Pure gold leaf or imitation gold leaf gilding, is used for decoration on a great diversity of materials (books and illuminations, statues, frames, objects...)
Among all types of existing gold leaves, we offer 3 choices of gold leaves (to select in the VERSION menu):
- 12-karat gold (50% pure gold)
- Imitation gold (copper and zinc)
- Imitation Silver (copper and zinc)
Each book contains 25 gold leaves and thegold leaves are protected by a tissue paper.
How to cover a surface with gold leaf?
Read our instructions (3 different techniques) and watch our 3 videos
Gold leaf can be applied onto almost any object. In general, a thin layer of glue is used first on the surface to ensure adherence. The gilding is to be applied with a brush made of natural bristles if possible, very soft and very flexible. The techniques apply to silver and copper sheets.
1/ Easy Technique on any support
Make sure that the surface is non-porous, glossy or finely sanded.
Use masking tapes to create your own custom design.
Apply a thin layer of glue, as thin as possible, using a glue brush or an airbrush (our water or solvent based glues may be used)
Wait until the adhesive is almost dry but tacky. Depending on the temperature, it takes 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the protective sheet, while preserving the gold leaf flat (avoid the formation of wrinkles by keeping the gold leaf very flat) and then carefully put the side of the object to gild onto the leaf.
Flip over the item, then press the golden surface with a piece of cotton or a light and soft object (for example, tuft of cotton wrapped in velvet)
Allow to dry about twenty minutes to make sure that the gold leaf is sticking.
Finish by polishing with a tuft of cotton with circular movements to ensure that the gold leaf sticks to all edges.
Then take off the outlines of the leaves (masking) and apply a clear coat. Top coating serves to protect and any of our varnishes can be used.
2/ Ancient and traditional technique
The vertical approach
Spray a little distilled water to the surface of the substrate, for example with a spray bottle used for cleaning windows.
Use a large gilding brush to raise the leaf by static electricity (quickly rub the brush against your hairt to create a static charge)
Apply the gold leaf onto the surface and dab.
Spray a thin veil of water between each layer and continue to cover the surface by overlapping layers. Dry with the aid of the hair dryer.
Buffering is done with a tuft of cotton, it helps to gently spread the layers and will remove any excess of gold leaf.
Spray water again then cover with more gold leaves if you want to add thickness.
3/ « Custom » bodywork gold leafing
Watch the videos
Work on a clean and sanded support (Remove all residues with adhesive buffers)
Create a design with masking tape, then cut with a very sharp blade (surgical type blade)
Apply the glue with a brush or a spray (From this moment, you have approximately 10 minutes before the glue is almost dry and becomes slightly tacky. Do not apply the gold leaf until part of the glue has evaporated. Always check with the back of your finger)
Take off the masking tape: You will get a sticky surface according to the design outlines.
Using the protective paper sheet, lift carefully the gold leaf, and apply it onto the glue surface.
Note that if you desire, you can dry with a hot air source, then polish gently with a tuft of cotton and eliminate the excess of gold leaf that is not on the sticky surface.
Perfect and protect the gold leaf outlines with a painted line using the technique of "pinstriping".
It is possible not to work with a masking tape, but to directly draw with the glue brush in order to make the golden leaves adhere.
To create a "whirlwind" effect during polishing, apply some pressure with a circular motion
What to do with gold leaf debris?
They can be used to buffer reliefs
and they can also be grinded and then incorporated into a transparent base to make gold paint.
Use a makeup brush if you don't find an appropriate brush, it works very well.
Wear vinyl gloves