If you’re looking for tips on how to apply gold leaf to marble, we’ve got you covered. In today’s post, we’ll detail exactly how to lay gold leaf over a marble surface to create a unique multifaceted look that is sure to wow curious onlookers. Read on to learn how!

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Can You Use Gold Leaf on Marble?

Yes, it is possible to use gold leaf on marble. However, you’ll need a specific primer to prepare the surface for laying metal leaf. Understand that in addition to genuine gold, other metal leaf types, including silver leaf and copper leaf can be used over marble. Know, however, that depending on where the marble is located, you may need to use a specific type of adhesive to ensure the leaf stays put.

gold leaf on marble

Why Use Gold Leaf on Marble?

The use of gold leaf on marble is typically done to achieve unique and edgy patterns for décor that are perfect for when you simply want to jazz things up. Everything from marble statues to coasters have the ability to receive a gilding treatment, but you’ll need a high quality primer to get you started. Read on to learn more about how to use gold leafing on stone surfaces that will look elegant and stunning.

Gold Leaf on Marble: Gilding Adhesive

There are two main types of adhesive that can be used to lay gold leaf on a stone surface. Water based sizes are fine for interior projects and boast of longer open times. “Open times”, sometimes referred to as “tack time”, is the amount of time your adhesive stays sticky before it dries. Despite these benefits, water based size isn’t as beginner friendly as oil size, and it also isn’t suitable for outdoors.

Oil size, on the other hand, is the only type of adhesive you can use if you wish to take on a project with gold leaf for use outdoors. It is also better for the beginner, although it does have shorter tack times. As always, follow the instructions on your adhesive label for details on exactly how to use your oil or water based adhesive.

Gold Leaf on White Marble: Tools Needed

To apply gold leaf on white marble (or any other color, for that matter), there are several tools needed. These include:

  • Genuine gold leaf (or imitation leaf)
  • Several clean soft brushes
  • Cotton gloves, tweezers, or knife (needed for handling gold leaf)
  • Oil or water based size
  • High quality primer (it should be a primer that is specifically designed for use on stone)
  • Clear coat sealer (optional, see below)

How Do You Apply Gold Leaf to Marble?

To apply gold leaf on marble, follow these easy steps:

  1. Start with a clean and smooth surface. Cover any areas you don’t want contaminated prior to beginning your work. Ensure that your stone surface is clear of any film, dirt, or debris that could impede the gilding process.
  2. Once your marble surface is prepped and ready, it is time to apply your sealer. As mentioned in the segment above , you’ll want to use a primer specifically designed for use on stone or marble surfaces. These often come in colors, and if you’re using gold leaf, you’ll likely choose red or yellow shades to give the gold a proper glow.
  3. When applying your primer, be sure to follow the directions according to the label. Once your primer is applied, it is time to spread the adhesive.
  4. Apply the adhesive to your primed marble surface using a soft brush. Be sure to coat the entire area receiving gold leaf, ensuring that no parts of the surface are left dry.
  5. Once the adhesive is laid, observe the tack time on the adhesive label and work within that time frame. Use cotton gloves, tweezers, or knife to carefully lift the edge of your gold leaf and place it directly onto the areas covered in gilding size. From there, use a clean soft brush (or wax paper) to carefully press your gold leaf into place. Try not to worry too much about knicks or scratches. You can always go back and patch these areas up when you’re done.
  6. Once the gold has been laid, use yet another soft brush to gently dust away excess leaf. Some people like to use excess gold for other projects, so feel free to save it. Just be sure not to use it on food, even if it is edible gold leaf, as it has likely come in contact with adhesive and other icky germs from handling.
  7. At this point, you can go ahead and patch up any areas where you may see gaps or knicks. Once the adhesive has dried, apply a sealant or top coat if desired. Remember, this is only necessary if you have reason to believe your metal leaf will tarnish. Genuine gold leaf will not tarnish, and in fact, will only change its physical appearance if you DO use sealant. For this reason, you should leave genuine laid gold leaf bare, even if exposed to the outdoors.

Gold Leaf on Marble: An Exquisite Upgrade

Use this process as a way to enhance your current marble items, including frames, works of art, tiles, walls; you name it! Remember that this gilding method also works great for both exterior and interior projects. Just be sure to use the correct sizing when deciding where to place the finished piece.


How long does gold leaf last on headstone?

Assuming that you use 23k gold or higher, the gold leaf could last 20 years or more unsealed. Be sure to use oil size for the process to ensure resistance to wet weather conditions.

How do you seal gold leaf on stone?

Unless your gold leaf is less than 23k or is an imitation leaf, you do not need to seal the gold leaf on stone. If you must seal it due to lack of gold purity, please use an acrylic top coat sealer according to the directions on the packaging.

Will gold leaf work on marble plates?

Yes, it will, but make sure the plate is strictly for the purpose of style and decor, and not for eating.

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