Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Gold gaps

Q: When I gild hand carved furniture over red color, the corners often remain red, so I have to spray a thin layer of gold lacquer before applying the leaf. Is there another thing that I can use to solve this problem?
A: Yes, though your solution, creating a gold ground under gold leaf, is by far the best and most common one. There are two other solutions. One is to break any sharp edges prior to finishing and applying size by sanding them very lightly with fine paper. A softer edge is less likely to break through the gold leaf. Make certain the edges are well coated with size so the sharp edges do not dry prematurely. If the size is too dry, the leaf won’t stick in that spot. After leafing, you can do spot repairs by pressing leaf firmly onto missed areas, or you can take a very soft brush, such as ox hair, dip it into gilding powder and brush that over the area. It may bond where even gold leaf will not, and helps hide any missed areas.