Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Durable gold

Q: If I don’t coat gold leaf, it will wear after a while, but when I coat the leaf I lose that brilliance. What should I do?
A: It is true that coated leaf is not as brilliant as genuine burnished metal leaf. That’s why real gold leaf is left unsealed. As for wear, that’s just part of the tradeoff with leaf, and why it is expensive and usually used only for ornamental pieces, and not those that get serious wear. On a chair, you may have to refinish and reapply leaf more frequently, and that’s part of the cost of having gold leaf items. One option that might extend the wear time, at least a bit, is double gilding. You will find a description of that process by going to this URL.
http://gildingstudio.blogspot.com/2007/12/single-gilding-vs-double-gilding.html
The above is a blog entry from this website: http://www.gildingstudio.com/ You might want to subscribe to his blog. Other good sources for materials and information on gilding:
http://www.gildedplanet.com/
http://www.seppleaf.com/