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Imitation Gold Leaf

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Product Description

Metal Leaf - Book: 5 1/2" x 5 1/2", 25 Leaves, 5.25 sq.ft. coverage

**Remember: Imitation gold leaf must be sealed or will tarnish. For indoor use only.


Gilding adds luxury. It provides a wonderful base on which to display an intricate cut-out, and will lift a more simple one. As the gilding in this book is used for a background effect and is not being applied to an antique object, Dutch metal leaf is used rather than real gold leaf, which is more expensive and more difficult to use.

imitation-1.jpg Paint the base with a layer of acrylic primer. Leave to dry, sand lightly, then use a tack-rag to remove any dust particles. Then paint on two coats of reddish-brown emulsion (latex) paint, sanding and tackragging after the second coat to ensure a smooth surface.
imitation-2.jpg Paint on a thin layer of water-based size, making sure that all areas to be gilded are completely covered. Leave to dry for 15-30 minutes until the size appears clear.
imitation-3.jpg Remove a sheet of leaf from the book - do not remove its waxed backing. Try not to handle it too much; you may find it helps to wear cotton gloves. If necessary, cut the square of leaf with sharp scissors to a size marginally bigger than the area you want to cover. Gently lift the leaf by its backing and lower it on to the surface. Check its position carefully as, once it is laid, it cannot be repositioned. Press the leaf down by smoothing over the backing with your fingers, then lift off the waxed paper and discard. Cover the remaining areas in the same way, cutting the leaf and overlapping the joins.

Once you have completely covered the piece, take a gilder's mop (tip) or a wad of cotton wool and smooth over all surfaces, paying particular attention to the overlapping edges. These should be smoothed over in one direction only. Attempt to remove the lines where the leaf joins as much as possible. At this stage, the aim is to ensure that all the leaf has adhered, rather than to remove any surplus.

Leave the size to dry thoroughly overnight. Then use the gilder's mop (tip) to remove the surplus leaf with a light circular brushing motion. If there are any bare areas, these can be covered by first applying size. You can then either lay on more leaf or, alternatively, apply bronze powder with a brush. Bronze powder is particularly useful if you want to color small folds and intricate mouldings.


reference: The Gold Leaf Company

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