Tips on Using Golf Leaf

Tips on using golf leaf from a beginner's perspective!

Gold Leaf, is there a more intimidating craft supply? It's like sheets of spiderwebs, held together by drops of dew and when you put it on a surface, it practically melts like cotton candy on a toddler's fingers.

Still, it is gold leaf and who doesn't want to give it a try! So I broke down and got a package from Consumer Crafts. I wanted to give these terra cotta pots a rough, aged look and I actually achieved it. Plus, I learned a couple valuable lessons about working with gold leaf along the way.

Ignore the succulents, this post is all about using gold leaf!

Spray adhesive only works if you're going for a imperfect look-especially if it's wet. 

While researching supplies I'd need, most of the sites I visited mentioned using sizing - i.e. gold leaf adhesive. A few also mentioned using spray adhesive, some gave it time to almost completely dry

and other did not. Well being the impatient person that I am, I opted for spray adhesive and I did not give it time to dry.

Since I was going for the imperfect look this worked for me, it added texture and a roughness to the project. Had I been wanting a mirror smooth finish I would have been very upset.

Spray adhesive won't give you the coverage you need for many gold leaf projects, unless you're going for the imperfect look...and then it's perfect!

It really makes sense when you think about it, the sheets are so fragile a wet surface just rips them to bits and when you start running a brush over it the leaf actually blends with the adhesive.

Spray Adhesive will not give you consistent coverage. 

If you're completely covering a project you may be able to use spray adhesive but ONLY if you're letting it dry (until tacky to the touch) BEFORE you apply the gold leaf.

I sprayed a good 15 inches from my pots and still got some bubbles, so if you're going for a smooth finish, again skip the spray. If you want smooth, even coverage - USE SIZING!

Brush with caution.

So about halfway through the second pot I finally realized I was making a horrible mistake in brushing the gold leaf on the wet adhesive. I was trying to smooth it all out as best I could but ended up mixing the leaf with the glue. Ultimately it left little gold blobs which fit the project but I was still kicking myself for not being patient and the least letting the glue dry before I brushed off the excess gold leaf.

Seal your work! 

When working with gold leaf - be sure to seal your work! via @mvemother

I used a clear acrylic sealer to seal the pots - mindful not to spray the inside!

Sometimes I want to skip this step but really sealing your work is the most important one. If you worked for months on a dissertation you'd save it right? Sealing is saving your work. Plus, in this instance it helps the gold leaf SHINE, baby!

There are, I'm sure, a number of other tips for using gold leaf...we'll learn them next time!
Before you dive right in to working with gold leaf, learn from my mistakes! via @mvemother


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