Gilding Stone and Granite surfaces

These simple GildedPlanet guidelines will help you produce a professionally gilt finished.

Applying Genuine Gold leaf or Imitation Gold leaf to stone surfaces.

Apply genuine god, silver, imitation gold, aluminum and copper leaf metal and stone surfaces. The process and techniques are the same for metal and stone. Interior and exterior surfaces, you'll learn about types of adhesive, tacking and drying rates, easy leaf application tips and cleaning and burnishing the leaf.

Step-by-step Tutorial

A step-by-step educational series for stone surfaces, including Marble - Granite - Sandstone- Concrete - Brick.

Gilding tutorials and gilding information for the beginner, intermediate and advanced gilder.

These simple GildedPlanet guidelines will help you produce a professionally finished, large surface area, gilded project.

Application Technique

It is necessary to apply a high quality metal primer over your stone surface to insure the gold layer has an appropriate surface to rest on. We recommend a product specially formulated for exterior gilding on stone. 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 Quick Dry size or 12 hour Slow Set 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.
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 Aluminum Leaf, visit the artSparx advanced gilding tutorials at the artSparx Gilded Corner.
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.
When applying leafing products to interior stone 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.
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 - 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.

It's all in the details!

Material Size Quantity Coverage
Gold Leaf Pack 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" 500 leaves 39.5 sqft.
Gold Leaf Book 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" 25 leaves 1.98 sqft.
Metal Leaf Pack 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" 500 leaves 100 sqft.
Metal Leaf Book 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" 25 leaves 5 sqft
Gold Leaf Master Roll 4 1/8" x 69 ft. Master Roll 23.5 sqft.
Silver Leaf Master Roll 5 3/4" x 82 ft. Master Roll 39 sqft.
Metal Leaf Roll 5 meter 6 1/4" sq. x 15 ft. Master Roll 3 sqft.
Metal Leaf Roll 50 meter 6 1/4" x 164 ft Master Roll 82 sqft.
Metal Leaf Roll 75 meter 6 1/4" x 246 ft. Master Roll 123 sqft.

Measurements are calculated without consideration for waste or overlap.

The skinny on All things leaf!

Dimentions & Leaf size

Leaf Size: Gold leaf is 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches square (85 mm x 85 mm) and is sold in units called packs, containing 500 leaves. A pack is divided into 20 books with each book containing 25 leaves.

Leaf size Chart! For more information on leaf sizes visit Gilding Basics XXXX.