If you’re interested in layering a frame, furniture, paper, coasters, or other items in gold luster, you may wish to give liquid gold leaf a try. Liquid gold leaf, otherwise known as liquid leaf, is a great alternative to gilding with genuine gold when it comes to taking on a small project.

Interested in learning more? Stick around. In this post, we’re detailing all you need to know about liquid leaf, its ingredients, and its applications. Let’s get started.

All You Need To Know About Liquid Gold Leaf

Table of Contents

What Is Liquid Gold Leaf Made of?

Despite the name, it’s important to know that liquid gold leaf is not made of real gold.

Liquid Leaf is a product made by a company called “Plaid”, although other brands of liquid gold paint exist. According to the Plaid website, Liquid Leaf contains copper and a few other ingredients, but it isn’t made of genuine gold the way that true gold leaf sheets are.

The simplest way to think of liquid gold leaf is as gold paint since it isn’t real gold leaf. Like normal paint, you’ll apply the stuff with a brush and finish it with a sealant to protect it. This paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including wood, canvas, metal frames (after priming), and more.

Thus, it is a simple alternative to true gold leaf, but without the grandeur that pure gold brings.

Is Liquid Gold Leaf Real Gold?

Liquid gold leaf is not real gold. Liquid leaf is like paint, and does not have any gold leaf added. A better way to think of gold leaf is like metallic paint.

Not all Plaid Liquid Leaf products contain ingredient information, but those that do never make the claim that genuine gold was involved in the making of paint. Instead, you’ll see mentions of copper on the package, but never of true gold leaf.

Liquid Gold Leaf Ingredients

Glancing at the bottle, you may or may not find a breakdown of a list of ingredients for liquid leaf paint ingredients.

One thing we can tell you for sure is that some liquid gold leaf paints, including the Plaid Liquid Leaf brand, include dangerous ingredients that pose multiple hazards to health. Of these ingredients include xylene, known to irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs.

In addition, Plaid’s Liquid Leaf is marked as having the potential to cause cancer and emit harmful fumes that may prove detrimental to your respiratory system. With all things considered, you’ll need to be very careful when using liquid gold leaf, and be sure to purchase a mask, gloves, and other equipment to keep you and those you love protected against harmful fumes as you work.

Liquid Gold Leaf Benefits

Despite its downfalls, liquid gold paint is certainly a good choice for those who need an alternative to applying gold leaf in its true form.

Consider the following benefits of using liquid gold paint:

  • It’s easier to apply than traditional gold leaf.
  • It is much like typical metallic paint, meaning you can apply it with a paint brush rather than having to deal with the intricacies of gold leaf sheets.
  • It does not require adhesive to adhere to a surface.
  • It is suitable for use on furniture, wood, and other types of products.
  • You may only need one bottle to complete smaller projects, making it a less costly venture than other gold leafing methods.

Liquid Gold Leaf Disadvantages

  • When you apply liquid gold lead, you may find yourself dealing with fumes. This is true even for the best liquid gold leaf out there. You’ll need to protect yourself by using this product in a well-ventilated space and avoid contact with your skin to stay safe.
  • Real gold leaf provides a level of sophistication and grandeur unmatched by the simplicity of gold paint. Using real gold will also achieve a different look that is unrivaled by even the best liquid gold leaf out there.
  • Liquid gold requires sealant to finish in order to keep it from becoming tarnished. We love the fact that the use of genuine gold does not require sealant.
  • Though painting liquid leaf metallic paint may be easy when compared against the actual process of laying gold leaf, the truth is that gold paint will never achieve the same results that real gold does.
All You Need To Know About Liquid Gold Leaf

Is Liquid Gold Leaf Permanent?

Liquid gold leaf isn’t necessarily permanent, though many package directions don’t give specific instructions for its removal.

To remove liquid leaf, you may wish to try using paint remover or sanding the surface.

Does Liquid Gold Leaf Tarnish?

Liquid gold leaf, or gold paint, does tarnish and can even turn green over time. It will also fade and look different than when you first applied it as years go on.

It is for this reason that you’ll want to apply a top coat to your finished liquid leaf project. This will help maintain the integrity of the piece and help it become easy to maintain.

Do You Need to Seal Liquid Gold Leaf?

Sealing liquid gold leaf is plausible to help maintain the surface of the object it is applied to. Therefore, it is usually recommended that you apply a coat or two of sealant once your gold paint has set to finish off your project. This will help keep it looking as vibrant as it did upon first application.

How Do You Clean Liquid Gold Leaf?

Once you’ve applied liquid gold leaf, you’ll want to remove it from your brushes and other application tools. To do so,use a paint thinner to help you get rid of the gunk stashed between bristles.

Follow up by rinsing these tools off with water, and allowing them to sit upright to air dry.

Utilizing Liquid Gold Leaf Is Worth a Try

Though liquid gold leaf won’t achieve the same look and function as pure gold sheets, it is a worthy venture for a small project or for minor touch ups. Liquid gold leaf need only be applied with a brush, as it functions much like metallic paint.

Remember that liquid gold leaf can be used over a variety of mediums including wood, furniture, and hardware. Use this paint as a quick remedy to provide a splash of gold, but know it won’t have the same luxurious feel that actual gold leaf can supply.


Is liquid gold leaf real gold?

No, liquid gold leaf is not real gold. In fact, it typically never contains gold leaf in the ingredients, but instead may include copper flakes. Remember also that liquid gold leaf is prone to tarnishing and thus will require sealant, unlike real gold.

How do you clean liquid gold leaf?

Liquid gold leaf can be wiped down with a damp cloth once applied, sealed, and allowed to dry.

How do you remove liquid gold leaf?

Feel free to remove liquid gold leaf through methods of sanding, scraping, or the use of paint remover. Remember liquid gold leaf is virtually metallic paint, so you can use methods pertaining to its removal the same way you would any other paint.

How often do you use liquid gold leaf?

Use liquid gold leaf as often as you wish to tackle areas in need of touch ups. Because this kind of gold application is so easy to apply, there’s no need to worry about how often you use it, provided you are protecting yourself and others from exposure and fumes.

Is liquid gold leaf better than gold paint?

Not necessarily. In fact, it’s safe to say that gold metallic paint and liquid gold leaf are virtually synonymous. 

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