Touches of gold, silver and copper are very popular today but there are different uses for gold paint, gilding wax/ paste and gilding sheets. Gold paint, whether it is spray on or brushed, provides uniform coverage. It is perfect for handles, mason jars and mirrors, if the look you want is very even. These mason jars from Mason Jar Love illustrate what I mean
Gilding wax or paste is something that I have used a lot on furniture. You apply it with your finger or a brush to the edge or moldings on a piece. It is not as uniform as paint and provides a hand-painted look to something. There are a few varieties available but I have used mostly Baroque Art. It will adhere to most surfaces and cures when it hardens. The only downside is that you can’t put anything over it such as poly and regular wax will soften it and remove the paste because it has solvents. I use it all the time to change the colour of brass handles which I am not fond of. This first photo shows copper paste that was applied to brass handles. The copper is a nice complement to the mahogany top.
I often play with paint and gilding paste on handles to give them a more unique look as in these brass handles which I painted pink and put silver tips on.
These other photos are of furniture that I have used the wax on in a more traditional way such as on the edges of the pieces.
Gilding sheets are thin pieces of gold foil that you apply to brushed-on glue. They are lovely because they provide that broken, not quite perfect look, that you see in gold leaf applications. But, they are tricky to work with and would be difficult to apply to furniture. A plus is that they can have a protective coating applied to them like water-based Varathane or Krylon spray. I used them on these chalk painted clay pots and really like the effect. I got the idea for the broken random pattern from The 36th Avenue
This last pot is a large clay pot that I had lying around. Parts of it have been broken and crumbled on the side. I painted the pot with Tuscan Red milk paint from General Finishes, then added bluish dry-brushed chalk paint. The edge has gilding paper. The whole effect is of rusted metal.
I would never have been able to achieve that look with paint or paste. Gilding sheets also look lovely on the inside of a tray or bowl. So, the 3 applications have different looks and purposes and are fun to experiment with.