This is a project for Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio. I took one of the donated items that is not appropriate for their installation and revved it up a notch with a stenciled pattern reverse gilt on the glass top and complimenting silver leaf on the legs. What was once dated is now contemporary sheik.

This project combines a couple of technique that I’ve been working on perfecting. The first being using Illustrator to create custom stencils. The inspiration for this design was a square table top with interlock squares patterned into it. Seeing as how our table was a circle it was only natural to create a pattern of interlocking circles.


Glass with stencil

Custom stencil

The benefits of learning this method of stencil making are:

  1. Total Custom
  2. Perfect cuts
  3. Quick
  4. Easily edited during the design process
silver leaf water gilt on glass

Silver leaf water gilt on glass over stencil

The next technique is reverse gilding on glass. I’ve been playing with leaf since using it on job in New York. I also was given an old sign painters manual that had a chapter on gilding letters on glass. I had to try it. For this table the goal was to get as tight of a bond as possible in order to get the highest reflection out of the leaf.  I use a water gilding medium in which the surface tension of the water pulls the leaf smooth. It practical jumps off you pad. As a paint nerd it’s pretty cool. Then the hardest part is not touching it while it dries. Depending on humidity it can be a couple of days.  But it’s worth it.

Close up silver reverse gilt on glass through stencil

Close up silver reverse gilt on glass through stencil

The legs of the table required a different type of gilding. Oil gilding. There was already a texture on the legs which meant there was no chance of the mirror finish that I was going for on the glass. Oil gilding is also generally the preferred method for exterior architectural gilding and therefore the most durable.

Altogether the transformation of this table is amazing.  Go see it for yourself at Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio. Preview party is Thursday April 12th.  Get your tickets BTW, I also painted their sign.

Thrift Studio Logo

April 13th – May 12th,

Monday – Saturday from 10AM– 5:30PM.

1250 Slocum Drive, Suite 550 in the Design Center



Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.