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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We are working at a client's house doing annual maintenance (previous homeowner was an artist, and did the original paintwork). The current owner requested "gold leaf" samples to determine whether or not to add gilding to the front porch columns. The house is aged, and up close the paint texture is visible, but from a distance the gold shines and catches light. Nothing shines like gold, and being gold, it will not discolor or corrode.

Font Wood Rectangle Material property Packaging and labeling


In case anyone is interested:
The principal of Gold Leafing is simple: the (very) thin gold 'leafs' will stick to anything even remotely tacky.

I am using a fast dry gold size for the gold leaf to adhere to. The "open time" varies from product to product, but normally you have somewhere between an hour to four hours to complete.

*Surrounding areas must be fully cured and dry (ie., no tackiness anywhere or the gold will stick to it and ruin the effect).

Paint Yellow Asphalt Road surface Ingredient


Plant Purple Sleeve Tints and shades Electric blue


I am using Patent Leaf (gold leafs that are pre-mounted on a paper backing, not loose )- Patent Leaf is the only option for outdoors (and for beginners), as any amount of wind makes transferring the gold to the object almost impossible.

Green Leaf Textile Yellow Gesture


Press it like a sticker onto the size and the gold releases from the paper.
I use a soft squirrel hair brush to gently smooth the gold onto the size.

Liquid Water Flowerpot Drink Honeybee


Tints and shades Electric blue Natural material Hat Cylinder


Property Building Azure Wood Porch


Plant Property Furniture Blue Flower

Property Plant Botany Blue Leaf
 

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Nothing shines like gold, and being gold, it will not discolor or corrode.
Just to clarify: That is only true of 24 Karat, pure gold leaf (24k) will not tarnish or change color over time. 18k and 12k gold leaf will darken if not sealed against oxidation.
 

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Good choices all the way around for small exterior gilding work Holland.

I haven't gilded anything outside with real gold in ages.. I used aluminum leaf a few times.

For the what the tamping (your squirrel brush use) misses, you can wipe down with a slightly damp microfiber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good choices all the way around for small exterior gilding work Holland.

I haven't gilded anything outside with real gold in ages.. I used aluminum leaf a few times.

For the what the tamping (your squirrel brush use) misses, you can wipe down with a slightly damp microfiber.
Good tip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I gilded this building back in 2017 using the same 23k Patent Leaf.

My supplier assured me that 23K leaf will not tarnish outdoors. However, I was curious to see for myself if it would show any darkening or discoloration after five years. The building is Southwest facing and receives ‘weather’ and direct sun all day.

I drive by today and took a couple pics. Although the building is dirty, the gold still shines bright, and shows no signs of tarnishing.

May 2017:
Cloud Building Sky Window House


Window Wheel Building Automotive parking light Vehicle


Today:
Sky Window Building Blue Azure



Font Material property Rectangle Ink Paper
 

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Back in 1970 - 1972 I was a salesman covering the state of Connecticut. At some point in that time frame scaffolding wend up around the dome of the State Capital building in Hartford.

Over the next several weeks the dome of that building came to glitter as gold leaf was applied.

I had played with gold leaf and it seemed way to fragile to handle in that situation. A simple sneeze would scatter a sheet.

I can now lay that mystery to rest. They must have been using that paper backed leaf as you described.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Back in 1970 - 1972 I was a salesman covering the state of Connecticut. At some point in that time frame scaffolding wend up around the dome of the State Capital building in Hartford.

Over the next several weeks the dome of that building came to glitter as gold leaf was applied.

I had played with gold leaf and it seemed way to fragile to handle in that situation. A simple sneeze would scatter a sheet.

I can now lay that mystery to rest. They must have been using that paper backed leaf as you described.

That's amazing and beautiful!

I am aware that there are some extremely skilled guys out there doing incredible work. I can do gold leaf just well enough to add an accent on a residential property; It is a nice little trick to have in the back pocket.
 

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They had several people up there at one time. Perhaps one guy was applying the sizing and another guy was dropping the gold leaf and another guy was burnishing the leaf. I don’t know if they added a top coat and I don’t know if the image I found was from that renovation or a later one. It would be 50 years old by now. What is the life expectancy of gold leaf in the wilds?
 
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