How To: Make something gilded

How To: Make something gilded

Oct 7, 2008

Metallic surfaces add an instant touch of glamour. If you've ever wanted to try a little DIY glam, we found these step by step instructions on how to gild in the latest issue of Notebook. We've always wondered how hard this was to do. It looks slightly fiddly and you need a few task specific supplies, but it doesn't seem completely daunting. You could start small with a frame or get really adventurous and give new life to an old chair or side table. Start practising now for homemade Christmas gifts. Tips below.

Read the full instructions here.

GILDING tips [From Notebook Magazine]

  • Gold size is a thin, runny glue. If you’re working on an object that needs to stay upright, such as the lamp, work from the top down to prevent drips running over freshly applied metal leaf.
  • Gilding can be a messy job due to the tiny fragments of feather-light metal leaf. Make sure your work surface is easy to clean, in a draught-free space and away from food preparation areas.
  • Gesso is generally red – a colour that works to bring out the warmth in gold. Blue or black gesso works better as an undercoat for silver and aluminium leaf.
  • The leaf will begin to adhere to the size the moment it comes into contact; try to position each leaf in the correct place before allowing it to come into contact with the prepared surface.
  • Invest in good-quality brushes designed to prevent shedding as any hairs that catch in the gesso or size will show through the gilding, spoiling the finish.
  • The natural oils found on your skin can discolour some types of metal leaf. Soft cotton gloves offer the best protection, but if you find yourself without, simply wash your hands, dry thoroughly and dust with talcum powder.

If anyone has tried this, can you offer any further tips?

[ Image from Notebook Magazine]

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