Document 231700

How To Gold Leaf Effeetively
Gold Leaf gilding is an ancient art that has
remained popular through modern times.
Covering a surface to give the appearance of
metal goes back to antiquity and continues as a
desired decorative method.
Gilding with gold leaf is a process in which
tissue-thin sheets of real or imitation gold are
applied to a surface. This may be as a complete
covering, a strip or an ornamental design.
Gilding is easy to do - if it's done the right
way, but if the gilder is careless, or forgets' to
follow the basic rules, it can cause headaches
for him and his customers. too.
SURFACE GILDING - Surface gilding is the
name applied when gold leaf is laid on the outside or "reading" surface instead of on the back,
as in glass gilding. It applies to all such jobs.
whether exposed to the weather or not, except
truck or wagon lettering.
On all surface gilding jobs, the feasibility of
gold leaf in rolls should be considered, sincethe
speed and ease of roll application can result in
great time savings. (Surface preparation is the
Same for roll and book.)
Surface Prep- Preparing the surface properly,
as suggested
is particularly
important with surface gilding that is to be
exposed to weather. As a final preparation just
before sizing, smooth the sign surface down
with sandpaper.
The chief difference between surface gilding
and glass gilding is in the size used. For surface
gilding "slow" size should be used whenever
practicable. Depending on atmospheric and
surface conditions,
Slow Drying Oil Size,
excellent for this...type of gilding, is usually ceady
for gilding (n 10 to 12 hours. It holds its tack for
many hours thereafter.
Application of Gold Size may be by brush,
spray or roller. Full, even coverage is necessary.
Any skips or misses will leave open spots where
leaf will not adhere. Japan color may be added
to size when background is needed.
Size is applied to the prepared surface with
the same brushes and in the same manner used
when applying paint. After you have applied
size, and after it has become dry enough to be
gilded, it should possess a barely perceptible
sticky fe.eling. Test the tack with a knuckle. You
have the proper tack when the size does not
stick to your knuckle, yet when you feel a slight
pull and hear a slight "tick" as your knuckle is
pulled away. If gold leaf is applied to size that is
too wet, the gold will be drowned and the
burnish killed. The burnish of gold depends
largely upon the accuracy with which tack is
When proper tack has been reached, lay the
gold leaf, and make certain that all sized
surfaced are well covered. When the letters are
all covered, and when all spots or cracks.
caused by broken places in the leaf have been
patched, the sign is ready to be rubbed down and
burnished. First, batten down with cotton to
insure the gold sticking evenly before you wipe
off surplus gold and burnish. To burnish. rub the
gold briskly and lightly with absorbent cotton
until all laps and wrinkles are removed.
OUTSIDE GILDING - To re-gild signs in place.
or to gild in places where it may be windy,
proceed as in ordinary surface gilding. with this
exception: Use gold leaf in rolls or "patent" gold
leaf. Trying to gild with loose gold in outside
locations is apt to be unsatisfactory and cause
an undue loss of gold leaf. Each leaf of patent
gold is adhered to a thin sheet of paper which
you can handle with your fingers. Lay the gold
from the paper, smoothly and evenly. Before
removing the paper, rub the back of it to make
sure the gold is thoroughly adhered to the size.
After laying, burnish with absorbent cotton and
finish as usual.
Where the job is 60 small that it would be too
costly to wait for slow size to dry; where there is
a good deal of dust; or when the likelihood of
inclement weather makes it inadvisable or
impracticable to use "slow" size, Quick-Drying
gold size may be used instead. This will dry to a
tack in from 2 to 3 hours. The addition of a few
drops of castor oil will slow up the drying
according to amount used. Always remember,
however, it is much easier to obtain a good
burnish with a slow size, which is also more
durable on exterior work.
On a fairly good-sized job where it is
necessary, for one reason or another: ·to· use
quick size, it is advisable to burnish the first
letter; gild the third letter and then burnish the
second, gild the forth and burnish the third, and
so on.
Quick Rubbing Varnish is a quality varnish.
This material can also be used as a size when
quick surface guilding is desired Tack time
for this material is approximately
10 to 30
minutes on average.
Except where it will be subject to abrasion
through much washing or other causes, 23K gold
leaf needs no. protective covering. 00 not,
therefore, varnish over the gold in surface
gilding, it dulls the brilliance. Where gold leaf is
to be varnished ovaL asJnJr.ucUe..Uering"u_S!La
quick, hard-drying size.
