When working with gold leaf, many people ask if they should put a clear coat on the gold leaf or leave the gold leaf without a clear coat? We use gold leafing in our manufacturing, and we always put a clear coat on our gold leaf.
The gold leaf material is very fragile, so a clear coat will help to protect the gold leaf surface. A clear coat also toughens up the surface and helps slow oxidization. A clear coat on the gold leaf can also help us control the shine level we want on the gold leaf. With a clear topcoat on the gold leaf, you can manipulate the gold leaf finish.
We find that PU or polyurethane Is the perfect top coat for gold leaf.
Here are 7 reasons why we always use a polyurethane topcoat on all our gold leaf finishes.
Gold Leaf is Fragile
Anyone who has worked with the gold leaf sheets will tell you that gold leaf is extremely fragile. The sheets are fragile, so even the slightest wind can cause these fine gold leaf sheets to blow away.
Just by the nature of the gold leaf sheets and how fragile they are, we find it always best to have some protection or topcoat on the gold leaf sheets once they apply to a surface.
Protects the Gold Leaf
If the gold leaf finish you are using will have a lot of handling, a clear coat will help to protect the gold leaf surface. We use gold leaf a lot in our Vietnamese lacquerware production, and we always put a clear coat on the gold leaf. This clear coat on the gold leaf helps to protect the gold leaf finish.
When using a 23-carat gold leaf, some artists will not use a clear coat on their artwork. This is because they want to keep the same brilliance and look of the gold.
But we find, whether for our lacquerware or our artwork, that adding a clear coat on the surface helps protect the gold leaf, and if the correct topcoat is used, it will not change the look, shine, or feel of it the gold leaf.
Toughen Ups The Gold Leaf Surface
The correct clear coat will also help to toughen up the surface of your gold leaf. This is another reason to put a clear coat on the gold leaf.
The gold leaf surfaces, even gold leaf used for artwork, can have normal wear and tear. Simply putting on a clear topcoat will help make sure the surface will not get ruined and help toughen up the surface. This is why we use a clear coat finish on all gold leaf products, as it will toughen up and protect the surface.
Helps Control Oxidization
Gold is a metal, and as a metal substance, oxidation will occur. There is really no way to control how fast or how slow the oxidization will occur or even if it will occur everywhere or just with part of the gold leaf.
But if exposed to air, oxidization can come sooner than with clear code on the gold leaf. Things like temperature, humidity, human sweat, or perspiration can all affect gold leaf oxidization.
Some people really like the oxidization look, and others do not. But the point here is that oxidization is something that can not be easily controlled.
A clear coat on the gold leaf will help slow down the oxidization process as the gold leaf is not exposed to air, but even a clear coat can not fully eliminate oxidization.
Controls Shine of Gold Leaf
One of the great things that a top coat can do to the gold leaf finish is to help you control the shine of the gold leaf. We do this a lot for our gold leaf production.
For example, we want to have a shiny gold leaf surface, so we spray a shiny topcoat. If we want the gold leaf to look flat or dull, we spray the gold leaf finish with a matt topcoat. So by having a top coat on the gold leaf will also allow us to dictate what kind of shine the gold leaf finish will have.
This is another great advantage of having a top clear coat on the gold leaf finish; it allows us to control the surface shine and how the final product will look.
Can Put Elements On the Gold Leaf
When you have a top coat on your gold leaf, it also allows you to put other elements on top of the goldleaf, such as paint, wax, chemicals, or textures. This means the color of the goldleaf itself is not limited, but you can use wax, varnishes, paint, and chemicals to manipulate the gold leaf color and surface.
The ability to manipulate the gold leaf surface is one of the great things about gold leaf, and it means that you are not just limited to the gold leaf look and color, but you can add to the gold leaf to make it a unique finish.
PU Is A Very Good Top Coat
We use mainly PU or polyurethane on all our gold leaf finishes. We use polyurethane because it is a very stable top coat and will last a very long time.
Polyurethane usually does not crack or wear down easily. This means that it can be put on a gold leaf surface and will not affect the surface’s look very much but will also last for a long time.
There are many forms and types of PU, but the type of PU or polyurethane that we use is not harmful and is an extremely stable gold leaf topcoat.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture great home decor and home furniture products, including gold leaf products and finishes, don’t hesitate to contact me, Anita – at my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.
What is Gold Leafing Used in Home Decor Products?
The gold leaf is hammered gold. Some gold leaf manufactured today is actually hammered, copper, or gold mixed with other metals and alloys. The gold leaf is manufactured by gold beating. The process of gold beating is to beat or press the gold into fragile sheets of paper.
What are Vietnam’s French Encaustic Cement Tiles?
The French encaustic cement tile is a cement tile with a design in clay on the top surface of the tile. The design is pressed into a layer, so the cement tiles have two layers, one with the pattern and one bottom layer. The tiles have been manufactured and made throughout the world. The French brought the encaustic cement tiles production to Vietnam in the 1850s. Since that time, the Vietnamese have continued to manufacture these encaustic cement tiles, using many of the old French designs and some of their modern designs. The Vietnamese manufacturers export the encaustic cement tiles worldwide and use them presently in many buildings in present-day Vietnam.
You can read our blog called Vietnam’s French Encaustic Cement Tiles, What You Need to Know by clicking here.