How to Make Gold-Leafed Holiday Candlesticks

Update a collection of old candlestick holders with gold leaf to create a beautiful holiday centerpiece.
Gilded Christmas Candlesticks

Gilded Christmas Candlesticks

Don't settle for any old candles in your Christmas centerpiece. It's only a little extra effort to dress up some mismatched candlesticks with gold leaf. The gilded treatment ties the candlesticks together so the table looks warm and unified.

By: Janell Beals

Materials Needed:

  • collection of candlesticks in varying heights
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • tack cloth
  • gold-leaf sheets
  • liquid adhesive
  • gold-leaf sealer
  • gold-leaf antiquing
  • 2 foam brushes

Gather Supplies

Find a collection of old or worn candlestick holders and collect needed supplies.

Making Gold-Leafed Candlesticks

Making Gold-Leafed Candlesticks

In step 1, find a collection of old or worn candlestick holders and collect needed supplies.

Sand Surfaces

Lightly sand candlestick holder surfaces to remove any existing finish.

Remove Old Finish

Remove Old Finish

In step 2, lightly sand candlestick holder surfaces to remove any existing finish.

Wipe Clean

Wipe away dust with tack cloth.

Prep Candlesticks for Painting

Prep Candlesticks for Painting

In step 3, wipe the dust from the candlesticks with a tack cloth.

Apply Adhesive

Brush all surfaces with gold-leaf liquid adhesive. Let set approximately 30 minutes until tacky.

Brushing on Adhesive

Brushing on Adhesive

In step 4, brush all surfaces with gold-leaf liquid adhesive. Let set approximately 30 minutes until tacky.

Apply Gold Leaf

Lay sheets of gold leaf over candlestick surfaces and press into place with foam brush. Repeat until entire surface is covered.

Add a Golden Touch

Add a Golden Touch

In step 5, lay sheets of gold leaf over candlestick surfaces and press into place with foam brush. Repeat until entire surface is covered.

Wipe Away Excess Leafing

Brush away loose particles with foam brush.

Painting a Gold Leaf Candlestick

Painting a Gold Leaf Candlestick

In step 6, brush away loose particles of the gold leaf with a foam brush.

Apply Sealer

Brush on layer of gold-leaf sealer. Let dry 30 minutes.

Seal the Gold

Seal the Gold

In step 7, brush on layer of gold-leaf sealer. Let dry 30 minutes.

Apply Antiquing Finish

Brush on layer of gold-leaf antiquing finish.

Apply Antiquing Finish

Apply Antiquing Finish

In step 8, brush on layer of gold-leaf antiquing finish.

Rub In and Wipe Away

Rub antiquing finish into cracks and ridges. Wipe away any excess with rag.

Apply Antique Finish

Apply Antique Finish

In step 9, rub antiquing finish into cracks and ridges. Wipe away any excess with rag.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Layered Holiday Centerpiece

Putting together a beautiful holiday centerpiece doesn't have to be difficult or break the bank. This one is made up of a few easy-to-find elements and can be made in as few as 15 minutes.

How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Transform inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes into faux "mercury glass" candle holders using silver and gold leaf. These chic, handmade accessories will bring a little shine to any Christmas arrangement.

How to Make Architectural Letters

Create the look of worn-metal architectural letters to display a little joy on a holiday mantel or entry table.

Make Easy-to-Store Holiday Yard Reindeer

Spice up your curb appeal for the holidays with designer Dan Faires' colorful, overscaled plywood yard decorations that pack flat for easy, year-round storage.

How to Make a Glittery Christmas Banner

German glass glitter transforms a party store banner into a stunner. Hang this holiday decoration on a mantel, a banister or even on the Christmas tree!

How to Make Chalkboard Stocking Hangers

Why buy a cookie-cutter stocking hanger when a custom one can be made with a few staple workshop tools? This project is a perfect way for the woodworker of the family to contribute to the holiday decor.

How to Make Sheet Music Christmas Trees

Bring the unexpected to your table with miniature Christmas trees made out of cut and curled sheet music. These fluffy trees will add texture and whimsy to any holiday arrangement.

How to Make a Front Porch Christmas Tree

Create a country-style look on the front porch this holiday season with some indoor/outdoor materials — and a few gifts from Mother Earth.

How to Make a Snowflake Curtain

Deck the windows with strands of snowflakes. They're inexpensive, easy to make and add the perfect dose of seasonal flair to even the smallest windows.

How to Make a Wall-Mounted Christmas Tree Alternative

Designer Casey Noble shows how to bring the look and feel of a Christmas tree to a small space by creating a wall-mounted version using MDF trim and fabric.

On TV

Vintage Savannah

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.