TRUCK LETTERING - The method of gilding on
truck bodies varies somewhat, depending upon
the type of "paint job" on the truck. Methods that
are satisfactory with a varnish job, for example,
are not so suitable as others with a synthetic
No wax, grease or oil should be on a surface to
be sited. Wax that may have been polished with
a mechanical buffer is very difficult to remove
with solvent. The only sure method of obtaining
a clean surface in this case is to sand the entire
panel before application of the size.
Polish can be removed by gasoline or benzine
but great care must be taken to be sure-the-polish has been removed and not just smeared
around. It is best to go over the surface several
times, using a clean rag each time. It is usually
possible to determine the presence of wax or
polish by rubbing a finger on the finish. A streak
will show up if grease is present.
Always use a quick, hard-drying size where
the lettering is to receive a protective coating.
On modern finishes, best results will be obtained
by using a size designed for this use, such as
Quick Drying Size. If no protective coating is to
be applied, either a quick or Slow-drying size
may be used. As in all exterior surface work
greater durability will be obtained with the
slower size.
Remember, using Gold leaf on Rolls can save
time on many jobs.
Never apply a protective coating over leaf
until the sizing is hard dry.
The best assurance of long life is when the
panel has been sanded to a clean surface to
receive the size and leaf. For this surface a clear
coating or varnish compatible with the finish of
the panel must be used.
When lettering, applied to a highly finished
panel, is pencil varnished, it is also advisable to
use a varnish for clear coater similar to the
liquid used as the base in the panel finish.
Satisfactory results can be obtained by using a
long oil exterior type varnish, providing it is not
brushed out too thin. A flow coat or even two
coats are advisable to prevent early breakdown.
Gold leaf of good grade is one of the very few
sign materials, which, by its very nature, cannot
contribute to the premature breakdown of sign
or lettering work. When breakdown occurs, with
its consequent dissatisfaction,
the trouble is
always found in one, or both of two causes: (1)
improper or insufficient preparation of the
surface, or (2) faulty methods of laying.
Of the two, particularly
in outside work,
improper preparation is by far the more common
- and serious. Adequate preparation of the
proper kind is absolutely essential to good gold.
work. It is the basis of everything. Without it,
signs cannot hope to stand up or look well. The
following suggestions will help you to start your
signs right.
Galvanized Iron or Zinc - Put one-half ounce,
each, of copper chloride, copper nitrate and sal
ammoniac in a glass jar. Add one quart soft
water. Stir with wooden paddle until dissolved.
Then add, slowly, one-half ounce of muriatic
acid. Apply to metal surface with a broad flat
brush. When the first tone, black, has changed to
gray, the metalis ready for the priming coats.
This treatment will kill corrosion and keep it
from working through the paint and gold leaf. I!
wil! atso.remnze anv traces, 0.1nre<!SE GL1..1b",-P__
Apply one coat of red lead, brushing out well.
Then apply one or, better still, two coats of white
or yellow lead. Allow each coat of lead to dry
thoroughly before sizing and laying. There are
many new synthetic lacquers and primers
suitable for the above work, but in any case
these surfaces should be prepared in exactly the
same manner as you would for a permanent
paint job.
NOTE:Some sheet metals require special treatment as a preparation for painting. When working with any "trade name" sheet metal, there.fore, you shoutd get the advice of ·the
manufact--urer ordealer as to whai treatment is
necessary to insure good results.
lead - All lead surfaces should be washed
with a very weak solution of muriatic acid d~
sand blasted to give it "tooth." Apply slow oil
size directly to the lead. Gild when proper tack is
Aluminum - Cast aluminum letters and
plaques should be coated both front and back.
Satisfactory results may be obtained with any
good commercial metal primer as a first coat
and one or two coats of white lead and oil paint.
Slow-drying oil size is to be applied to the well
dried final coat. Utmost precaution must be
taken during sanding to preserve primer and
finish coat on sharp edges and points.
Wooden Surfaces and Wooden letters - The
essential object here is to seal the wood thoroughly so that moisture cannot get in from any
direction. If moisture gets into the wood, it will
not only shorten the life of the wood itself but
will work under the paint and gold and literally
"push them off."
To prepare a wooden surface, prime it with
1-3 coats of burnish sealer. Avoid shellac,
except to seal ble~ding knots. Allowing plenty of
time for drying between coats and sandpapering
between coats, apply one coat of good spar
varnish and, when thoroughly dry, gild with
slow size. It is vitally important that all surfaces
be painted this way. It is just as important
to paint the back of wooden letters as it is
the front.
