How to trade in oil and gold leaf
For the majority of my paintings I tend to prefer acrylic because it is so versatile, easy to layer, and best for special effects like poured layers and sanding.
What kind of oil based size adhesive would you recommend? I would like to apply copper leaf on top of areas of an oil painting and am having a hard time finding oil based adhesive.
HI Allison, I went online and looked up oil based size for leaf and came up with this one: Hi Nancy, I would like to use acrylic glazes over gold leaf then finish with oil paints. What varnish do I need to consider for this before I apply the acrylic glaze and oil paints, also what would be best to seal with at the end? Hi Alison, Follow instructions as per my video to prepare your gold leaf for acrylic.
Then apply your acrylic glazes. Let dry for two weeks. Now you can apply oil paint directly over the leaf whether leaf areas are glazed or not glazed and still unsealed. Oil will be fine applied over acrylic or leaf without any additional process or sealer or coating. Both these varnishes are appropriate for either oil or acrylic so will work fine with your process.
Getting my head round it all now, I purchased your book which is fantastic for me to use as a reference. Now to just be patient and enjoy experimenting. Hi Alison, Check the instructions written on the container of size you are using.
On mine, the minimum wait time is three days for the size to dry. I recommend waiting for the size to fully dry before applying either oil or acrylic paint. I wait one week just to be sure. To seal at the end of applying the leaf which one is best? I would like to paint and then try the sanding technique, once I finish sanding what gloss do I apply before I start the glazing?
Thanks again for all your support and advice. GAC is a medium, while the archival varnish spray is a varnish. GAC is brush applied, while the varnish is spray applied. I recommend to use the varnish spray first over the leaf. The leaf is delicate at this stage, and can be marred using a brush unless very carefully applied. So spray your first coat over the leaf using the spray varnish. Spray as many coats as you want, letting it dry as per the cans instructions in between each coat.
The more coats, the more protection. I recommend a minimum of two spray coats, four coats are optimal. Once you finish the last spray coat, and let it dry a few days or a week if you live in a humid climate then brush apply one or more coats of the GAC over the spray coats.
Once you sand, and are finished sanding, you can then brush apply the GAC over the sanded areas to get the gloss glow of the leaf back. Now you can glaze. When your painting is complete, you can spray the varnish over the whole painting again for a different type of protection. As a final coat, the varnish will keep the paint colors from fading as it contains UV protection, and the painting will be able to be cleaned, because varnishes the ones that are archival are removable. Later it got graffiti on it, and I was able to remove the graffiti along with the varnish layer, and then revarnish it just like new.
Brilliant guidance Nancy, thank you so much once again! Nancy, How would you go about using gold leaf with watercolor? I would love to be able to incorporate leaf in some of my watercolors as well as the acrylic and oil. Also, if you are using cold wax with your oils would you need to seal the leaf prior to paininting? Thank you for your patience as this is a process I am not familiar with at all.
Hi Mary Ann, Yes that is correct. If you used watercolor directly on unsealed leaf, the water will not only bead up, it may cause tarnishing.
Water will tarnish the copper in the leaf, when it is left wet touching the leaf for longer periods of time, such as would happen using watercolor. When you seal the leaf, the sealers would all be glossy never use matte sealer on metal leaf as it will dramatically cut the leaf sheen permanently. So this means watercolor will bead up over the sealer layer as well. However, after sealing you could then apply a product that will offer a clear toothy grit, to allow the watercolor to settle onto the surface evenly.
Here is a way to create a tooth over the glossy and sealed leaf surface. It should be extremely watery. Apply with a brush over any area you want to use your watercolor paints it could be the entire surface if you want. Let it dry overnight. When it dries it looks like it has taken away the metallic gloss sheen on the leaf.
This is true but only temporary, as it will disappear later when you apply a gloss medium. In the meantime, apply watercolor on this dry ground and it will feel just like watercolor paper.
Once your painting is complete, using watercolor paints, you would need to spray apply a solvent based sealer or spray a water based sealer that is fast drying so the watercolor will not bleed. If you brush apply any acrylic sealer with water in it, it will bleed the watercolor paint. After this last sealing layer has dried, you will not see the previous tooth layer anymore and your metal sheen will reappear like before.
You do not need to seal leaf prior to using oil paint, wax or oil mediums. None of these will tarnish the leaf. However, you will need to seal the leaf at some point within a few month period, so the leaf does not tarnish due to exposure to air. Nancy, How would you apply gold leaf over an oil painting that has already been started? I would use the solvent-based leaf size over oil paint. Then following directions for that specific product, apply the leaf over the size.
Let it dry, again following instructions for that size, then paint directly over the leaf with oil paint with no need to seal until your painting is complete. Nancy, I have some encaustic panels I wanted to reuse with the composition gold leaf.
Can or will cold wax seal the gold leaf? Any information you have about gold leaf and encaustic would be most appreciated. My only concern is that the wax may be slightly cloudy, and if so, may cut the sheen enough to lose the gold leaf appeal. Once you try it out you can see if the wax still allows the leaf to shine enough for your needs.
For your information, I also work with ceramics and porcelain. I hope you understood…and my question is: Hoping to hearing from you soon. I have watched some of your videos and read a few columns on your blog regarding gold leafing.
