Gold powder and shell gold are ideal for retouching leaf gilding and for carved and hard-to-reach surfaces. Available in two karat levels (23.75k and 22k,) gold powder must always be mixed with a special binding agent prior to application with a fine, soft-bristle brush.
Manetti shell gold is only available in 23.75 karats. Shell gold is a ready-to-use composition of genuine gold powder and gum arabic. It can be applied to the gilding surface using a fine brush moistened with water, just like a watercolor.
Gilding with pure gold powder is a technique practiced by professional artisans, while shell gold is widely used in the hobby sector. Both techniques are suitable for refinishing details freehand. Please refer to our Gilding Academy Section for more detailed instructions. This type of gold is useful for retouching gilding, particularly on the wooden surfaces of furniture, frames and antique artifacts, as well as on paintings and icons. Prior to application, the real gold powder must be mixed with a binding agent, such as oil-based size, dewaxed shellac or gum arabic, and then applied to the surface with a round tip brush for detailing or retouching, or with a flat tip brush for larger surfaces.
For gilding with shell (or tablet) gold, pick up the amount of gold paint required with the tip of a moistened brush (the size of the brush will vary depending on the shape and size of the surface to be gilded) and apply directly to the surface. Our experts would be pleased to help you choose the most suitable product and application technique for your intended use.
To apply with a brush, powders and shells are the best formats for any retouching and for carved or highly irregular surfaces.