Studio Sconce Makeover — From Black To White With Gold Leaf Accents

Yesterday, I needed an easy, relaxing, fun project that I could start and finish in one day, so I decided to work on the sconce makeover for the studio office area cabinets. When I looked for sconces for this area, I wasn’t concerned at all about the color. My only goal was to find sconces that matched the shape of the pendant lights on the mural wall as closely as possible.

As a reminder, here’s what the mural wall pendant lights look like…

Those also started off black, and I gave them a makeover so that they would look lighter and more feminine against the mural wall and pink cabinets.

If you want to see more details about that project, you can see it here: Studio light makeover (Attempt #2).

I found these sconces that were a pretty close match to the pendant lights on Amazon. You can find them here. Here’s what they looked like before the makeover…

These sconces were black on the outside, and gold on the inside. But the gold was a dark antique gold. I wanted them to be the light, bright gold of the gold leaf that I used on the other lights. So I used the same products that I used on the other lights to add the gold leaf inside the shade. You can see the difference that make here…

The pendant lights had a raised lip around the outside bottom edge of the shades. Those were very easy to tape off and gold leaf. These shades were a bit different. They had this rolled lip on the bottom, and these were a huge pain to tape off. I had to use little pieces of tape so that I could get each piece behind that rolled lip. This was the hardest part of the project, but it wasn’t difficult. It was just a pain.

But once I had that bottom lip taped off, I added more adhesive and gold leaf to highlight that part as well. It seemed like the natural ending spot for the gold leaf. And then to match the sconces to the pendant lights as much as possible, I chose an ending spot for the gold leaf on the top part that matched the pendants as closely as possible. And with everything gold leafed and clear coated, here’s how it turned out…

They’re not actually installed yet, and I haven’t yet gold leafed the little nuts holding them onto the cabinets. I’ll need to remove the sconces to paint the window trim and add the small trim around the corners. So I’ll wait until everything is done, and then I’ll actually install the lights. Once they’re actually hooked up and installed, then I’ll gold leaf the little white nuts holding them onto the bracket.

But while they’re not functional yet, at least they’re pretty to look at. And I needed a quick win yesterday, so this was a fun project to check off my list.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out. And while they don’t exactly match the pendants in shape, I think they’re close enough that they look like they were bought together as a set.

And I just love the gold. Y’all know how I love some gold leaf! I could gold leaf all the things and be perfectly happy sitting in my gold leafed house and admiring the shine and shimmer. So I get excited any time I can add a little gold leaf to something. Plus, gold leafing is a fun project for me. I find it very relaxing and satisfying.

But now I need to take them down and get those other projects finished. It’s coming along, though!



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  1. You are so correct, these turned out great! Thank you for continuing to go forward with this amazing transformation of your home. Enjoy the process of getting from what was to what it is becoming. I just think the lesson and skills your have acquired is amazing and will serve you well for any endeavor you decide to take on.

  2. I am so happy about these!!!! They are gonna look so great when the window trim/paint and shade are in. Your studio is going to be too pretty to work in!

  3. Such a great addition, Kristi. That did a lot to add a decorative touch. The window shade will break up the pink expanse. I like the bar on the sconce. Nice touch.

    I’ll comment on a couple of other things here since I didn’t weigh in yesterday.

    As for your chair, considering the fabric, color, and the kitty who will take up residence, I would suggest holding off the decision until more aspects in the room are finished. Then, you will instinctively know. I would go with the wallpaper pattern, perhaps in a smaller scale, used on the entire chair. Just love it.

    Yep, the change of the black on the large cabinet is a good idea. White would be better than adding another dominant color.

    I’m glad you had that fun one-day project. A nice break. Beautiful result. Do you listen to a book or music while doing projects like that?

  4. Sconces are perfect. I want to add a bit about the window area. I feel it would just look so good to put the wallpaper around the window and in the backs of the cubbies in the bridge shelf. Both parts would be very small but would pull the two cabinet areas together.

  5. Love the lights in white and gold. I have a little suggestion, if you painted the back of the 3 cubbies white it will make your accessories pop.

  6. I really love the patience you have to gold leaf everything. Your Studio looks amazing. I would use it to do puzzles, diamond painting amd sewing. Pretty place to be in everyday😍 Kudos to you krissy!!

