View Full Version : Gold leaf questions

03-06-2010, 11:20 PM
Hi All !
I am new to sign making (1 year)
I am new to this forum (1 month)
And I am new to gold leaf (NEVER !)
I have learned a lot since getting started a year ago, but I still have a lot to learn!
I may be getting a contract to build 2 , 10x6 entrance signs to a gated community.
The POA of this community wants gold leaf lettering on the signs...AND I'VE NEVER DONE IT !
Can you guys help me out with :
1-Technique ?
2-Supplies ?
Thank you !

03-07-2010, 09:54 PM
Here is the company I use. They have lots of infomation in here on how to tips.

03-08-2010, 08:14 AM
I remember when i started doing gold leaf to letter fire trucks.
I think it is easier than putting up wall paper.
I am still learning how to do it well and look forward to the comments of those who do it frequently.

the biggest challenge i had was:
1. just figuring when the size was the right tack. (sticky but not so sticky that it comes off when you put your knuckle on it. maybe like putting your knuckle on the sticky side of tape is correct)

2. The next problem i had was getting the background smooth so no blemishes showed. Seems like any good primer sealer that levels out well then a coat of yellowish enamel paint that levels well so it looks as much like glass as possible after the size goes on. Have read where some recommend two coats of size (letting first coat dry)

3. then the holidays (where some gold just did not stick) was a challenge because when you re-sized it seems like that area shows up like a patch. I think having a very clean brush with no contaminates is key plus putting it on consistent thickness. Probably a softer sign lettering brush from the afore mentioned website. Not putting more on than you can gold leaf before the size starts to dry up a bit. I am sure temperatures have a lot to do with how it dries faster or slower also. I always use the slow dry size.

4. I never put clear coat over the gold except when i put the gold on fire trucks. then used a automotive enamel clear which had to be applied very fast as it dried quick.

I think that letterhead supply site is a great resource. I never had the advantage of watching a pro apply gold leaf. just read books. this forum should help us all. Chapman and Crumley have probably will fill in the gaps here.

03-08-2010, 11:11 AM
Like Dick, I never put a clear over gold (or anything else) unless it is in an area that will be touched by human hands.

I've had gold leaf signs up for over 20 years and the gold is still bright. Since gold is gold it will not tarnish or rust.

Most clears will not lengthen the life of a sign, but actually make it weaken faster.

03-08-2010, 01:43 PM
Thanks for the replys !
Keep em comin guys .

03-08-2010, 03:15 PM
Here's the thread where I was learning how to gold leaf.
Learning Gold Leaf (http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/messages/315/31823.html?1214496692)

It is worth the effort.


03-08-2010, 04:28 PM
i use the patent gold leaf. the kind that comes to you on paper sheet. i have a gilders tip (the brush that uses static to lift loose leaf for some types of gilding, including glass) but have found the patent seems best for my not so experienced history of gilding flat objects and prizmatic routed letters with shallow cut. the shallow angles of the v-bits give much better light reflection than the deep v cuts. The deeper the cut of the v bit the harder the lettering will be to read in most cases because the sharp angles do not reflect light in the direction of the viewer in most cases. Of course now for sign shops the gold comes on a roll you can cut and apply like a vinyl decal and use knife plotters to cut it for vehicle lettering and smooth flat glossy signs.
All that glitters is not gold someone said. Wonder if they were talking about all the new cars or fishing boats or bicycles or....

03-14-2010, 04:11 PM
we bought a kit with real gold from lagold on the net.
i thought it would be hard to learn but our first try was pretty good.
however, it sure is expensive to do letters.
i used 1.5 sheets on the first letter and i used about all the sheet with little waste.
some of the gold stuck to the paint outside the letter, so we're going to try rubbing around the letters with a potato. anyone tried that?

03-21-2010, 12:31 PM
I'm very fond of gold but there are other materials on the market to look at. For example Mica has on the market in a strong way. It's been around for years, relative inexpensive and easy to use. Now it's being included in womens facial rouges, powders and lipsticks. Giving the girls cute glittey faces. Also it's used on the industrial market, even included in oil well drilling slury. Most paint company's are offering mica in paints and waxes.

If you want to give it a try, I'd suggest using a textured surface on which to apply. One should understand they are transparent or translucant. The undercoat color is very important since it will have an effect.

My local auto paint supply has dozens of small accient paints, water based, to be used on flame jobs and other deliclate area's. I believe the product is Kolor Coat which are Mica based.

My favorite supply is Letterhead Sign Supply. It's best to be their sampler.

Joe Crumley
www.normansignco.com (http://www.normansignco.com)

03-24-2010, 08:25 AM
Years ago after reading on this forum about mica powders recommended by Joe Crumley I bought some, they work great and do not fade and are cheap.

I get mine from a cosmetic supply company here is the link.

03-24-2010, 09:26 AM
Excellent like Brian,

Now even women are getting into Mica. Seems like the prices are good. I have a half dozen different colors of gold and it's difficult to choose which is best. If ordering from this link, I'd get a small gold sample form each seletion.

For those who are new to mica application, you lay down gold size first, let it set up, and then apply mica with a mop. That brush is much like the one your wife uses for makeup. Mica can also be mixed in clear auto paint and sprayed on.

03-25-2010, 12:50 AM
"Even women"? Hey Joe: It's the 21st century!!:D