outdoors.

Once your size is applied, it is time to apply your gold leaf. Bear in mind that gold leaf is extremely delicate and can easily acquire rips, tears, holes, and other imperfections when you handle it. It can also easily blow away. Apply your gold leaf carefully and smooth it over using a squirrel hair soft brush.

Clear away the excess using your soft brush.

One optional step is to seal the gold leaf. For items that won’t be stored outside, sealing the gold foil with top coat is optional. However, if your gilded concrete will be outdoors, it is typically recommended that you skip a top coat. The reason for this lies in the fact that top coats can turn even pure gold leaf hazy and cloudy after a few years have passed. Instead, it is recommended you use 23 kt gold or 23.5 kt gold to keep the integrity of the gold leaf without the need for sealant.

After all of the gold leaf has been applied, you may sand the gold leaf, especially for small projects that may have used gold flakes, as these can sometimes leave jagged surfaces that need sanding.

Note: If you’re new to gold leaf on concrete, it may help to start small. Try gold leaf concrete planters or other smaller projects to experiment before moving on to larger ones. You can also try adding gold leaf to the exterior portion of a concrete bowl, and can even make concrete bejeweled with gold foil to wear as jewelry!

Gold Leaf on Concrete Wall Application

Once you’ve gained a bit of experience with gold leafing, you may want to move on to bigger and better tasks. It is possible to apply gold leaf on a concrete wall or even add gold leaf to a concrete column if you wish. The most important thing is that you use the right equipment, adhesive size, and techniques to accomplish a smooth and elegant finished project that you can actually feel excited about!

To apply gold leaf on a concrete wall to column outdoors, you’ll follow much of the same steps as detailed in the last segment. The main thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the type of gold leaf you use as well as the type of adhesive.

Remember that it is always best to use 23 -23.5 kt gold leaf when a gilded piece will remain outdoors. This type of gold leaf can withstand weather conditions, and will not tarnish. If, however, you use the wrong size or happen to apply top coat sealant, you may impair your pure gold, and thus, risk unsightly damages done to your concrete column or wall.

As far as sizing goes, always use oil size when applying gold leaf outdoors. The oil sizing is waterproof and weather-resistant making it an optimal choice for gilding exterior prices. For a smooth and sleek finish, be sure to work quickly as oil size does not stay tacky or “open” for as long as water size does. Use a soft squirrel hair brush to apply gold leaf and remove the excess by hand, before allowing the piece to fully dry.

Gold Leaf on Concrete: An Easy Way to Jazz Up Your Indoors and Outdoors!

Applying gold leaf to concrete may sound somewhat strange, but actually, it’s a totally plausible and easy way to add a little glamor to your indoor and outdoor environment. The key is picking the correct size and gold leaf to align with your needs when using it. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the type of adhesive you pick. 

Be sure to use the proper tools (like a soft squirrel hair brush) to garner the perfect final result.

We hope this helps!


What surfaces can you apply gold leaf to?

You can apply gold leaf to virtually any surface. Even the surface of food! The most common items for gold leafing include wood, metal, ceramic, and yes, even concrete. This means that if you purchase furniture, hardware, or anything that you feel might need a bit of sprucing up, you could potentially add gold leaf to it to give it a touch of added glamor and elegance.

Does gold leaf stick to anything?

Gold leaf typically does not stick to anything on its own. Instead, gold leaf requires the use of adhesive, which comes in both oil and water-based size. You can purchase this size online or in stores.

What other ways are there to add a bit of gold to surfaces?

Apart from using gold leaf, some people opt to use gold paint or gilding wax. Know, however, that neither of these options provide quite the same aurora that real gold does, nor is it as durable as the real thing.

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