In one of your videos, you seemed to be able to get good edges on splatters. The gold leaf, for me at least, is bleeding into the outer edges. Any ideas on what I can do to get clean edges? Hi PaintKatt, It sounds like you are trying to get your edges crisper where you want the leaf to adhere. If your edges are not so crisp, here are some things to check.
You might want to wait at least 30 minutes for a strong tack to build on the adhesive. Perhaps you are trying to remove the excess too soon? Try using a softer brush, maybe even cheesecloth, and wipe it away very softly moving the cheesecloth AWAY from the edge. When you apply the leaf adhesive in the design area you want, if your adhesive is too heavy on your brush, or if your brush has water on it so you are in actuality diluting the adhesive this may be what is causing the leaf to stick outside your desired edges.
Hope this helps you resolve your issue. I want to use gold leaf for a background in an oil painting!!! Can I use a water based glue to stick the gold leafs on the canvas and then overpaint them, with oil painting? Should I use a black gesso, before I apply the glue and the gold leafs? Yes you can apply the leaf using a waterbased adhesive to stick the leaf onto the canvas. Then you can overpaint them with oil. When you are finished painting the leaf with oil you will need to varnish over the entire painting to make sure the imitation gold leaf does not tarnish due to exposure to air.
Any varnish that is appropriate for over oil paint should be fine to also go over the leaf. I suggest not waiting more than 6 months after applying the leaf, to varnish. You can also varnish the leaf before painting with oil if you prefer. Hi Nancy, first of all, thank you for your excellent information on gold leaf!
This is the first example encountered by the author of methods that could be practical for exterior use. It also stresses applying two coats of varnish over copper or bronze before gilding with imitation gold leaf. It seems the two layers of sealer are enough to forestall any galvanic reaction between the dissimilar metals. Old painted ironwork is discussed at length with removal of the paint recommended. This is followed by application of two coats of sealer.
Oddly enough, there is no recommended preparation of copper for genuine gold. The practitioner is urged to gild directly on the copper with a slow size. This would not last under exterior conditions. Generally, it seems by , the written texts are disseminating more reliable techniques in regards to metal. But even so, there is no specific mention of exterior gilding.
Specific procedures for chemical neutralization of zinc and galvanized iron are explained. Aluminum is mentioned, but not copper and bronze. The use of several coats of red lead and white lead primers is universally promoted for almost all types of exterior metal. Through these primers have excellent weather and corrosion resistance, health and legal considerations make it impossible to use them under any circumstances in the present day. Primers were not specified for use on lead surfaces.
Cleaning with acid or sand blasting the lead to provide a tooth for the size was recommended, followed by using a slow oil size applied directly to the lead surface. In practice, following this procedure has produced many failures. Red lead and white lead are mentioned as primers for almost any material, including wood, plaster, stone, etc.
For several hundred years, lead primers and paints were used universally on exterior and interior surfaces. In later editions, there is more space devoted to the health hazards of the trade, with particular emphasis on exposure to lead. Examination of the Bullfinch Dome on the Massachusetts State House shows evidence of white lead and red lead under the latest layer of primer, which is zinc chromate.
It is reasonable to assume that these traces of. Coupled with lead primers was the use of lead compounds in the size and driers associated with the varnishes frequently used on exterior gilding. By the s the use of lead was proscribed in paints for the housing industry, and by the end ol the s was strictly regulated for most other uses.
However, for practitioners of exterior gilding. While lead hazards are not encountered daily during the application of primers and size, lead ts frequently found in the primers on old surfaces needing to be stripped and re-gilded.
This presents the gilder with complex licensing. While the regulation of lead compounds safeguards the health of painters. What is to be used in their stead? Although lead primers presented health risks, they worked very well on most metal surfaces to be gilded. When it became apparent lead would be banned, the painting industry started exploring alternatives to lead primers for metals. One primer that came into widespread use is zinc chromate. Developed specifically for rust inhibition, it has been widely used as a primer under gilding on a variety of surfaces, including lead-coated copper, copper, cast iron, terne-coated copper and others.
However, the days of using zinc chromate are numbered. Already, regional environmental commissions are regulating the distribution of zinc-rich and chromium-containing products. In many areas of the country, including the tri-state area around New York City and in California, the sale of zinc-chromate is prohibited.
Federal regulations require that removal of zinc chromate is to follow the same procedures as lead abatement. Many paint manufacturers have stopped making zinc-rich primers altogether and are developing replacement products.
The amount of free thinners must be drastically reduced to meet these standards. The gilder then has to decide whether to: Unfortunately, many of these new products also contain silicone products and are not designed for use on metals, Furthermore, with the presence of silicone, these products arc generally not compatible with slow oil sizes.
However, there are other products designed for use on metals which can be useful to the trade. Others are water-borne bonding primers for use on a wide variety of materials. There is no substitute for testing and experimentation.
In conjunction with the development of new primers and paints there are also new adhesives being developed specifically for exterior use. These are acrylic based and have undergone several transmutations since they were introduced 5 years ago. The 1nanufacturers feel these are the wave of the future and will be acceptable substitutes for traditional oil size.