When it comes to how to apply gold leaf to acrylic plastic, know that the steps are relatively simple. Applying gold leaf to nearly any surface can take things to the next level, but adding it to a plastic surface can really help elevate a look, and grace it with a touch of sophistication not normally associated with acrylic.

In this post, we’ll detail how to apply gold leaf to acrylic to achieve a wonderfully glitzy surface perfect for all sorts of craft projects and surfaces. Let’s get into the details.

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Can You Apply Gold Leaf to Plastic?

Yes, gold leaf can be applied to plastic.

The nice thing about gold leaf is that it can be applied to virtually any surface, provided that it has the right adhesive. Adding gold leaf to plastic can help elevate the look of plastic, making it difficult to know that it’s plastic at all, especially when the entire surface is covered in beautiful high-quality gold leaf.

How to Apply Gold Leaf to Plastic

To apply gold leaf to plastic, you’ll need a few simple tools. Start with the following:

  • A gilders brush – This is for application of the gold leaf. Some people also use clean makeup brushes or other soft fluffy brushes for application. Do whichever you have on hand, though professionals typically defer to squirrel hair brushes as best. Alternatively, you can use wax paper or a soft cloth to tamp down gold leafing as well.
  • A foam brush– Foam brushes aid in applying adhesive. Know that depending on the type of adhesive you buy, a foam brush may not be necessary. This is especially true if you use a spray can adhesive.
  • Adhesive– The type of adhesive you use on plastic can vary. Traditionally, gilders will use either oil or water based size for applying the gold, however, for basic at home crafts, the purchase of this adhesive may not be necessary. You could just as easily use a lightweight tacking spray, such as Easy-Tack Adhesive spray, to get the job done. You also won’t have to fool around with using and cleaning brushes if you lay your gold leaf using this method. PVA glue can also be used provided that you follow the directions as described on the label.
  • Gold leaf- Use any type of gold leaf you wish to achieve a gilded surface on plastic. Pick from a variety of gold leaf types including pure 24 karat gold or even imitation gold leaf. Which you choose will dictate whether or not you need to seal your gold leaf.
How to apply gold leaf to acrylic plastic?

How Do You Seal Gold Leaf on Acrylic Plastic?

To seal gold leaf on plastic, feel free to use Mod Podge or another type of sealant to ensure your gold leafing does not tarnish or wear.

It is important to note that it isn’t necessary to coat gold leaf in Mod Podge or any other type of sealant if you opt to use real gold leaf. Real gold leaf consists of at least 23 karats and does not require sealant. In fact, if you apply any kind of top coat sealant to this type of gold leaf, you risk the gold leaf changing colors and looking differently than when you first applied it down the line.

When applying gold leaf that is of lesser karat or is imitation leaf, sealant is a requirement. Again, Mod Podge is a good option, as is other sealant or clear coat wax types to protect your freshly molded plastic surface.

How to Gold Leaf Plastic?

Whether you’re wondering how to apply gold leaf to acrylic plastic sheet or how to apply gold leaf to acrylic plastic gild, know that there are only a few simple steps you need to take to achieve the gilded surface you need.

To apply gold leaf to plastic, follow these easy steps:

  • Prepare your work space and ensure there are no drafts in your environment. Gold leaf is delicate and temperamental and will be very difficult to lay if you’re in a drafty location.
  • Smooth the surface of your plastic if needed. You can do this by using a very fine sandpaper. Once you’ve sanded the surface, clean the surface of your plastic by using alcohol wipes or glass cleaner. Allow to dry.
  • Take your adhesive of choice and play it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply your gold leaf using careful tactics. Use a soft brush, soft cloth, or wax paper to gently tack on the gold leaf to areas with adhesive. Clear away any excess gold with your brush. Repair any gapping or damaged areas with more gold leaf. Allow your gold leaf to completely dry before moving on to the next step.
  • If you’ve opted to use genuine gold, sealant isn’t required. Otherwise, please apply a thin layer of sealant over your gold leaf.

How to Apply Gold Leaf to Acrylic Plastic: It’s Easier Than You Think!

Applying gold leafing to acrylic plastic isn’t as hard as you think. With just a few simple tools, you can get off to creating stunning pieces that no one would ever know is plastic by a quick glance of the eye.

Thus, adding gold leaf to a plastic surface is a noteworthy project worthy of taking on both at home or professionally. We hope you’ll try it!


Will gold leaf stick to wet acrylic paint?

Gold leaf may stick to wet acrylic paint, however, there is no guarantee it’ll stay there once dry. You also risk your gold leaf tarnishing this way, so in general, this method isn’t recommended.

Can I seal the gold leaf with acrylic varnish?

Yes, you can, but only providing that the gold leaf used is less than 23 karats. Otherwise, varnish is not recommended.

What surfaces can you apply gold leaf to?

Gold leaf can be applied to virtually any surface you can think of. Glass gilding, wood gilding, metal gilding, and concrete gilding are all examples of surfaces that can take gold leaf. And there are even more gilding options available than that!

Does gold leaf stick to acrylic?

Yes, gold leaf will stick to acrylic, provided that you use the correct adhesive.

How do you apply gold leaf to acrylic canvas?

Apply gold leaf to an acrylic canvas by using either water or oil based size.

Can you apply gold leaf to plastic?

Yes, you can apply gold leaf to canvas and the steps are easier than you think. See the details within the above blog post for details.

What is the best glue for gold leaf on acrylic?

The best glue for gold leaf on acrylic tends to be spray adhesive as this is the easiest to apply. You could also use water based size, though this might be a longer and lengthy process than you’d like.

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