How to Apply Leaf To Walls & Ceilings? : Gold Leaf Supplies : For all your gold leaf, silver leaf and gilding supplies

How to Apply Leaf To Walls & Ceilings?

 

PREPARATION

 

The surface must be as smooth as possible as leaf will pick up any marks, dents or scratches. The wall must be sealed prior to any gold size being applied; otherwise the size will "soak" into any porous surface.

 


 

APPLICATION OF ADHESIVE SIZE

 

A water-based size such as 'Wundasize' is best to use indoors as it is easy to clean up and has an extended 'tack' time, allowing you to apply your leaf in a less hurried way. Square or line up your area so that the leaf is laid in a regular pattern. Apply the size with a small roller and, whilst it is still wet, use a high-quality brush to soften and smooth the size evenly over the surface. The size will reach tack in 20/30 minutes and will remain open indefinitely. It is better to size the area that you intend to gild that day, unless you are in a controlled environment. Otherwise you may find bits of fluff, hair etc. sticking to the sized area.

 


 

APPLYING THE LEAF

 

One the size is ready apply the transfer leaf. Leaf is available in booklet and roll formats. Take care to overlap the leaves by approximately 2mm to avoid getting gaps in between the leaves. After applying the leaf to the sized surface use a soft squirrel mop gilders brush and rub over the paper backing with your fingers but be careful not to move the paper backing or scratch the leaf surface. Make sure there are no air bubbles and that the leaf is firmly fixed to the surface.

 


 

TOUCHING UP

 

Touch up any areas that may have been missed so that there are no gaps. Use scraps of your leaf on paper.

 


 

BURNISHING

 

We usually recommend that you leave the leaf for a couple of hours before 'burnishing' the surface with a soft gilders mop. Use the mop to brush away any loose excess leaf (skewings) and brush the surface gently, being careful no to scratch or dull the leaf.

 


 

SEALING

 

Apply a varnish using a short roller; Roberson's Metal Leaf Lacquer is perfect for this as it dries to a crystal clear, satin finish that is proven to be non-yellowing over time. Whilst the varnish is still wet, soften with a high-quality brush. It is recommended to leave the varnishing for a day or so after laying the lead to allow the size underneath to completely dry out. However, Silver and 6ct White Gold should be protected immediately as they are prone to oxidising quickly.