Is Gold Leafing Difficult? Your Gold Leafing Guide

Room Design

We use a lot of gold leaf for many of the finishes for our home decor products. Because of this, we know quite a bit about gold leafing.

To properly apply gold leaf can be very difficult. Gold leaf is fragile and needs to be used correctly. It will also break easily or can easily be blown away. When applying gold leaf, it should lay flat, and laying it flat requires time and skill.

Gold Leaf’s Difficulty

When I go into a factory, I am amazed to see the workers applying the gold leaf for the finish. They can pick up those thin gold leaf papers and use them precisely to whatever they are gold leafing; they make the entire process look effortless.

The truth is that gold leafing requires a lot of skill. The more you apply the gold leaf, the easier it will become, but it takes a lot of practice.

If you want to learn to work in gold leaf, the best thing you can do is get some gold leaf and practice.

Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Start with cheaper quality – If you are new to gold leafing, then start with the cheaper quality of gold leaf. The reason is that until you gain the required skills, a lot of the gold leaf will go on the floor and even in your hair; gold leaf is very fragile.
  • Practice applying it -Practice applying the gold leaf. The more you apply the gold leaf to a surface, the easier it will become to pick up the thin sheets without breaking them. If you do break them, do not worry and continue to practice applying the gold leaf.
  • Experiment – There are many great things you can do with gold leaf, so do not be afraid to experiment to find what works for you and the gold leaf you are using. Not all gold leaf is the same, so you may need to do a bit of trial and error for your gold leaf application.

Of all these three areas, we believe that practice is one of the most important. It is because gold leafing is a skill and the only way to obtain that skill is by practicing.

If you want to learn more about gold leaf, you can read our blog about What is Gold Leafing Used in Home Decor Products? by clicking this.

Here are some of the reasons why gold leafing is complex and requires practice to apply:

Gold Leaf Sheets Are Extremely Thin

All the sheets used for gold leafing are incredibly fragile. They are so thin that you must be careful when placing them on what you want to gold leaf.

As they are thin, to apply them onto an object or finish, you must also apply them one by one using each one of the thin sheets in your application.

Gold Leaf Sheets Will Break Easily

As the gold leaf sheets are so thin, they will break easily. Gold leaf can be expensive. If you are not skilled, most of the gold leaf will end up on the floor and not on what you are gold leafing.

When I watch many highly skilled workers work with gold leaf sheets, I am amazed at how they can easily take fragile gold leaf sheets and pick them up without breaking them.

Gold Leaf Should Lay Flat

Another skill required for gold leafing is that the gold leaf sheets should be laid flat on the surface. It means that you do not want to have a lot of overlap, and you want to have it laid down piece by piece.

I know from personal experience in doing gold leafing, you need to have the right skill. It is easy to lay gold leaf down in a huge chunk, but as the gold leaf will only stick with the paint it is put on, it has to be laid down on the surface for it to stick to the surface. The ability to lay it down extremely flat takes skill and practice.

Gold Leaf Blows Away Easily

One of the traits of a gold leaf is that it can blow away easily. It can be an issue if you have other things in the same area that you are also finishing. The gold leaf can get into, and on other things, that you may be in the middle of finishing.

Gold leaf can become a real mess to clean up; you should work with gold leaf in an area you can easily clean up.

Gold Leaf Requires Drying

When working with gold leaf, you also need to understand how long the paint underneath is completely dry. If it is not dry, then when you try to brush the gold leaf, it will damage your gold leafing, and you may find you need to start over or do some repair.

When working with a gold leaf, I will always make sure that my gold leaf is thoroughly dried before brushing the gold leaf. There have been times when I have had to do something completely over as I have messed up my gold leafing.

Attaching the Gold Leaf Is Not Easy

It can require skill to know how to attach the gold leaf and what kind of paint to use as the base coat. We use lacquer paint for most of our applications. I have also tried using oil paint to apply my gold leaf.

We find that the paint works the best when applying gold leaf. It gives it an excellent clean look. If you apply the gold leaf to a specific area, you must be sure that other parts of what you are doing are also dry, or the gold leaf will stick to those areas. Gold leaf will stick to wherever there is any wet or even partly wet paint.

When applying gold leaf, the most important things you can do are practice and gain the skills. The skill of laying down the gold leaf takes time.

In the factories we work in, the gold leaf workers are highly skilled, and most of them have been gold leafing for many years – some even decades. Because of this, they can gold leaf with care and precision since they have had many years of practice.

If you are interested in seeing how Mondoro can help you with your color and design – we would love to talk to you to see how we can help you. We manufacture a lot of interesting gold-leafed products.

At Mondoro, we create, develop and manufacture home decor and home furnishing products.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact meAnita. Check out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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What is Gold Leafing Used in Home Decor Products?

The gold leaf is hammered gold. Some gold leaf manufactured today is 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.

Learn more about gold leaf, and you can read our blog about What is Gold Leafing Used in Home Decor Products? by clicking this.

7 Reasons To Use A Clear Coat On 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.

You can read our blog on 7 Reasons To Use A Clear Coat On Gold Leaf by clicking here.

Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I am the President of Mondoro. I am passionate about helping you CREATE, DEVELOP, and MANUFACTURE home decor and home furnishing products. I am also an avid blogger with a love of travel and riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Is Gold Leafing Difficult?  Your Gold Leafing Guide