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Orders are processed Monday thru Friday.

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2 pm. EST will be shipped the same day.

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Step-by-step gilding tutorials tips and

Gilders Tip 3 in.
wide brush

A wide squirrel hair brush used for lifting or applying gold leaves to the artist's surface.

$ 25.50

More gilder's brushes

Gilded Ceilings
& large surface areas

Gilded Ceiling Tutorials
Gilding Ceilings and large area surfaces like walls has never been easier. Learn how now!

Purchase Ribbon Leaf for large area surfaces!

Venetian Plaster Kits

Venetian Plaster and Plaster wall effects

The Venetian Plaster Kit comes complete with everything you need to get started. It is a perfect way for you to learn the basics of Venetian Plaster application on a professional level. Why wait. Prepare yourself today for this booming new trend.

Also visit the Venetian Plaster
Step-by-step tutorials

Gilder's Squirrel mop 3 inch

Ultra soft squirrel hair brush - ideal for polishing gilded surfaces.

3 inch - $ 51.00

More gilder's brushes


Gilding Books!

Gilding: Easy Techniques & Elegant Projects With Metal Leaf

Easy Techniques & Elegant Projects With Metal Leaf

Decorating with gold accents can add sophistication, dimension, and importance, not just to the object it embellishes, but to an entire room.
Item # 3800

$ 24.95

more books

Exterior Gilding

Exterior Gilding & Leafing Techniques
Practical information for completing your exterior gilding project with expertise, and durability.

Hire a
 Master Gilder for your project now!



How to...
at artSparx.com!



More Gilding Tutorials

Genuine Gold Leafing

The Gilded Planet partners with artSparx.com to bring you
Gilding Basics 101.
An on-line step-by-step educational series offering precise gilding tutorials and gilding information for the beginner, intermediate and advanced gilder.

For additional information, including images, video clips, terminology and detailed descriptions of each step involved visit the artSparx advanced gilding tutorials at the artSparx Gilded Corner.

1. Prepare work area
2. Prime surface
3. Apply 'bole' color
4. Apply adhesive 'size'

5. Testing the 'tack'

6. Apply leaf
7. Burnish Leaf
8. Repairing Holidays
9. Seal and protect leaf
10. Apply antique glaze


New! Video Tutorials

3 hour oil size gilding

This detailed demonstration shows you how to apply genuine gold, silver, imitation gold, aluminum and copper leaf to objects and furniture using the classic 3 hour oil size method. Brought to you by the folks at gildedplanet.com, you'll learn about types of adhesive, tacking and drying rates, easy leaf application tips and cleaning and burnishing the leaf.


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 like Burnish Sealer. This primer-sealer has been specially formulated for gilding processes and is available in 3 color tones - Red, Grey and Ochre. Burnish Sealer produces a high quality, smooth surface for gilding. Ochre, red or grey can produce fault hiding bases or color enhancing undertones.

For more information on the use and application of primers refer to the artSparx.com basic preparation resource.

Step 3: Apply 'bole' color:  This base color is also referred to as the 'Bole' color. Traditionally, bole was made from clay. Today paint is typically substituted.

Note: when using the Burnish Sealer it is generally not necessary to apply an additional 'bole' color over the primer sealer. This product is available in 3 colors. One can experiment with different colors and your choice will affect the overall appearance of the finished product.
Visit the Gilded Planet Bole color center for more color ideas.

Step 4: 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. Visit the Size and adhesive center for detailed use and product information, including drying and tack times.

GildedPlanet Special

LeFranc 3 Hour Size is suitable for interior and exterior work. It reaches tack in 3-5 hours depending on film thickness, temperature and humidity. After reaching the proper gilding tack, it will remain open for gilding with genuine gold leaf for 4-6 hours. The open time for gilding with metal leaf is shorter, since metal leaf is brittle and heavier. Allow the gilded surface to cure one week before sealing or glazing.
8.4 oz.
item# size3LF8
$ 19.00

out of stock

33.9 oz.
item# size3LF33
$ 42.00

UPS Ground shipping only
Shipping Restriction information

There are no shipping restrictions on
water based size.

More adhesive sizing

Step 5: 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.

To learn more about proper tack times, and testing your size to determine if it is ready to receive gold leaf, visit the artSparx advanced gilding tutorials at the artSparx Gilded Corner.

Step 6: Applying Gold Leaf

Surface 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.

Patent Leaf: Carefully remove a single sheet of gold leaf transfer paper and gently apply to your surface. Rub over the back of the paper with a gilder's brush, or gently with your fingers. Carefully remove the paper to leave the gold leaf adhered to the surface. Continue in this manner.

