Published on June 23rd, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Silver leaf dresser

Materials: Edland dresser, silver (aluminum) leaf, gilding size, varnish, wooden knobs, paint

Description: I’ve needed a new dresser for a long time, and a mirrored one at that. Since I didn’t want to buy one, I decided to make my own variation, inspired by this.

So I got my Ikea Edland dresser, and after carefully applying the Gilding Size (the adhesive that goes on milky but turns clear in about 1/2 hour, when it’s ready for the leaf), I applied the silver leaf. It took a looong time (I figure I spent a good 40 hours on this project). After the leaf was applied, I used clear varnish (acrylic gloss medium works as well, as I found out when I ran out of varnish). For the heavy use area, I used 4 coats.

I originally intended on buying sparkly glass knobs, but decided to be more eclectic and bought wooded knobs from Home Depot. I painted them aqua, then applied just a bit of the leaf.

~ Morgan S, Cincinnati

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

16 Responses to Silver leaf dresser

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazingly done ~you are so creative ~angel hands ~~~lovely ~~

  2. Anonymous says:

    WOW! What did you do with the white knobs? I like them so much. Do you still have them?

    The job you did is amazing!

    Lavinia from Vienna

  3. Anonymous says:

    The long hours & hard work paid off, it looks fantastic & I’m definitely tempted to do something similar myself!

  4. Saz says:

    I absolutely love this. I’m thinking of doing a a pair of bedside tables!

  5. Morgan says:

    It was the way I brushed the leaf on. Just use smaller pieces not the full squares that come in the pack. It’s actually a lot easier

  6. Sarah says:

    This looks amazing Morgan. I think this might be my first big hack. Question, looking at the Little Green Notebook, their version turned out smooth and more mirror like. I like yours with the more crackly effect and the black showing through underneath.

    How can I get the same cracked antique effect? Was that from the the clear varnish or they way you brushed the leaf on?

  7. Judith says:


  8. Thanks for your presentation and I appreciate that!
    Keep up your good work. I will come here regularly for news.

  9. Trish says:


  10. Morgan says:

    The main cost was the dresser, since it was $200…I used 6 packets of the leaf, at 25 sheets/pack. I bought them from United Art and Education, which is a really fantastic store with slightly lower prices. Each pack was $6.95. The size came in a really little bottle (2 fl oz) but I only needed one for the whole project. That was only $2.95. For the varnish, I already had all that stuff, so not sure on pricing there. The knobs from Home Depot were only $.99 each.

  11. Sara Bellum says:

    Wow! Amazing hack! You’d never guess it was that particular dresser. I’ve been looking at mirrored chests for awhile – this may be a much less expensive solution.

  12. Wow! I am also a Cincinnati girl and just LOVE this project. Am moving to OtR soon and have been considering adding some silver furniture to my collection, as the apt is fairly industrial looking. What a great idea! Also interested in the cost of materials.

  13. Jules says:

    Morgan was inspired by what was done by Jenny of Little Green Notebook. The instructions there are pretty clear. Hop over and take a look.

  14. Heidi says:

    Thanks – I agree w anonymous – can you provide a supply/cost list (and online sources if you used ‘em or what stores?) I love this!!
    Thinking i’d like to leaf my helmet for roller derby. YES.

  15. Anonymous says:

    very good Work ^^

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome! Do you mind telling us the total cost there abouts for the whole project?

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