Thursday 8 December 2011

How To Gild: Part 3: Loose Leaf

Welcome back to our
How To Gild series.

We've been looking at how to use this fantastic craft
to give your house a really festive look this year.

This week, let's take a closer look at
Gilding with Loose Leaf.
{All materials are available to purchase from Relics - just click on the links.}

The difference between transfer and loose leaf
is that transfer leaf comes attached to waxed paper, whereas loose leaf,
although it is layered for protection between thin sheets of tissue paper,
is not actually attached to anything at all.

This makes it rather flimsy, and more prone to crinkling and tearing. However, loose leaf is considerably cheaper and works very well with moulded surfaces....and is not actually difficult to use, once you get used to its floaty, flyaway qualities.

Loose leaf can also be gently scrunched before use to provide more texture.

It will spring easily back to its original shape.
When you are using it on a curved or moulded surface,
like our walnuts, creating this additional texture works very well.

We started off by painting the surface of our walnuts in
which is a beautiful warm red.

We applied a coat of size, just as with the transfer leaf, 
and waited for it to turn transparent and tacky.

{It can be useful to apply a light dusting of talcum powder to your hands if they are at all sticky, as this will prevent the loose leaf from sticking awkwardly.}

Being careful not to rip or tear the leaf,
we wrapped the walnut up, a bit like a sweet,
and used a soft brush to press the leaf into every nook and cranny.
It's better to dab, rather than brush it as you would with paint, to prevent any unwanted tears.

Once the size has grabbed firmly onto the leaf,
we brushed rather more firmly to remove any excess.
These extra bits can be used to cover any gaps, 
or can be kept for another occasion.

The walnuts can either be left as they are,
completely covered like shiny, golden nuggets, or.....

...they can be distressed to allow the Baked Cherry to be revealed in places.
{The harder you rub at this stage, the more of a distressed look you will create, as little pieces of leaf come away from the surface.}

You can also rub with very fine steel wool,
which, as well as softly pressing away the leaf,
slightly discolours it to provide an aged look.

We love the look of loose leaf gilding. The delicate leaf picks up every detail of the walnut below. There is no end to its uses, particularly at this time of year.

We've put together a gilding kit for you at Relics,
which we'll be showing you next week.....
{though, as always, if you want a sneak preview, then pop in to our shop...} well as a fantastic and easy project for you to try out....

Come back next week, to find out more.


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