Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Homeless DIY Gold Angel Wings

I've been saving images of gilded angel wings in decor for a long time. I especially love them in a bedroom.  The idea of sleeping under angel wings just invites a lovely night of sleep doesn't it? 



The problem was every time I came across a pair of pretty, gilded angel wings with lots of carved wood details, they were many, many hundreds of dollars.   I had pretty much put "gold angel wings" at the bottom of my list when I came across this listing on eBay (aside: random, eBay "window" shopping is sooooo dangerous...if you've had some wine, forget it...it's deadly.}  I love when auctions have a "make offer" button.  It's like getting your flea market price haggling fix without even leaving your couch.  I put in an offer of $125, the seller countered with $137, I countered with $137 + free shipping - and it was accepted! 

I liked the carved feather details and the size (46" tall!!!) I didn't love the weathered, cottage-y paint treatment but for the price, I thought it might be worth trying to DIY a gold finish on them.

I considered using gold leaf sheets but ultimately decided I'd need way too many sheets to cover a surface so large.  And I really didn't want a one dimensional finish.  It needed to be gold but vintage-y looking so the feather details really stood out. 

I picked up two pots of the new Martha Stewart metallic paints at The Home Depot - Vintage Gold and Black Coffee glaze.  My idea was to use the vintage gold as the base and then go back with the black coffee glaze to get into all the nooks and crevices to give it more definition. 

Here is one of the wings after two coats of the Vintage Gold.  I wasn't loving it.  It looked very flat to me...not at all the gilded look I was hoping for.


See what I mean?  Definitely an improvement over that shabby chic paint job they started with but still so blah.  


I really wasn't satisfied with this result.  I always have some of this Rustoleum metallic gold spray paint on hand.  You never know when you're gonna need to make something gold right?  No but seriously, it's got a great sparkle to it.   Since I wasn't happy with the Martha gold I figured I'd spray it and see what happened. 


It turned out to be just the right shade of gold.  Warm and deep instead of that weird, boring bronze color. 

I had both wings sprayed gold in just a few minutes.  I really liked the way they were looking but I wanted to highlight the detail in the feathers a bit more.  I should tell you that I'm certain this is not the correct way to use this metallic glaze.  But I tried it and it totally worked for me so who cares?  Basically I used a sponge brush to dab on some glaze in small areas, then I used a rag to wipe most of it off. 

The result was exactly what I wanted - a mostly gold surface with some depth and definition to the carved details. 

Here's the part where this story get sad.  So now I have my gold angel wings and I actually really love how they turned out.   I think it's safe to say this is my last DIY project before the big move.  I was all excited to mount them over our bed when we decided we were moving and would be selling the house.  Our realtor quickly neg'd the idea.  Something about turning off buyers...apparently not everyone shares my sentiment about sleeping under angel wings. 

So for now their gilded prettiness sits sadly tucked into the back of a closet awaiting moving day.  Homeless angel wings :(

I have no idea if they'll work in our new home or if there will be a wall big enough for them. *sigh*

Oh well...maybe I can get creative and do something like this with them.