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. 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. For traditional gilding use either Red or Ochre colors as a base for genuine gold leaf. This product creates a high quality, smooth surface for gilding.
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. When applying Genuine Gold, Silver or Metal leaf over metal, LeFranc Mixtion 3 hour or 12 hour size is recommended. This is a traditional, clear, natural, oil based size made in France. LeFranc has earned the reputation of being the best oil size available and experienced Gilders request LeFranc for their most important projects.
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.
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.
Exterior Metal Surfaces:
23.5 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 23.5 kt gold leaf is available in individual sheets (3 3/8" x 3 3/8"), Patent leaf (each individual sheet is attached to a piece of wax paper for easier handling), and Rolls of genuine gold, 4 1/8" leaf on a continuous roll of 68ft. For exterior gilding using Patent 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.
Interior Metal Surfaces:
When applying leafing products to interior metal surfaces any karat of gold may be used and should be determined by the final color, luster and treatment required for your project. To review types of gold, or request a complete Gold Color chart. The Gilded Planet color charts are hand made using actual leaf samples, oil gilded on white paper. The gold charts indicate alloy, grams per 1000 leaves and fine gold content.
Surface leaf: Placing a book of leaf in your hand, carefully fold back the protective paper to expose the 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 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.
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 results.
Genuine 23.5 kt or 23 kt
leaf does not need to be
sealed on exterior surfaces
However, it is sometimes
desired to seal high traffic
areas that have been gilt
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