Stone or Marble - It is necessary to stop the
suction before sizing this type of material. Do
this with one or two coats of shellac or varnish.
Then, put on one coat of quick, hard-drying
color. Size with "slow" oil size and gild the same
as you would any other surface work.
GILDING ON GLASS - One of the most important steps in gilding on glass is to make sure that
the glass is perfectly clean. Any traces of oil or
grease. or even of a finger print, may prevent the
gold leaf from adhering properly and may
produce blisters. To make certain that glass is
perfectly clean, wash with alcohol and then
follow with Whiting and water. Then polish the
glass with tissue paper. Exercise care to make
certain everything else connected with the job is
keot clean.
Water Size - The first step in gilding on glass
is to prepare a water size. The most popular
water size is made by dissolving two or three
No. 00 gelatine capsules in distilled water. The
capsules should be separated and boiled for
several minutes in a half pint of distilled water.
After the capsules have thoroughly dissolved,
another half pint of distilled water is added, and
entire pint is boiled another minute or two. The
resultant size should then be strained through a
folded piece of clean cheesecloth, unbleached
muslin or blotting paper. Size can be greatly
improved by adding a few drops of grain alcohol
or ether. This will help clear the size and help
secure a better burnish and a clearer gild.
. _~App!-y-w.a.t.er_siZ€-,.excep.twhen-woLking in direct sunlight, while it is hot.
Be sure that your size bucket and brush are
thoroughly clean and free from grease. Both
bucket and brush should .always be boiled
before using.
Some sigri men prefer to make their water size
with Russian Isinglass or Fish Glue. A piece of
isinglass about the size of a quarter, or an
equivalent amountot glue, is all that is needed to
make a pint of size. First boil in a half pint of
distilled water, then add another half pint after
isinglass or fish glue is thoroughly dissolved.
Method Of Procedure - The next step in gilding
on glass is marking or laying out the job. Plain
white cHalk can beused for this purpose if the
glass is first rubbed over with a damp chamois.
However, a grease pencil is more reliable and
will always show a distinct line. If a pounce
pattern has been made for the job, the layout is
pounced on with a small bag of whiting. A
perforated pattern has a real advantage over
marking with pencil or chalk - for after a space
has been gilded, you can pounce the pattern
backward on the back of the gold where you can
see the layout perfectly without having to look
through the gold. After laying out the job on the
outside of the glass, the next step is to clean the
inside of the glass. This must be done thoroughly in order to remove all oil, grease and finger
The entire inside surface covered by the
layout should then be flooded with water size.
This surface must be kept wet constantly
(except the portion you have gilded) until the
application of the gold has been completed
This is absolutely essential. If size is allowed
to dry in spots, the result will be a poor gild with
the gold showing
a streaked,
Start gilding at the upper left-hand corner. (If
the workman is left-handed, this rule should be
reversed.) This is done to prevent size running
down over leaf already laid, also to avoid
obscuring with your arm the completed work.
Cut a strong piece of cardboard the exact size
of the gold leaf book, and place this cardboard
under the book to strengthen it while the leaves
are being cut. Fold back the first sheet of paper
to expose the gold. Next. using the folded paper
as a guide, cut the leaf by running your fingernail across the gold.
Now you apply this piece of gold leaf to the
glass. First draw a Gilder's Tip across your hair.
Then with the Tip pick up the gold and lay it on
the glass lightly. The gold adheres to the water
00 not allow the tip to touch the size or the
glass. Oil from the tip will cause the water size to
creep away from the affected parts and produce
a condition that destroys the lustre of the gold.
Continue this process of cutting and tipping
the gold to the glass until the entire design is
covered with leaf. Allow each piece of gold to
overlap the preceding piece about one-eighth of
an inch. When the entire work is gilded, wait
until it is perfectly dry before attempting to
"Burnish." As the gold is drying, the dry parts
will present a bright appearance, while the parts
that are still wet will be dull and without any
lustre whatsoever.
Work that has been gilded but not finished
should never be allowed to freeze. Frost and
window sweating will completely destroy the
adhesive qualities of the size. Consequently, the
gold will come off when you burnish.
