There are many ways to glass gild from signage work for solicitors or public house through to Eglomise but covered in this particular fact sheet is gilding on glass for signage work.

1. Sketch of lettering or design prepared on thin paper. Outline traced in Brunswick Black to be seen on reserve side. Fasten to outside window taking care not to tear.

2. Prepare size - 4 capsules to 500ml warm clean water. Cleanliness is essential.

3. Clean glass thoroughly.

4. Shake a few leaves of gold onto a cushion, bring one leaf on to the centre of the cushion and blow flat.

5. Apply a liberal flow of size with a flat ox hair filling in brush to the glass ready to be gilded.

6. Start from the top left hand corner, lifting the gold leaf from the gilders cushion with a squirrel hair gilders tip and apply to glass. The Smiths Tip, stocked by Wrights of Lymm is ideal for this work as it has been made to fit and hold a full leaf of gold.

7. The leaf can be cut with a gilders knife is smaller pieces are required. Care should be taken that over laps and joints are made between letters. Allow the work to dry before proceeding. Examine closely and blot any tears of size which have not died.

8. With a fair sized wad of best cotton wool rub very lightly over gold to burnish it. You will now notice imperfections in the work, and to obtain best results "double gilding" is recommended. Another coat of size is applied and another layer of gold. This can be dried with clean blotting paper. When dry again rub with cotton wool gently.

9. Examine from the front. If not as bright as desired, get water just off the boil and wash down with the flat ox hair filling in brush. Dry quickly by blotting or dabbing with clean wash leather, formed into a smooth pad. Re-burnish with cotton wool.

10. Wash down once more with size, dry quickly and re-burnish.

11. Carefully remove drawing from front glass and prick round letters to form a pounce. Place on inner side, registering carefully with the position from outer glass. Pounce lettering onto gold. Write in letter or outline whichever is to appear in gold with Cover-it Matt Black Enamel and leave 12 hours to dry. The gold which is to remain is now fixed with this enamel.

12. To clean off the surplus gold use a wad of cotton wool dipped in whiting and water, do this as quickly as possible so that damp does not penetrate to gold. Trim all straight lines with chisel and straight edge.

13. Clean off front glass, carefully looking for any gold leaf. Write in completely covering letters with varnish colour, keeping an even distance from gold all round. When dry back up with clear varnish again going over edge of letter.

14. If window is to be backed with colour, mix with varnish, not turpentine.

Gelatine Capsules - Series 1601 & 1602, available in packs of 10 or 100
Ox Hair FillingIn Brushes - Series 1392, available in 12mm, 18mm, 25mm, 37mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm
Gilders Cushions - Series 3844 & 3844E - Available with Parchment Shield or Card Shield
Gilders Knife - Series 3834 & 3832 - Available in Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel
Smiths Tip - Series 1443 - Ideal for Glass Gilding
Squirrel Hair Gilders Tips - Series 1441 & 1442, available in Short, Medium and Long
Squirrel Hair Gilders Mops - Series 1420 & 1422, available in Sizes 2,4,6,8 and 10
Brunswick Black - Series 6000, available in 250ml, 500ml, 1 Litre, 2.5 Litre
Cover-it Matt Black Enamel - Series 6261-01, available in 250ml
High Build Clear Gloss Varnish - Series 6295-09, available in 250ml, 1 Litre, 5 Litre
Gold Leaf Loose & Transfer - Available in carats from 24ct down to 6ct, Palladium Leaf, Genuine Silver Leaf, Imitation Gold & Silver Leaf, Copper Leaf.


For further help and information on Glass Gilding the following publications cover this in great depth and can be purchased from ourselves -
Gold Leaf Paint & Glass by Frances Federer
Gold Leaf Techniques by Kent H Smith


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.