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How to apply Imitation Gold Leaf

Imitation Gold leaf, also know as Dutch Gold or Composition Gold, has the appearance of Genuine 23kt Gold leaf.

Great for interior applications. Imitation Gold leaf is great to use for just about any interior application. It is thicker than genuine gold leaf making it easier to handle and manipulate. Depending on your project, you can choose from a variety of adhesive sizes that best suits your skill level and desired results. Imitation Gold is great for indoor applications but is not recommended for exterior projects.

Not recommended for exterior application. This is primarily due to the fact that Imitation Gold is 85% Copper and 15% Zinc. The Copper alloy tarnishes over time, requiring a clear coat sealer to keep it protected, vibrant and reflective. Most clear coat sealers break down in 3-5 years, exposing your leaf to oxidation, causing the leaf to turn black.

We recommend 23kt or higher gold content for exterior application. 23kt or higher (23.5kt, 23.75kt and 24kt) will not tarnish and does not require a clear coat sealer. When properly applied, Genuine Gold leaf with a karat level higher than 23kt can last 30-50 years in an outside environment.


Special Feature - Oil Size Technique

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Quick-Dry Oil Size will reach tack in approx. 2 hours and will remain open for gilding for 2 to 3 hours. In very dry and warm environments, it may reach tack in as little as 1 hour and the open time for gilding may be greatly reduced. It produces excellent results with genuine and metal leaf and is recommended for small projects or when time is limited. Allow to cure for 24 hours before sealing. Download complete specification sheet for this product.

Slow-Set Oil Size is recommended for projects that may require a longer open time for gilding than Quick-Dry will allow. It will reach proper gilding tack in 10-12 hours and will remain open for gilding with genuine or metal leaf for an equal amount of time. The open time for gilding with metal leaf is usually less, as it is with other oil sizes. Allow to cure minimum of one week before sealing.


Special Feature - Water Size Technique

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Size refers to the adhesive material used to adhere gold, Silver, copper or metal leaf to the surface being gilded. There are different forms of size depending on the gilding method; oil based, water based and 'water gilding'. Gilding with water based adhesives should not be confused with traditional water gilding methods or the Kolner Water Gilding System. Water based adhesives form a tacky surface gluing the leaf to the surface and are not burnishable.

Aqua Size and Wunda Size are popular water based sizes and serve as an alternative to oil size for interior projects. Both have an extremely long tack time making it suitable for large scale interior projects or production gilding in manufacturing plants. Aqua Size and Wunda Size are most appropriate when used to gild with metal leaf, but will produce acceptable results with genuine gold. Porous surfaces should be sealed with A primer prior to sizing. Aqua and Wunda Size are for interior use only. Clean up as soon as possible with water or acetone.


Oil Gilding Video Tutorial

Quick Dry 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, testing for 'tack' and drying rates, easy leaf application tips and cleaning and burnishing the leaf.


Featured Product

Gilding Kits

Professional and starter gilding kits Complete gilding kits for the beginner to professional.

Basic Gilding kit Includes all the tools and materials to apply Imitation Gold, Imitation Silver or Copper Leaf. Contains: step-by-step instructions, book of metal leaf, Aquasize (waterbased adhesive size), natural hair brush, cotton and mixing sticks, wet/dry paper,

Professional Gilder's Kit Includes step-by-step instructions, book Genuine 23kt Gold Leaf book (Patent leaf), yellow/ochre oil based Gilding Primer, natural hair brush, oil based gilding size, Acrylic Top Coat Sealer, cotton and mixing sticks, wet/dry paper and book of leaf. Solvent-based.

Learn more and purchase Gold Leaf Kits.

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