Saturday, 31 August 2013

Shabby Chic Gilding

Gilding or applying gold leaf to furniture or other objects can be a bit daunting in the beginning, but it is worth a try, especially if you like a bit of lustre and richness to your work.
Gold leaf is very thin and the 24 karat gold leaf is expensive, so in the course I used the imitation gold leaf or "Dutch sheet" as it is sometimes called.
The gold leaf is applied with gold size, a thin glue that stays tacky for up to 20 hours.
On Wednesday night the ladies didn't use a gilders pad or gilders knife, they are traditionally used for gilding.
We used scissors to cut the gold leaf and a little Vaseline on a soft brush to pick up the gold leaf before applying it to the item.
Gold leaf needs to dry well and is a bit fragile till varnished.
The imitation leaf can tarnish and needs to be varnished.
The gold leaf can be gentle rub down with fine steel wool and methylated spirits and antiqued with burnt umber oil paint.
The little angel icon is antiqued, the colours are toned down.
I love the look of gilding on furniture and paintings. In Italy I was so inspired by the most beautiful art works in churches, often gilded and they still had the most amazing glow even after centuries.

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