Get The Look – Gold Leafing Pens

DIY Pineapple Design for a notebook cover

Last week I was getting that totally on-trend gold look with transfer foils after the release of the new Heidi Swap Minc Foil Applicator*. But there are other ways to add some metallic glitz and glamour to your projects, so this week I thought I would show you how to get the look with leafing pens.

[*Just so you know there are affiliate links in this blog post, if you click them and then go on to buy something I get a small commission at no extra cost to you and it helps me to run the blog. Thanks for your support.]

It is Krylon Leafing Pen time!

Eh? Leafing Pens?

The leafing pens from Krylon are a paint pen that is filled with a metal pigment and solvent formulation. You can find it in silver, copper and 18kt gold colours.

18kt gold? Ching ching! We’re in the money!

OK, so we aren’t in the money – there isn’t any actual gold in the pen. Sorry to burst that bubble. If you look at the specification sheet on the Krylon website, it says bronze pigment *sigh*.

Anyways…these pens come with a chisel nib and produce strong metallic colours which have that perfect metal glow to them and they are acid-free so great for papercrafts. But you can use them on various other surfaces as well such as fabric, ceramic, glass, wood, plastic, metal.

What gives these the edge over other gold pens you may have in your stash is that the finish really does look like metal leafing or plating.

Different types of gold pens

Pen Key:
1 Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing
2 ZIG Fabricolor
3 ZIG Painty
4 Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Gold 250
5 Cricut
6 ZIG Writer
7 ZIG Wink Of Stella Brush

and help up to catch the light:

different types of gold pens

The ZIG Fabricolor gets the closest to the Krylon Leafing Pen shine, but what you can’t see in the photos is that there is a slight redish tint to the ZIG Fabricolor gold and the colour is not quite as even as the leafing pen but it is still not bad in the shiny gold stakes.

How Do You Use Them?

The Krylon Leafing Pen* works like other paint pens. When you first take the pen out of the packet, the nib is paint free and white. To start your pen off, you need to give it a really good shake then depress the nib a few times to start the flow of the paint into the tip.

How to prime a Krylon Leafing Pen

My pen is kind of old and has been somewhat abused so the nib is now a bit tatty, but you get the idea. I ought to change the nib really, which you can do by the way, I just haven’t gotten around to buying any replacement nibs yet. #notlazyjustbusy #okandabitlazytoo #yougotmethere

Once you have the paint flowing, you can use it just like a pen and every now and then you may need to press the nib down to get more paint flowing, particularly if you haven’t used it for a while. Giving the pen a good shake from time to time is a good idea too.

Trying the Krylon Leafing Pen on different materials

Hold your horses! Is that a page protector? Yep, you can even add your own gold accents to your memory keeping, project life, scrapbook page protectors.

Now that you have the paint flowing, you can draw and write with the pen just as you would with any other chisel-nibbed pen and here is a simple project to get you started.

You will need:
Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen
Notebook to decorate*
Brush pen (Bimoji from Kuretake) or sentiment stamp

Start with a template of what you want to draw. You can just go ahead and draw your design freehand of course but with a template you can make multiples of the same pattern, great if you want to sell the product #hint.

Drawing a Pineapple Template

Then place the sheet of vellum over the top of your template and lightly trace the design onto the vellum.

drawing a Pineapple with a Krylon Leafing Pen

Having shaken and primed your Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen (see above), start using it on the traced design.

Woop! Woop! Trend Alert – Pineapples are SO hot right now! (Think Will Farrell in Zoolander).

Moving rapidly on…

Leafing pen Pineapple sketch on Vellum

Once you have finished let the paint dry, it takes around 10 min to be touch dry and after 2 hours you can handle it how ever you need. I added a sentiment with a brush marker pen and my favourite at the moment is the Bimoji Fude pen from Kuretake (you can use a stamp if you prefer) and wrapped the vellum around the cover of the notebook.

Gold Pineapple notebook cover and matching bookmark

I used the template again on some shrink plastic* to make a matching page marker – cute!

OK So What Other Projects Could You Do With Leafing Pens?

As well as drawing and writing, the pen is also good for adding block colour to sections as I did in the Designer Notebook pattern project that I made for the Blitsy Discover blog.

decorated notebook in gold

Then you can add metallic borders to projects like this altered dominoes project that I did for Paperbabe Stamps*, yeah I get around!

Altered Dominoes with gold edges

Don’t forget that it works on all sorts of surfaces so adding metallic accents to all your projects is super easy and, wait for it… SO hot right now!

So do you have this pen in your stash? What do you use yours for? Are you tempted to get it if you haven’t got it? I would love to hear your Krylon Leafing Pen stories so drop me a comment below and let me know what you would use yours for.

For more ways to Get The Gold Look check out these posts:

Get the gold look with Transfer foilsA gold touch added to a vase with gilding flakesGet the gold look with Creative Expressions Gilding Wax

Some suggested products (*all of these are affiliate links):

Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Vicky

    I've never owned a gold leafing pen but feel in need of one after reading this post, a lot cheaper than a Heidi Swapp Minc + a laser printer! Thanks Kim :)x

    1. Kim Dellow

      So right Vicky! Loads cheaper! I haven't tried an ordinary laminator with bonding powder and transfer foil yet though, that is my next thing to try. Kx

  2. Jennifer Smith-Kirk

    Hi Kim, love the walk through post and all your clear explanations, I don't own one but I definitely like the effects – thank you for sharing x x x

    1. Kim Dellow

      Thanks Jennifer, glad you liked it and thanks so much for the shares. 🙂 Kx

  3. Shirley Davis

    What a superb tutorial aka critique. You always entertain as well as educate. I like that. With regard the gold leaf pen, of all the gold (& allegedly gold) pens in my stash, nothing shines. I like this. Mm, a lot.

    1. Kim Dellow

      Thanks Shirley, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I agree, I have a lot of gold pens (as you can see) but none shine quite like the paint pens like the Leafing one. They mostly look fine on dark backgrounds but it is nice to have a really metallic looking one in your stash for those occasions when you need it. Kx

  4. Anne

    Great review! I love metallic pens and have a number of different ones. Do you know if the Krylon metallic gold holds up once the fabric is washed? The DecoColor and PenTouch don't keep the metallic finish.

    1. Kim Dellow

      Hiya Anne,
      Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad you like the review.

      I have to say I don't know I'm afraid. I've not tried washing the fabric after using the pen.

      Have you ever tried to iron your paint pen designs before washing them? I know that heat sets some paints on fabric so it might be worth give it a go and seeing if it helps?

      If you do I would love to know the results, do drop by and let me know!

    2. Anonymous

      Hello there! This post really help. Can you please tell me where you can buy the #6 Zig Writer? I tired to search it but its not the same in the picture of what you've got? Is this ok to put on metal? Is this shiny color? Please. Help! Thank you!

    3. Kim Dellow

      I'm so sorry, I've only just seen your comment, so sorry for the late reply. The Kuretake ZIG Metallic Writer Pens are available from They deliver to UK and EU but if you are in the US or elsewhere you may need to contact them via their website first.
      Hope that helps and thanks for the question.
      Sorry again that I missed it!

    4. Kim Dellow

      ps. the ZIG writer (no. 6 in the picture) is designed for paper use. If you want something for metal then go for the Krylon Leafing pen (no. 1 in the picture) or the ZIG Painty Pen (no. 3 in the picture). The Krylon is the nearest to gold leafing glitzy.

  5. Isabelle

    Hi! what size is the black brush pen?

    1. Kim Dellow

      I am afraid I don’t remember. This post is very old.

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