When the work is tl:l.oroughly dry, rub the
entire surface with absorbent cotton or velvet
plush. Rub briskly, but very lightly. This is done
to remove the surplus or scrap leaf that did not
.adhere. At the.same.time it bumtsbes the g.old_·__
and causes it to shine. After the leaf has been
burnished, it is ready for the second coat, ar
what is called the patching process. Regardless
of the care taken in applying the first coat of
gold, it is seldom possible to make a perfect job
on the first gild. Burnishing the leaf reveals
numerous small holes and imperfections in the
leaf. These must be patched before the work can
be backed up.
Make certain that your burnishing cotton is
soft and free from any dust or foreign matter.
Small bits of grit will scratch the gold and ruin
the job. While hospital cotton is slightly more
expensive than ordinary absorbent cotton, it is
absolutely tree of all foreign matter, and is
should be used to get the best results.
To patch the job, the entire surface must again
be covered with the size. When doing so draw
the brush lightly and quicklyoverthe gold so as
not to damage the gild already made. Most sign
men dilute their size slightly at this point. This is
to make sure the second sizing will not lift the
gold already laid.
Small pieces of gold should now be applied to
the parts that need touching up or patching.
When this operation has been completed, and
the work is again dry, the gold should again be
burnished lightly with cotton.
The job is now ready for washing. Washing is
the process employed to give the gold a very
brilliant burnish. For this purpose use clear
water heated to the boiling point. Apply the
water while hot and use the same technique you
did when preparing the gold for patching -light,
quick strokes. A second or third washing will do
no harm and often adds to the clarity and
brilliance. Repeated washings will cause laps
and cloudiness to disappear. After thoroughly
drying the qold, you have it now ready to be
backed up.
Backing The Gold-Iflthe layout has been made
on the outside of the glass, it should be plainly
visible through the gold. If a pounce pattern has
been used, it can be turned over, face to the
glass, and pounced with powdered charcoal
right onto the gold. This is recommended fo~
small designs, trademarks, etc. The layout is
now easier to see and will enable you to doa
better and more exact job. Gold should be
lettered exactly as you would letter directly on
the glass, the only difference being that the'
letters are all backward or reversed. The backing up color, or paint, must dry very hard and
It must not contain oil of any kind.
The slightest trace of oil in your backing-up
color will penetrate the gold leaf and spoil
the job. There are several good mixtures that
can be used for this backing-up process. The
most popular is lamp black ground in japan
mixed with either gold size or quick rubbing
varnish. It is highly important that backing-up
colors be thinned very sparingly, as the turpentine used for this purpose has a tendency to flat
the color and to render it brittle
easily chipped. For a quick job, brushing lacquer
can be used. Lacquer dries in less than ten
minutes, and will give a fairly satisfactory job.
Yellow lacquer is best but black or green can
also be used.
Quick Rubbing Varnish is a quality varnish
designed to increase the vehicle content of
Japan Color. When mixed with Japan Color the
resultant coating is tougher and more resistant
to clean up after backing up gold or to backup
gold leaf applied on glass when no outline color
is specified and fast clean up is desired.
Clear Overcoat Varnish is the first choice for a
long lasting clear coat for use over wood, metal Be.YilJ.irg a traditional automotive
product this materiai offers excellent protection
from water and chemicals.
It is also recommended as the final back-up
coat for gold leaf applied on glass. After the
shade or outline is complete Clear Overcoat
provides final protection.
Silver Leaf - Silver leaf, except for a few
minor changes in the finishing, is laid in exactly
the same manner as gold leaf.
Method OfProcedure - The new thin, silver leaf
can be laid with the same strength water size.
However, this leaf must be backed-up with a
heavier, non-porous backing material.
For this purpose, we recommend a mixture of
Ghrome Yellow medium-injapan. To thismixture
add a small amount of Prussian Blue in japan
and stir into gold size. Mixture should be thinned
sparingly with turpentine to a fairly heavy
This backing-up
material is
chemically neutral and is considerably tougher
than the mixture used for gold. Black, which
contains a high content of carbon, should never
be used, as the carbon tends to have a chemical
reaction on the leaf and in time may cause the
silver to tarnish.
Silver leaf should never be used over varnish
for mat centers, as varnish also has a tendency
to set up a chemical reaction that will make the
leaf tarnish. In gilding mat centers on a silver
job, use aluminum leaf for the centers.
Instead of varnish for the centers some sign
men prefer to use stale beer. To prepare beer for
this purpose they allow it to stand overnight in
an open pan. Gilding is done in the usual manner,
but is backed-up in outline only. These sign men
then flood the centers with stale beer in the same
manner as water sizing. The leaf is laid into the
beer while wet. Mat centers of silver leaf laid
into stale beer have been known to stand up with
no signs of tarnishing for 25 years.
centers with slow oil size to which a little
as in cross hatching.