Manetti 23kt Gold Leaf

Manetti Gold Leaf 23kt

Loose Leaf

20 books = 500 leaves


Manetti Gold Leaf 23kt

Patent Leaf

20 books = 500 leaves

  $ 920.00

Gold Leaf in Rolls

23 karat Genuine Gold Leaf
Gold Leaf Rolls - Ribbon gold
22 karat Genuine Gold Leaf
21 karat Moon Gold
18 karat Lemon Gold
13.25kt, 12kt, & 9 kt White Gold
23kt Edible Gold Leaf

Books of Genuine Gold Leaf
Chinese - 13 gram per 1000 lvs.
Item: GP23.50PA_bk
23.5kt Genuine
Gold Leaf - Patent

$ 58.00

Item: GP23.00PA_bk 23kt Genuine Gold Leaf - Patent

$ 54.00

Manetti Italian

Item: MA23.75RP_bk

23.75kt RoseNoble - Patent
18 gram per 1000 lvs.


Item: MA23.50DP_bk
23.5kt Genuine Gold Leaf - Patent

18 gram per 1000 lvs.


23kt Genuine Gold Leaf - Patent

16 gram per 1000 lvs.



Step 7: 'Burnishing' the leaf -After the leaf is laid on, rub gentle  and thoroughly with a soft squirrel or goat mop gilder's brush to insure complete adhesion.

Gilded Planet Brush Special

3/4 inch Soft Goat Hair Brush - Professional gilder's brush

Item: 367/3/4

$ 15.00


Step 8: Touching up 'holidays' in the leaf surface. Touch up any 'holidays', areas that are missing leaf due to lack of sufficient sizing or from leafed areas that may have torn away during burnishing. For details on this procedure visit the artSparx advanced gilding tutorials at the artSparx Gilded Corner.

Step 9: 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.  Specially formulated for use over genuine or metal leaf surfaces, '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. More information.

Elegantly gilt plaster medallions, moldings. cornices and trim.
Visit www.architecturalFX.com

Step 10: Apply antique glaze - OPTIONAL

Antiquing and aging your leafed surface adds character and old world charm. For antiquing recipes for gilded surfaces visit the artSparx Antiquing Center.


These step-by-step
Gilding tutorials includes:

  • Insuring your leafed surface is ready to be antiqued.

  • Antiquing and aging your leafed surface.

  • Using oil-based or acrylic based paints

  • Color mixing recipe

  • Application Procedures

  • Clean up and detailing your object.

Learn how now


For more detailed gilding methods, photos, tips and techniques visit the gilding tutorials at artSparx Gilded Corner.


Transform everyday objects into heirlooms.
The process known as Gilding simply means the application of
gold or silver leaf to a surface that has been properly prepared with
an adhesive known as 'gold size'. 

Gilding terms

Bole - Traditionally, bole is a term that identifies a pigmented clay. This clay acts as the base, or cushion, for the subsequent layer of gold leaf. Classically terre-cotta in color, the clay can be built up quickly, then polished to a very smooth surface. 

Contemporary gilding does not use clay, but simulates the effect by adding a colored paint that replicates the clay effect.

Size - General term used to identify the adhesive that attaches the leaf to a surface. 

There are different types of size, depending on the form of gilding. 

Traditional Water gilding uses a gelatin size.
Oil gilding (most common) uses a oil-based size.
Acrylic gilding  uses a water based size.

Holiday - A gilders term that refers to an area were the leaf did not initially adhere.

Tack - Refers to the state of the adhesive size. Proper tack for gilding is the point when the size is not longer wet, but not fully dry, hence it is 'tacky' or just slightly sticky.

Skewings - The bits of leaf that are left over after a surface has been completely gilded. Skewings can be saved for other projects, making excellent fillers for patching holidays.

Aluminum Leaf

Dutch Gold or
composition leaf

Aluminum Leaf imitates the illusion of genuine Silver, at a fraction of the cost. Each individual sheet is bigger and easier to handle then its genuine counter part.

Purchase Aluminum Leaf
Purchase 23 kt. Leaf

The same applies for 'Dutch Gold', or 'Composition Leaf'. But due to the large brass content, this imitation gold must have a sealer applied to prevent tarnishing, unlike genuine gold leaf.

Purchase Composition Leaf
Purchase 23 kt. Leaf

Interior Style design features

Have a question? Ask artSparx  
Ask your gilding questions at the exclusive Ask artSparx
question and answer forum!

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