A GUIDE TO APPLYING IMITATION GOLD/SILVER LEAF & COPPER LEAF
Prior to gilding you will need to ensure the that surface is clean, dry and dust free. When you have prepared the surface, apply a thin coat of the Acrylic Gold Size using the Ox Hair Filling In Brush. The Ox hair is soft to eliminate the brush marks. Allow to dry for 15-30 minutes until the size becomes tacky like that of the glue on a post it note. Once the Acrylic Size has reached that tack you will then be ready to apply the leaf. If you are gilding with the loose leaf, if very careful you can take the leaf from the booklet with your fingers and lay onto the surface, however you may find it easier to use a Badger Hair Gilders Tip. The hair of the tip is gently brushed against the side of you face to build up some static or grease to attract the leaf to the tip from the booklets and then used as the carrier to the surface you are gilding. If you are gilding with the transfer leaf, this is adhered to a piece of wax paper which is used as the carrier. Place the leaf face down on to the dry tack acrylic gold size and gently rub the back of the waxed paper to release the leaf onto the surface and then pull the wax paper away. As Imitation Leaf and Copper Leaf are thicker than Genuine Gold Leaf, both the loose and the transfer leaf can be cut to smaller pieces with chalked sharp scissors.
Once the gilding process has finished use the gilders mops to gently brush over the leaf, this will brush away any excess leaf and also flatten the leaf into place. The mop is made of pony hair which is soft enough to not cause any scratching on the leaf. Once the leaf is in place it is then ready for you to apply the Shellac Varnish, again using the Ox Hair Filling In brush to eliminate brush marks. Imitation Gold and Copper Leaf will both tarnish so it is important to apply a varnish over the top of these to prevent the tarnishing process, however the Imitation Silver Leaf is made from Aluminium and will not tarnish and so it is not always necessary to apply the varnish.
Imitation Gold and Copper Leaf are for interior use only. Imitation Silver Leaf can be used both interior and exterior, however if using externally you will need to use an oil based size not the acrylic size included in the kit. The gilding process will be the same but the oil based size will take 1 - 3 hours to become tacky instead of 15-30 minutes and an exterior varnish will need to be applied.
This is just a guide to gilding with Imitation Gold/Silver Leaf and Copper Leaf, for a more extensive guide we supply a book called "Practical Gilding Manual" which is a very informative book for all aspects of gilding.
Wrights of Lymm also offer a comprehensive range of gilding starter kits that would be ideal if you are looking to start gilding for the first time and the starter kits can be found on the Starter kits page of our website.