EFFECTS IN GLASS GLIDING varnish has been added. Allow the job to stand
Try this as well on contrast mat center glass
Two Tone Gilding - Chalk or pounce the layout
overnight or for several hours. Then gild from
work. Apply the leaf to the tacky dead center
as usual. Then lay the XXDeep gold with water
the book as in surface gilding, using Pale or
varnish and proceed as if you were working on
size and back-up in outline only. Clean off
Lemon gold. After rubbing down the gold very
gold size. The effect will show up through the
superfluous gold with cotton saturated with
lightly with cotton, take a small piece of velvet
glass and varnish from the reading side.
whiting and water.
or chamois and with it form a ball between the
GoldLeafFaceShading - This is a very striking
Fill in the centers of the lettering with a
fingers. Bear down against the back of the gold
and rich effect and has the added merit of being
mixture of quick rubbing varnish and turpentine.
with a light pressure and twist the chamois or
easily and quickly obtained. Just before laying
If applied thin, it will tack up quickly. Now gild
velvet around in a rotary motion. Go all over the
the gold leaf, lay in the shading you desire with a
the centers with either Lemon or Pale gold, direct
centers in this manner. (But do not press or twist
small pencil and clear, quick-drying varnish.
from the book as in surface gilding, by laying the
too hard. Begin lightly until you acquire the
The shading may consist of elaborate scrolls,
gold right into the tacky varnish center. The
knack of handling.) The job is then backed-up
lines, or other patterns. Add a little burnt umber
lettering may now be outlined or shaded with
and varnished in the usual way.
to the varnish so that you can see what you are
color if desired. However, many high-class jobs
BlendedGoldand Silver -'Gold leaf is applied to
doing .. Or you can avoid this by pouncing lightly
are plain two-tone letters with no outline or
the glass in the ordinary manner, except that
with whiting. When the varnish is dry, lay the
shade. Where you use no outline or shade, it is
only the upper half or three quarters of the letter
gold leaf as usual and burnish it. The parts
best to paint the back of letters with aluminum
is gilded. Patch and burnish the gold as usual. To
covered with the varnish will remain mat, thus
or bronze mixed with varnish. When dry,
accomplish the blending use a flat brush that
giving you the shading you desire.
varnish the whole job carefully with a good
has been. cut down about a one-quarter inch
Cleaning Raised Wood Gilded LettersUse
outside spar or coach finishing varnish.
nothing stronger than mild so ad suds. Apply the
Instead of Lemon or Pale gold for the centers,
Draw brush across the letters, beginning at
soapy water with a soft sponge and do not rub
many sign men prefer to use XXDeep gold. The
the bottom and continuing up to about three
so hard as to injure the surface of the leaf. Be
varnish will prevent XXDeep gold from burnishquarters the height of the letter.
sure and rinse with clear water before the soapy
ing while the outline will have its usual brilliant
This will scratch the gold. The lower portion of
water has had a chance to dry.
bumisfl. .
-; be..almost entirely. removed.
Strong solutions musLbe avoided as" any__
Imitation Embossingor Mat GoldFinish - This is
Reduce the pressure of the brush as you go up to
damage to the undercoat will kill the brilliance of
one.ot the most striking effects that can be
take off less and less of the qold, until you blend
the leaf.
obtained but it takes somewhat, longer to do.
into the solid gold near the top of the letter.
If the soap and water treatment does not give
You pounce the layout in the usual mannerqild
The object of this scratching is to give you an
satisfactory results it is time to re-gild.
the job and burnish it. You back-up only in
opportunity to unite the gold and silver with an
TYPE OF GOLD LEAF TO USEOutline all parts of the lettering, serous ()rimperceptible
joint. You now lay silver leaf over
Specification of Gold Leaf In Packs - The
designs that are to be embossed. When backing
the lower portion of the letter and overlap all
standard size of all leaf in packs, unless otheris dry, remove superfluous gold by cleaning in
parts of the gold that have been scratched. You
wise indicated, is 3% by 3% inches. It is packed
the usual manner. This leaves the parts to be
then back-up and varnish the job in the usual
loose between roughed tissue in books containembossed clear glass. Fill in the centers with
in.!! 25 leaves, the smallest unit.The standard
Damar varnish to which a few drops of quic];
Glazing - For glazing gold lettering use only
unit, a "pack" contains 20 books of 25 leaves
,ruboing varnish have been. added. Because
transparent colors. Glazing colors sh.ould be
each, a total of 500 leaves. A"owing for normal
Damar varnish sets very quickly.but never d-ries
mixed only with high-grade, light japan and
laps and waste, a book (25 leaves) will cover
very hard, the addition of quick.rubbirig varnish
thinned until colors are quite faint and indistinct.
