Monday, June 7, 2010

It aint gold, but boy it glitters!

I’ve been babbling about all the frames for the glazed cabinets which I’m gilding and decided to show you what I’m talking about. I bought old picture frames with glass, which had a somewhat golden look, and also used some “raw” wooden frames, which I coated with a red base. The red brings out the warmth of the gold even more and it looks stunning, don’t you think?

And here’s a disclaimer: No, it’s not real gold – that would ruin me completely! It’s fake – actually highly shiny brass. However, it looks and acts the part, meaning that it’s massively annoying, flies everywhere, takes forever to apply etc. But it’s worth it in my opinion. Check out this fun video on an artist trying to demonstrate how to handle gold leaf – and failing miserably *chuckle*

What I do? I first brush the whole item with the gold leaf adhesive, which has to set for 30 min before you can start gilding. After that it remains sticky for days – very handy! Using a pair of tweezers I pull suitable pieces from the sheet which is 16x16 cm big –much larger than normal gold leaf, which is usually 8x8 or even smaller. Then I use a soft brush, which I turn static on my own hair to pick up and place the leaf on the surface. A quick brush and it’s set!

Once I’ll have all frames gilded, they need to be varnished. Had it been gold, they wouldn’t change at all, but since it’s brass, it will oxidize and turn dull and eventually green over time. Can’t have that, so on with the laquer!


  1. Oh marvelous, it does really look like gold! I've had a project idea knocking around that uses gold leaf, but the results you're getting look pretty keen. I think I'll try brass first. Mind sharing where you found it?

  2. I Love what you're doing! I silver gild my porcelain boxes, so i know how taxing it can be at times! sometimes my sheets get to charged and end up clinging to themselves ;)

  3. Cate, I bought it from a Danish shop: However, they don't have an english version, but I'm sure you can find it somewhere local. Make sure your browse a bit for prices - this vendor sold it to me at a fraction of the price I had to pay at the local hobby shop!

  4. Thanks for the lead! I just inherited a china cabinet that *begs* for gilding, so now I HAVE to buy some.