  7. The sconces turned out great!! Your projects always look beautiful! You inspire me! 💝💝🌷🌷
    Happy Easter! ✝️✝️

  8. Absolutely stunning! Everything you do makes me gasp. Those sconces look like a million bucks. (I guess I should stop being surprised.) Well done, Kristi!

  9. I love what you are accomplishing here in this room. It is one of my favorites. Probably because it is a studio and is so large. I am jealous. I have a craft room but none to compare with this. And I have to do furniture outside on back porch. Weather permitting. But I digress. I was wondering about the small sewing machine on the top shelf…by the way love the bridge you built. Is it a vintage Singer? I love those..they look almost like a toy. I know you are anxious to finish this room…but I am enjoying it so much.

    1. I was wondering about those t sewing machines as well. I have two vintage Singer Feather Weights from 1949, from my mother and aunt. They are built like fine vintage machine. No plastic parts at all and both run like the day they were made!

    2. I have 2 vintage Singer Featherweights for sale if you are interested. They were my mothers and she passed away 8 years ago. I have no one to leave them to so I am selling them. One was born on 6-22-1947. It is a 221. It includes a case and shelf that is full of bobbins, needles, plus a buttonhole attachment. Serial #AH127032 Asking $595.00 runs good. The other one was born on 3-31-1950 221 Singer Featherweight. It includes the case and includes the buttonhole attachment plus walking foot and guide along with bobbins. Serial #AJ564428 Asking $550.00 Runs good. Lauranette Lewellen, [email protected]. Isn’t Kristi the cat’s meow?

    3. Yes, it’s a very old Singer sewing machine. It was my grandmother’s, and for a while (many years ago) it was the only sewing machine I had. I’ve sewn many things on that machine. I’ve upgraded now, but that old sewing machine still works, and it works great!

  10. I love this!! It just adds so much!!
    I just live every thing you do. Your attention to detail is so amazing! Looking forward to seeing the finished room!

  11. I love the sconces! Your mentioning a “gold leafed house” reminds me of what I did in the 90s when traveling as a consultant. EVERYBODY had black rolling luggage so I needed a way to make mine very visible. I took chunky foam leaf stamps. Used gold craft paint. My luggage had so many gold leaves on them, it looked like a drunk monkey had been there! When one piece didn’t arrive and I had to fill out a claim, the girl looked at me so weird when I described it as “gold leafed black luggage.”

  12. Hi Kristi,

    What is the biggest difference between gold leaf and run & buff? I’ve used RNB many times, haven’t tried gold leaf. I love the transformation!

    Thank you for all your inspiration!

    1. I find the biggest difference to be that Rub n Buff will give you a gold color, while metal leaf will actually give you a metallic finish. Also, I’ve always found Rub n Buff to be difficult, if not impossible, to get a solid, even finish on a large surface. It’s great for small things, like cabinet door pulls or narrow picture frames. But on a large surface, like a sconce shade, I always get areas of overlap with the Rub N Buff that look thicker or have a different sheen after it’s buffed. And sometimes, adding new over old (like when having to overlap while doing large areas), the second coat will actually remove the first. With gold leaf, you can overlap as much as you want, and it’ll always have the same sheen and color. And while gold leaf finishes are never perfect, that’s the nature of gold leaf that adds interest and beauty to them.

  13. I am loving the pink cabinets more and more; it would not have been my first color choice but seeing them “mostly finished” with the sconces and a couple things tucked in the cubbies, well all I can say is “BRAVA”!!!!!

  14. The lamps are perfect. They look so much more expensive than when they were black. It must be the gold!!

  15. Looking really fabulous Kristi. Looking forward to seeing you working in your new space. Keep up the great work.

  16. Oh, my goodness!!! The sconces in place are so beautiful, I got a little thrill of happiness for you!!!!!

  17. Kristi,
    You turned those little baby sconces to look just like the bigger mother sconces. What a great job you did one these. I love the sconces.

  18. The lamps look great! But good gracious you have a featherweight sewing machine. I’ve had 3 and sold them . I want one made in 1949. The year l was born. Been looking for 10 years! Meanwhike l have many other vintage Singer that l use a lot to make quilts mostly. Ive soldaround 10 because l have no room after working them so they look and work like new. Sorry to get off the main subject!

  19. Looks great! I’m thinking how cute simple sheer cafe’ curtains would be here. The leafy view would still show through the top panes, and no wood blind to interfere with the sconces.