approximately 1% sq. ft.; a pack (20 books) will
b!!ps to mHkelb~ Damar dry hard - at the same
Apply glaze with a camel hair brush, and when
cover approximately 30 sq. ft.
time keepsyow- backing.:upcorot from-crac - - the glaZe is-tmmmgmy-dry;-gttd with'water size= ~~-petlfitation..""O:-Gold-l:eaNn·Rolls--GG-Id·be·a.f..i-A
ing. As soon as the varnish shows a strong tack
in the usual manner.
rolls, sometimes called ribbon-gold or roll gold,
it is ready for stippling.
PL~STER - It is of utmost importance that
is 22 or 23 Karat XX Gold Leaf slightly adhered to
Stipple with the stub of a bristle brush or with
the plaster be thoroughly seasoned, dry, hard
tissue rolls from which it releases to the size on
a stipplinq brush. The brush may be held at an
and free from alkali. It should then be firstslight pressure. Standard rolls are YBt04 inches
exact right angle to the varnished surface.
coated with a standard make of pigmented wall
wide, 69 feet long. Each inch of width of leaf in
Continue this stippling until varnish shows the
primer and sealer. When this coat is dry, slowrolls will cover about 5Y2sq. ft.
desired embossed effect. When the varnish is
drying oil gold size may be applied and the leaf
Howto Select the Proper Gold Leafdry (and that will take quite some time because
laid when the gold size has reached the proper
23 Karat XX Gold Leaf in Packs - 23 Karat XX
of the slow drying qualities of Damar)', water
Gold Leaf, sometimes called XX, Deep, Surface,
size, regild and finish as usual. For this second
Special Effectsin Gilding - We have had a great
Loose, or Board Gold is even purer than 23 Karat.
gilding you can use XXDeep gold, but Lemon or
many requests for information as to how various
Its rich, true gold appearance is not found in
Pale gold will heighten the embossed effect.
striking and unusual effects can be obtained in
imitations and will not tarnish even on exterior
00 not use a quick drying color for backing-up
gold leaf work. The following effects were those
applications. For package size and coverage,
Jhere Damar hasf2.eell'Used;B~_a guicki1£ying __ asked formost frequently. To <!yoid re~UQf!J!.
see '~pe~fications."
- _
color may ha ve a tendency to crack the lettering.
is assumed that the reader is already familiar
Recommendeduses: For a exterior surface
Pock Marking - Another,method used to get a
with the method of gilding ordinary signs; the
applications and painted surface such as raised
rough or pock-marked center is to brush the
following descriptions, therefore, deal only with
letters, flat signs, picture frames, statuary,
cleaned off centers with Damar varnish towhich
variations and additions to usual methods by
domes, truck bodies, etc.
a little quick rubbing varnish has been added.
which the effects may be obtained.
Goldand Metallic Leaf Specification Then spray water over the varnish from an
Engine Turning - Engine-turning or "swirling"
Sheet - Preparation and Application: Undercoatatomizer. The water will bead and will give the
is particularly effective when a protective coat
ing; a smooth non porous surface, such as
varnish a rough, pock-marked effect. When
is used. All transparent coatings detract someburnish sealer. Do not use a protective coating
gilded with Pale gold, the centers will have a
what from the lustrous surface of the leaf; and a
over 23K Gold Leaf unless the surface is to be
very striking appearance.
reflecting value, on part of each letter on a whole
subjected to abrasion or hard rubbing.
