What Is Gold Leaf Or Gilding

What is Gold Leaf or Gilding. An explanation of the faux finish technique gold leafing or guilding. Gilding is a beautiful technique that can bring a unique look to household items. However, it is recommended...

Gilding is a beautiful technique that can bring a unique look to household items. However, it is recommended that the professionals do the job. Our expert, Lu Goodwin Mark, owner and director of Austin School of Faux Finishes at Design Center of Austin, says the process required much experience.


"Gilding is the process by which a golden metallic effect is applied to a surface by means of a wax or paint, pigmented with metallic gold pigments. Gold Leaf is created with very thin layers of gold pressed onto raised surfaces, usually woodwork or trim. It is difficult because of the detail required. True Gold leafing requires a practiced eye and hand; the material is very delicate and very expensive. Composition Leaf is less delicate and much less expensive, but handles differently and has a slightly different appearance," Mark says.




According to the website for Curry's Art Store, to begin the project you want to prepare the surface of the item you will be working on. You want to sand and clean it. Apply a base coat, the foam brush, then, transfer and apply the leaf, and brush the excess leaf from the surface. You can distress, decorate, or overpaint the leaf. In the end you want to seal your artwork.

Once you lay the leaf on the item you are working on, let it dry. Some good advice is letting it dry overnight for a great finish. With a hog hair brush remove the excess leaf. You will want to brush in the direction of the overlap to stop lifting or tearing. When all the excess has been removed, look at the surface again to make sure everything looks smooth. In the end, make sure you seal your final product.

There are many special effects you can do with gilding. There are many books on the market that can teach you some of the tricks of the trade. You can also use the internet as a resource for more information. Doing some homework will also give you a better idea of what you want done.

This process takes time and patience. It isn't recommended for the novice. However, if you muster up the time to research and do your work, in time you can do this process yourself.

You can always get a professional to come out and do the work. This probably will cost you some money, however. It all depends on your budget and what you are willing to do. Mark says gilding is a complicated process, but you can learn it.

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