Learn how to gild a frame easily with this starter kit!

Everything you need to know about proper gilding

The first starter kit for gilding a frame with genuine 24kt gold leaf is designed for those who want to easily learn this fascinating and age-old decorative art. The kit includes everything you need to start with the oil gilding technique, making the learning process simple and rewarding:

  • 1 Booklet of 24 kt genuine gold leaf (10 transfer leaves 8×8 cm)
  • 1 Water-based size 50 ml
  • 1 Brush in “Perla” synthetic bristle No. 20
  • 1 Gilding cloth
  • 1 Transparent varnish 50 ml
  • 1 Wood frame to be gilded 14x19x0,9 cm
  • 1 Gilding quide for beginners

The water based size is used for gilding indoor medium porosity surfaces (such as wood, plaster, stucco, paper and cardboard). Before starting the gilding process it is very important to remember a few rules.

Watch the video

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Do not touch the gold with your hands, neither before, during, or after application, but only with the tissue paper;
  • Do not gild in dusty environments as the dust could remain attached to the frame.

Follow the instructions step by step: every stage is essential!

APPLYNG THE SIZE

LAYING THE LEAF

SKEWING THE EXCESS LEAF

PROTECTING THE GILD

Applying the water-based size

Before starting, remove the glass and the image from the frame.

Pour a small amount of size (c. 10 ml) in a plastic cup or other suitable container and dilute with water (1 part water, 4 parts size). Dip the brush into the mixture and then spread the size as thinly and evenly as possible, taking care to avoid the size puddling up. Repeat the process 2-3 times (there is no need to wait between coatings). Once complete wash the brush with water and dry with a paper towel.

   

Drying the size

After having completed the final coating wait at least 10-15 minutes before applying the leaf. The drying time is not fixed as it can vary depending on the humidity and temperature in the room. To verify the correct time to start applying the leaf we recommend delicately touching the coated surface with back of your hand. The surface must be slightly sticky but not leave wet residue on the skin or come off the coated surface.

By waiting too long you risk a complete drying of the surface, with the consequence being the leaf not adhering properly.

By waiting too little the leaf application will stop the drying process, leading to an unstable gild.

   

Laying the leaf

Open the booklet and remove the leaf using the tissue paper, position the downturned leaf over the surface that has to be gilded. We recommend you line it up as precisely as possible with the borders of the frame to avoid excessive wasted material. Once in position apply some pressure on the paper with your fingers to make the gold stick, then remove the paper.

30-40 seconds is recommended for this process. If more time is spent on this process there is a risk of the tissue paper also sticking to the frame, this can happen depending on the quantity of size used.

Here are 3 common mistakes, but you can fix them!

   

How to fix mistakes

TISSUE PAPER ATTACHED TO THE FRAME

When applying the leaf for the first time it is normal to be unsure. Leaving the gold and tissue paper in contact with the frame for too long can happen and the risk is that next to the leaf, the tissue paper could stick to the surface. Should this happen, first you have to delicately remove the bits of stuck paper, then you repeat the gilding process on the point where the paper was; spread the size to the concerned area, wait for it to dry and apply the leaf (the leftover gold on already used tissue paper is great for this use).

NON GILDED SPOTS

For the non-gilded spots left on the frame, place more leaf and, always using the tissue paper, apply pressure with your fingers as before. If this doesn’t work, start over (only on the bare spot): apply size, wait and lay the leaf.

FINGERPRINTS ON THE GILDED FRAME

To avoid damage it is very important not to touch the gilded frame with your fingers. By touching the leaf with your hands after it has been laid there is a high chance of a fingerprint showing up on the gild. Should this happen act quickly, with the provided cloth very gently rub the affected area, this can solve the issue. If it doesn’t, you need to gild the spot from the start: apply size, wait and lay the leaf.

Skewing the excess gilding

Applying the Transparent Varnish will keep the gild safe from damage and, being glossy, it will make the gild shinier.

Fill a cup or similar container with a small amount of liquid (1/5 should be plenty), then coat the gilded surface 2/3 times (there is no need to wait between coatings).

Once complete wash the brush with water and dry with a paper towel.

It is best to wait at least 12 hours for the frame to dry completely. At this point the gilding is complete, and you can handle the frame with your bare hands.

   

Protecting the gild

Applying the Transparent Varnish will keep the gild safe from damage and, being glossy, it will make the gild shinier.Fill a cup or similar container with a small amount of liquid (1/5 should be plenty), then coat the gilded surface 2/3 times (there is no need to wait between coatings). Once complete wash the brush with water and dry with a paper towel. It is best to wait at least 12 hours for the frame to dry completely. At this point the gilding is complete, and you can handle the frame with your bare hands.