Macaroni Scroll - This very popular center is
line of lettering. may be obtained by disturbing
Wherever time permits use a slow drying oil
made by mixing ten parts of Damar varnish with
the flat surface of the leafed portion in regular
size for best results, except for lettering over
one part Balsam or Fir, three parts quick rubbing
design. This is accomplished through the use of
which a protective coat is to be applied, in which
varnish and a pinch of powdered pumice. Fill in
velvet plush padded to the desired bulk with
case use a synthetic quick drying size.
the clear centers with this mixture. When this
cotton. When the surplus gold has been skewed
23 Karat XX Gold leaf in Ro"s varnish reaches a strong tack, take a small
from the surface immediately after being laid,
Recommendeduses:For all surface applications
wooden wedge - or the pointed end of a letterthe plush pad is held against the leaf and turned
where the area is large and the surface is not too
ing brush handle - and scratch scrolls or
with a twist of the wrist. Successive twists
irregular. Since the speed and ease of roll
fernlike designs in the varnish. When the
should overlap, and twists in successive lines
application can result in great time savings, the
varnish is thoroughly dry, water size and gild
should be staggered.
feasibility of Gold Leaf in Rolls should be
with Lemon or Pale gold. Back-up and finish
Designs and novel effects can be produced by
considered for a" surface gilding jobs.
the job in the usual manner.
masking out portions of letters with paper, using
Preparationand application: Same as for various
Spiralled or Spun Centers -XXDeepgold is laid
the plush pads in straight strokes on the
types of leaf described under respective
and backed-up in outline only. You fill in the
unmasked portion. Proceed with various angles
headings. Usually applied with a special gilding
wheel or brush.
23 Karat XX Glass Gold Leal - 23 karat glass
gold leaf, also called window gold, may also be
used with great satisfaction on any surface.
Specially selected leaf which is free from joints,
patches or other minor blemishes which might
show up in glass gilding but not in surface
gilding. Rich, brilliant appearance. For package
size and coverage, see "Specifications."
Recommended uses: For all lettering and
designs on glass. On many jobs, time can be
saved by using gold leaf in rolls.
Preparation and application: Heat fresh gelatine
and water size for each job, consisting of about
two 00 gelatin capsules per pint of water, and
use hot. More or less gelatine may be used to
suit personal taste but the weaker the size, the
more brilliant the burnish.
Burnish with colton or velvet plush when gold is
dry. Backing should be tough, elastic and have
some gloss. Varnish over entire letter surface
with edge extended beyond backing to seal
against moisture.
23 Karat XX PatentGold Leaf 23 Karat Patent Gold Leaf,sometimes known
as transfer gold, or outdoor gold. Each leaf
adhered to white tissue paper to make handling
in wind or air currents easier. Can be ordered
more tightly or loosely adhered to the tissues
than the standard medium adhesion. For package
size and coverage, see "Specifica-tions."
Recommendeduses: Same uses as 23 Karat XX
Gold Leaf except that it is easier to handle for
outdoor work or in air currents. On many jobs,
time can be saved by using gold leaf in rolls, and
their use should .be considered on all jobs
requiring patent leaf.
Preparation and application: Sizing and undercoating same as for 23 karat XX gold leaf.
12 Karat White GJ!!dLeaf - ~
White Gold Leaf is alloyed with silver to give it
almost the whiteness of silver but retain the
ease of application of Gold Leaf.
. Recommendeduses: Desirable for lettering and
designs on glass when a silver color is
Preparation and application - The same' as
preparation and application for 23 Karat Gold
Leaf except that a protective coating should
always be used. to prevent discoloration due to
the silver alloy.
LemonGold Leaf -18 karat. This leaf, because
it contains more alloy than XXDeep, is lighter
and more greenish in color. This color is not
permanent, as the silver with which this leaf is
alloyed will eventually tarnish when exposed to
the weather. This leaf is primarily a glass gold,
and it is generally used with XXDeep for contrasting centers and backgrounds.
Pale Gold leaf - 16.7 karat. This gold is still
lighter in color than Lemon gold, as it contains
more alloy. Its use carries the same limitations
as Lemon gold.
Silver Aluminum and Composition Leaf .
Imported Silver Leaf - Imported Silver is 33/,
inches square. Allowing for normal laps and
waste, it covers approximately 1.85 sq. ft. per
book (25 leaves) and 39 sq. ft. per pack (20
Recommended uses: Should only be used for
burnish work on glass where it is hermetically
sealed. It will tarnish upon exposure to air. When
silver effect is required on surface work use
Aluminum Leaf. Preparation and application Imported Silver Leaf is laid exactly the same as
gold leaf except that, as Silver Leaf is heavier,
the size should be twice as strong and the backup heavier.
Aluminum leaf - Aluminum leaf if 5112 inches
square, and allowing for normal laps and waste
will cover approximately 4.3 square feet per
book (25 leaves); 86 square feet per pack (20
Recommendeduses: For all interior and exterior
decorating and truck lettering.
