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Gold leaf application for wood finishing

By way of their application there are two types of gold color, the gold paint and gold leaf (see our previous post on the gold finish for furniture finishing.). The gold paint can be applied by sprayed or brushed on the surface. The gold paint can be treated as a base coat or paint.  The gold leaf is different material, he needs different application techniques. The gold leaf is attached to the surface using special glue that is called as gold leaf sizing material. The gold leaf will produce a different appearance than the gold paint. The spray application for the gold paint will produce a flat and even gold color. But the gold leaf will give a unique appearance, brighter gold and a specific gold pattern. The gold pattern depends on how the placing of the gold sheets is and also the texture of the underneath surface. The more smooth and even the base coat, the more smooth and bright the gold leaf. The rough surface will give the uneven gold color. The leaf pattern can be utilized to enhance the finishing impression. This pattern also help to make the finishing being more antique looked. But if you want a flat and smooth appearance, the gold paint with a spray application is much easier to do.
It is step by step of the gold leaf application. 

 Red base color for gold leaf finish

1. The surface preparation.
To produce the gold color looks good and nice, the surface should be well prepared. The wood surface has to be sanded properly. Fix the dents. holes and the uneven surfaces if any. The imperfectness of the wood surfaces will be seen in the final finishing result. The red color is the most often use as basic color under the gold. The red color underneath the gold will help strengthen the appearance of gold thereon. The red color is also a perfect color combination is often used with gold color to produce antic gold color if necessary. Spray base coat evenly to the wood. Let it dry and sanding the base coat. Repeat the base coat application until we get smooth and even surface. After we got a red even color then we can apply sealer thereon. Let the sealer dry and sanding the sealer. We may need to apply sealer and base coat several times to make sure that the wood surface is smooth before the gold leaf application.

The gold leaf sizing is brushed on the surface

2. Coat the glue to the surface evenly.
To attach the gold leaf we need to apply the glue to the surface. Glue is brushed evenly to the entire surface. We also can thin the glue with water to get proper viscosity and spray the glue. Make sure the glue coat the surface evenly, and then wait the glue to dry. We need to place the glued product in the dust free room to avoid any dust or other impurities stick on the glue. Any dirt on the glue would interfere the gold leaf attachment. 

 The gold leaf is laid off and attached on the surface

3. Placing gold sheets
After the gold leaf sizing is dry (usually takes about 15 minutes to 30 minutes) then the gold leaf can be attached to the glued surface. Make sure that the glue is already dry when we put the gold sheet on it.Put the gold leaf carefully on the surface and then pressed with a brush or cloth so that the sheet stuck to the surface tightly. Make sure the gold sheet is attached properly on the surface.

 Touch up to the missed part

4. Touch ups on the missing parts.
Sometimes when we placing this gold there are some parts missing. If the finishing looked is an antic finish then we can obey the missing parts since it will help to make antique finish. But if you want gold color that covered the entire surface evenly, therefore we need to touch up on the missing parts.
We need to repeat the step 3 in the parts that are missed, then wait for the dry and do the pasting gold again in the missing parts until the whole surface covered by the gold color. The touch-ups must be done carefully; the application of gold leaf sizing should not be too wet. The wet glue will wet the gold that has been stacked and will lift the gold layer. Make sure that the application of glue as much as possible only on the part that needs it. 

The gold leaf finish

5. Clear coating applications
After the gold is pasted according with the desired appearance, the next process is the coating of gold layer. We can use sealer or top coat. to coating the gold leaf. We can finish the process with the top coat application. If you need to do antiquing for the gold finish we can do another finishing process with glaze or stain application. We may need  to apply some layer of sealer or top coat. 

Secreta: Three Methods of Laying Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf Techniques

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