Prepare work area
2. Prime surface
3. Apply 'bole' color
4. Apply adhesive 'size'
6. Seal and protect leaf
7. Apply antique glaze
work area: Cover working surfaces and floor areas with
drop cloths or newspaper. Use tape to mask any areas not to be
gilded. Lightly sand the surface if
necessary with 220 grit sandpaper to
remove any blemishes.
2: Prime surface: Remove sanding dust with a tack
cloth and prime
as needed. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for
additional tips and techniques
3: Apply 'bole' color: Once the primer is fully dry, you are
ready to apply the base color for your leaf.
Traditionally a deep terre cotte color is used,
such as Benjamin Moore color # 2090-30.
base color is also referred to as the 'Bole'
color. Traditionally, bole was made from clay.
Today paint is typically
One can experiment with different colors
and your choice will affect the overall
appearance of the finished product. For example,
the traditional terra-cotta color adds warmth to
both gold and silver leaf. A black 'bole' color
creates a hard, cold look - often appropriate for
Art Deco pieces, and the like. A yellow
'bole' color evens out the overall appearance,
and diminishes any cracks or 'holidays' on the
Apply adhesive 'size'.
Apply your 'size'. Size refers to the adhesive
used to adhere the leaf to a surface. There are
different kinds of size adhesive dependant on
the finished look you desire. For most common
gilding practices a 3 hour, 'quick drying' size
is all you will need. It is an oil based product
and can be cleaned with mineral spirits. Apply
carefully and evenly, working the size to an
even film as much as possible. When competed,
clean your brush with mineral spirits.
Quick-dry synthetic gold sizing is
a clear gilders size designed for
fast leaf work. Dries in one to
three hours, can be used as a
varnish, medium, or anywhere a
durable, weather resistant finish
is required. Thins with mineral
spirits, and comes in an 8 ounce
Buy pints, quarts or gallons
Visit The Gilded Planet now!
5: Apply leaf:
firmly and carefully. Attach leaf to
methodically up the leaf to rap over and
After the leaf is laid on, rub
thoroughly over paper to insure adhesion. Gently remove the paper, leaving the leaf
on your surface.
6: Seal and protect the gilded surface
Protect the leaf with a coat of
oil based varnish.,
A satin or
work nicely. This seals the leaf,
protecting it from moisture and air. It also
acts as a barrier coat between the leafed
surface and the antiquing glaze that soon
follows. Clean your brush with
spirits when completed.
7: Apply antique glaze
Antiquing and aging your leafed surface.
Also visit the
Antiquing Silver Leaf step by
On a palette,
mix your glaze
and dilute with
water. Apply evenly over surface, smoothing
out as you go. In case the glaze 'beads',
allow to set momentarily then smooth out as
Using a dry rag, buff up
'high' points, allowing the recesses to remain
darker, mimicking the processes of time.
Gold Leafing Techniques
visit the full tutorial
objects into heirlooms.
Silver leafing can add
charm and personality to
even the most ordinary
select to visit the full tutorial
Gold Leafing might be just the right accent
you're looking for! These straight forward step-by-step
methods helps get the job done right.