Preparation and application: Use a slow oil
size. Will oxidize unless protected with clear
Composition leaf - Imported Composition
Leaf, sometimes called Imitation Gold or Dutch
Metal. Standard leaf is 51f2 inches square. Covering capacity same as Aluminum Leaf.
Recommended uses: For interior decoration.
Under no circumstances should this leaf be used
Preparation and application: Use a slow oil size.
Will tarnish most readily unless protected with
clear coating.
Aluminum and Composition Leaf in Rolls - Same
as Gold Leaf in rolls. Standard rolls are 6 inches
wide, 152 feet long but can be cut into narrower
widths on request.
preparation and application same as Aluminum
and Composition Leaf.
WHEN & HOW TO USE GOLD LEAF IN ROLLSMORE and more gilders find that the use of
genuine gold leaf and aluminum leaf in rolls
offers important advantages where a large area
is to be gilded and the surface is not too irregular.
Surface·Gilding - The speed and ease of roll
application can effect substantial time savings
on virutally all surface gilding jobs ..
Outside Gilding - Gold leaf in rolls is an effective answer to the problems of re-gilding signsin
place or of gilding in places where it may be
windy. (Trying to gild with loose gold in outside
locations is apt to be unsatisfactory and to
cause an und ue loss of gold teat)
Striping -If much striping is to be done, gold
leaf in rolls 1" wide is most economical.It
can be handled much the same as a snap line,
and can be laid in lengths up to IS" at a time.
(Some gilders use wider widths in shorter lengths.)
This technique is also used when gilding glass.
Application of gold leaf in rolls is fast and
relatively easy. Traditionally, a gilding shell is
used, but some gilders achieve excellent results
with a brush; or with a paint roller of the proper
width in all other respects application is the
same as that for the same leaf in sheet form.
Gold leaf in rolls covers 51f2 square feet of
surface per 1" of width. Genuine gold leaf in rolls
is available in widths up to 4" imitation gold or
aluminum in widths to 6".
1. Don't fail to prepare the surface properly.
2. Don't fail to have everything absolutely clean.
3. Don't let gold leaf come in contact with anything oily before
4. Don't let the tip touch the wet glass.
5. Don't use water size either too weak or too strong. Too weak
. ..a water size will not allow "washing:'
and the gold will come
off. Too strong water size will produce a "cloudiness"
will prevent gelling a good burnish. Don't use water size left
from yesterday - make fresh size each day.
6. In glass gilding, don't let the size dry on the glass: it will
streak and spot the gold. Keep the glass thoroughly wet with
size until all the gold leal is laid.
7. Don't let size run down over the part of the glass that has
been gilded.
B. Make sure your burnishing conon is soft and free from any
foreign mailer: a small piece of grit or anything hard will
scratch the gold and ruin the job. Hospital cotton. while
more expensive,
is entirely free from all foreign
9. Don't try to gild at temperatures
near or below freezing.
10. Don't try to gild a window when it is sweaty or steamy. Frost.
sweat, or steam will completely
destroy the adhesive
properties of water size and the gold will come off when you
try to burnish it.
11. Don't use rnuch'thinner in your backinq-up color: use as lillie
as possible. Thinner tends to "flat" the color and make it
brittle and easily chipped. This is particularly
when using Damar or other varnishes. Thinner destroys the
of the varnish and when the glass contracts or
expands, the letters are apt to chip and peel.
Don't use a quick'drying
backing of any kind over Damar
varnish. While Damar "sets up" very quickly. it really dries
very, very slowly. If a quick-dryinq
backing is used, it may
crack the mat center.
Don't do more than three or four letters at a lime when using
Damar varnish for stippling. "Damar "sets up" very quickly
and if it gets too hard, it will not stipple well.
Don't use a "quick" size if the job you are doing will permit'
the use of a "slow" size. The laller will give better results in
every respect. The slower the size, the better the burnish.
Don't wait to finish laying leaf before burnishing, when using
quick size. or you may find the gold wrinkling.
It is much
better to burnish almost as soon as you gild.
Don't fail to brush out slow size evenly. If it is too thick in
spots, it will break through the gold when you try to burnish.
In surface gilding, don't try to lay the gold before the size has
reached the proper "tack:'
It will drown the gold and kill
the burnish.
Don't expect to get a good job with anything but the best
gold leaf.
Don't use silver leaf except for glass work, it will tarnish. Use
aluminum leaf instead. However. use aluminum leaf for mat
Don't use chrome yellow in size when using aluminum leaf.