What products do we sell?
We sell the following products both wholesale and retail:
• Genuine Gold Leaf (Transfer and Loose)
• Genuine Silver Leaf (Loose)
• Genuine Copper Leaf (Transfer and Loose)
• Edible Gold Leaf (Transfer and Loose)
• Imitation Gold Leaf
• Imitation Silver Leaf
• Variegated Leaf
• Gilding Tools
• Adhesive sizes and sealers
What are the basic steps in Gold Leafing? Step 1: Prepare work area: Cover working surfaces and floor areas with drop cloths or newspaper. Use low-tack painters tape to mask any areas not to be gilded. Lightly sand the surface if necessary with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any blemishes.
Step 2: Prime surface: remove sanding dust with a tack cloth and apply a quality primer. This primer-sealer has been specially formulated for gilding processes and is available in 3 color tones - Red, Grey and Ochre.
Step 3: Apply adhesive '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 there is a choice of sizing available, water-based or oil-based. Apply carefully and evenly, working the size to an even film as much as possible.
Step 4: Testing your 'tack' - This is perhaps the most important phase in achieving a properly gilt surface, and determining the proper 'tack' time of adhesive sizing will result in the professional finish you are after. As your 'size' dries it naturally goes from a wet to a dry state. The proper time to apply your leaf is when the 'size' is not wet but 'tacky',
just before it dries completely.
Step 5: Applying Gold Leaf placing a book of leaf in your hand, carefully fold back the protective paper to expose the gold leaf. Lay the leaf onto the sized area and 'roll' out the leaf. Hold firmly and carefully. Attach leaf to surface. Carefully remove a single sheet of gold leaf paper and gently apply to your surface. Rub over the back of the paper with a brush, or gently with your fingers. Carefully remove the paper to leave the gold leaf adhered to the surface.
Step 6: 'Burnishing' the leaf -After the leaf is laid on, rub gently and thoroughly with a soft brush to insure complete adhesion.
Step 7: Touching up the leaf surface. Touch up any areas that are missing leaf due to lack of sufficient sizing or from leafed areas that may have torn away during burnishing.
Step 8: Seal and protect the gilded surface.
Genuine Gold Leaf with a karat rating of 22kt or higher (22kt, 23kt, 23.5kt, 23.75kt, 24kt) does not require sealing.
However, it is often desirable to apply a protective coat of sealer to insure durability of the leaf, particularly in high traffic areas or for heavy use objects and furniture.
Acrylic Topcoat is a non-reactive, premium water clear sealer for genuine and metal leaf. Made from acrylic copolymers, Acrylic Topcoat provides protection from abrasion, water and ultra violet light. This solvent based sealer resists chemicals and may be applied by brush or spray. Available in Gloss and Satin finishes.
How to Gold Leaf on glass surface? Step 1: First, insure the glass surface is completely clean. Generally Denatured Alcohol works best as a cleaning agent. Be sure to use a lint free cloth.
Step 2: Apply Gelatin sizing (adhesive) to the glass surface where you would like the gold to adhere.
Step 3: Apply 22kt Genuine Gold leaf - loose leaf (note: transfer Leaf will not work for gilding on glass). You can use 22kt or higher, depending on final look and color tone desired.
Step 4: Allow Gelatin Sizing to dry fully then remove any excess leaf bits with a soft Squirrel Mop brush.
Step 5: Back-up the gold with paint or clear varnish. Often Gold Lettering and graphics are painted over to protect and seal the gold as well as increase the reflectivity and luster of the gold, as seen through the front of the glass or mirror. This color can affect the Gold tone slightly. Using a Terracotta Red will warm the Gold, while using a Black can make it appear bolder and colder. Yellow tends to mellow the Gold and add depth. Alternatively, you can skip the paint layer and back-up the letter forms or graphics directly with clear varnish, see step 6. If you choose to use paint, be sure to add a final layer of clear varnish over the painted surface.
