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DIY Abstract Painting with Gold Foil

When it comes to accessorizing your home, artwork is easily one of the hardest pieces to fit into the puzzle because you want it to be personal, have meaning, and look good. Hard to get all of that at a big box store, am I right? So when you can’t find what you need, I say make it!

If I told you what this piece cost me to make, you might not believe me. I already had the paint and the canvas was $2… so it was less than $5! Wouldn’t you want to make art for your home for under $5? Rhetorical question…

Colors and Canvas

I apologize in advance for the last of photos during the actual painting part of this project. It’s hard to take photos when you have paint all over your hands! I tend to paint like a 5-year old…

First thing: mix your colors. I did very basic mixing – red and white (to make pink), a little white into the green, blue and green, and black and blue. That’s it!

Let the process of painting be as natural as possible. Just go with it. I literally just started painting the bottom of the canvas pink then added in the green and slowly moved to the blue. The white pieces were added in… with my fingers! I also scratched off some of the paint with my nails and blended in some of the areas.

And that’s what I was left with. After the paint dried, I took this project inside because any little bit of wind would be a bad mix with the gold foil.

Before you go for the foil, you need the sticky part. Use a foam brush to apply it to a few spots on your canvas. I chose the 4 corners.

Giving it That Golden Glint!

Now you get to pick up some imitation gold foil. Be very gentle with this stuff. It’s super thin, rips easily and weighs basically nothing.

You can remove a sheet carefully with your hands, but leave it alone until you’re ready to place it onto the canvas. Your first step would be to let the gilding paste set for 15 minutes so it’s nice and sticky. Set a timer if you wish, like I did.

Now you’re ready to lay on the gold. Again, be very gentle and place the whole piece on one of the corners. Gently use a dry foam brush to get the gold to stick.

Once you have enough gold in one spot, pick it up again and move to the next one. Repeat the process with the foam brush and keep moving along.

You will find, as you go, that the gold foil starts to clump a little and you can’t stick it down anymore. The better job you do of keeping the gold sheets intact, the less clumping you will have. Just brush it all off of your canvas when you’re finished.

And this is what you end up with. A little shimmer on your artwork, and a unique look because you know you will never be able to repeat the pattern the glue and gold foil have made, right?

Now you get to put your little beauty anywhere you want! I chose to use mine propped up on my vanity next to some jewelry and makeup, because the mix of gold and pink and blue fits perfectly with my things, and I like that there is more blue than pink, so my husband won’t think it’s too girly!

Were the added flowers too much? Alright… maybe. But a girl’s gotta get her pink in there somehow, right?

So what did you think? I have to tell you, I want to make more of these! It was so much fun, and the prospect of making new art is definitely pretty enticing, because it looks different every time!

Here’s a quick photo tutorial:

Give this a try! It’s fun to just put brush to canvas and let go! And getting to add gold on top? Like adding icing to a cake!!

Thalita Murray

Thalita is a school teacher by day, fierce DIY'er by night. Her fuel of choice is ice cream (preferably chocolate) and you can always find her daydreaming of her next DIY project, scouring the aisles at IKEA, antique-hunting or cuddling with her adorable pup. She's also constantly glued to her phone, feeding her obsession with Instagram, of cours[...]

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