Step 6: Complete the process with a clear coat of Varnish (even if you applied a paint layer, as in step 5).
The base color for the finished paint layer varies depending on your project requirements. A Latex Eggshell finish will provide superior results.
Applying the Adhesive Sizing
Using a water based size, allows for easy application and clean-up and extended 'tack' time, allowing you to apply your leaf in a less hurried manner.
Apply the adhesive size with a short nap roller. While it is still wet, use a high quality brush and soften and smooth the size evenly over the surface. With water-based size, allow to come to 'tack' in approximately 1/2 hour. 'Tack' time for oil based sizing varies depending on the type of size used and environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity.
Applying the Leaf
After applying the leaf to the 'sized' surface, use a soft gilder's
brush and rub over the paper backing to insure all the leaf is attached to the surface. You can gently rub the paper backing with your fingers also - if you are careful and do not allow the paper backing to move or scratch the leaf surface.
Gently remove the paper from the leaf, using a gilder's brush. Make sure there are no air bubbles and the leaf is firmly attached to the working surface.
Peel the paper backing off slowly and carefully.
'Burnish' the surface to remove any excess leaf, known as skewings. Use your soft gilder's brush so you do not scratch and dull the leaf surface.
Touch up (missed spots) with scrap pieces of your leaf on paper. Followed by a light brushing again to remove any excess and loose leaf bits.
Sealing and Finishing Off
Apply water-based varnish, using a short nap roller. While this is still wet, soften the varnish using a high quality brush. Brush in a criss-cross pattern to smooth surface evenly.
Exterior Gold Leafing / Outdoor
Gold is completely resistant to corrosion. The addition of silver and copper lowers the resistance of gold leaf to corrosion. However, the copper in 23.75kt or 23kt leaf is so low that it will maintain its integrity outdoors for 30 years or more. A dome, building detail, metal fence or outdoor statue will require a 23kt to 23.75kt leaf that ranges from 96% to 98.5% in purity. Karats less than 23 are recommended for
indoor use and many colors and karats are available A 23kt to 23.75kt gold leaf weighing 18 to 23 grams/1000 leaves properly applied will shine for decades.
Priming metal surface: It is necessary to apply a high quality metal primer over your metal surface to insure the gold layer has an appropriate surface to rest on. We
recommend a product specially formulated for exterior gilding on metal manufactured. The Burnish Sealer is a primer-sealer specially designed for use under gilding size (adhesive). It is available in 3 colors, Red, Gray and Ochre.
Sizing, or gilding adhesive
For exterior purposes, 12 hour size is recommended. Genuine Gold Leaf 23.75 karat genuine gold leaf is recommended for exterior gilt surface. It is also OK to use 23 karat leaf, though anything less pure may provide inadequate results, lack of durability and longevity. Genuine 23.75K gold leaf is available in individual sheets (3 3/8" x 3 3/8"), Patent (transfer) leaf (each individual sheet is attached to a piece of wax paper
for easier handling). For exterior gilding using Patent (transfer) Gold Leaf is infinitely more efficient, as you can handle and manipulate the leaf with ease due to the gold being attached to the paper surface.
A soft hair Squirrel mop (brush) is recommended to remove excess leaf and 'polish' the surface. You can complete this process by using soft cotton, to remove any excess gold pieces and create the finished, burnished gold appearance. Regular cotton balls or lambs wool mitt will provide excellent
Sealing your gilt surface
Genuine 23.75k or 23k leaf does not need to be sealed on exterior surfaces - more about Gold Leaf Content. However, it is sometimes desired to seal high traffic areas that have been gilt outside. For interior use and imitation metal leaf you can use Acrylic Topcoat - (available in High gloss and Semi-gloss)
Acrylic Topcoat is a non-reactive, premium water clear sealer for genuine and metal leaf. Made from acrylic copolymers, Acrylic Topcoat provides protection from abrasion, water and ultra violet light.