Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

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Adding gold leaf on your acrylic paintings has become a great way to add unique value to your artwork. Though gilding gold leaf can either be done using an adhesive or through the water method, both processes produce the stunning effect of gold on your painting surface. We will teach you ways on how to do this the right way.

What are the different ways to add a gold leaf to your acrylic paintings? Can you use a real gold leaf over an imitation one? Can you identify the differences? What are the easy applications or steps when adding gold leaf to your acrylic paintings?

Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

Applying gold leaf on your acrylic paintings or even with oil paintings has been one of the must-try processes for every artist. The process gives stunning effects on your painting surface. Whether you are working with a real gold leaf or an imitation one, the results are almost the same.

The gilding process means you are applying your golf leaf over your painting surface using the adhesive specially designed for this process. It is the most convenient way to apply your gold leaf over your painting surface. Though there is another way which is using water.

Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings
Acrylic painting with gold leaf – Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

On the other hand, gilding using water provides stunning results. The water gilding procedure is highly recommended when you are working with photo frames. You will achieve a glowing gold effect over the surface you have applied with. However, it is quite a challenge to do water gilding for beginners.

You can try both processes for a different purpose to see which one works best for you. For the moment, it is best to work with the adhesive gilding process to allow self-improvements along the way too.

Before jumping over to what type of gold leaf you should use, it is best to know the difference between the two. Check out below to help you decide which one shall you use for your artwork.

Difference Between Real Gold Leaf Over The Imitation Gold Leaf

Several artists use real gold leaf. It varies on the ‘karats’ of the real gold that you will use as a real gold leaf is quite expensive. For beginners, it’s highly recommended to try the imitation ones. Once you have gained enough confidence and experience with the process, then feel free to use real gold leaf.

Applying gold leaf on your acrylic paintings give stunning effects over your artwork. There are two ways you can add these wonderful elements to your painting surface.

  1. You can use a gold leaf adhesive; the easiest process and recommend for beginners.
  2. You can apply the gold leaf with the water process; it requires experience due to the complicated procedures.

 

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Using an imitation gold leaf on your acrylic paintings allows you to have a variety of colour selections to choose from. Imitation gold leaf is made from zinc and copper. On the other hand, real gold leaf comes from real gold pigments.

Another factor worth considering with gold leaf application is the paintbrush marks between water or adhesive method. You can get this stunning result if you work with the adhesive gilding method. However, the results vary from how the artists want the surface to look.

Pro-tip; Use real gold leaf when working with the water gilding method. And use imitation gold leaf when you are working with acrylics and oil paintings.

Factors That Affect Your Gold Lead Application Over Your Painting Surface

StunGold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings
Adding gold leaf on your painting surface – Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

You’ll achieve a stunning artwork surface when you use gold leaf alongside your acrylic painting. In this article, you will learn the difference and importance of the proper ways to seal gold leaf over the painting surface.

There are two ways to do this process and the results vary from how you want the results done

  • Pre-paint sealing.

If you are gilding with a painting surface from acrylics or oil paints, best to seal it via pre-painting. This is done if you are mixing your gold leaf on your acrylic paintings. It protects the gilding method from getting damaged, scratched, and even the possibility of it getting removed from the surface itself.

  • Post-paint sealing.

This process of sealing gold leaf is far different from the first one. If you are applying gold leaf over an almost finished painting, best to work with post-paint sealing. This is like protecting the painting surface and gold leaf at the same time.

You are not just protecting the gilded area, even the painting surface is protected too. You can use an archival varnish to achieve stunning results. The best part about archival varnish is that they have UV protection to keep your paint and gilded area from fading its colours.

 

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The archival varnish can last for a longer time and you can remove them when the surface gets dirty or dusty. They are removable and work on adding a newly coated layer afterwards. It will help protect your artwork for a longer period of time.

Results vary for these types of sealing when applying gold leaf on your acrylic paintings. Best to check which product works best to achieve the perfect results you are aiming for.

 

Beginners Guide To Gold Leaf Application Over Acrylic or Oil Painting

The factors mentioned above affect how you apply gold leaf on your acrylic paintings. Here’s a quick beginners guide and how to do it effectively:

Step 1. Work on your painting surface.

StunGold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings
Applying gold leaf on your painting – Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

Apply preferred colours on the painting surface. The procedure is more like preparing to add the gold leaf for later. If you visualize your idea of where to add the gold leaf, do so, and pain your acrylics over it.

You can also modify the painting surface texture based on your style and preference.

Step 2. Apply gold leaf adhesive on your painting surface.

There are two types of gilding adhesive to work on with. The water-based adhesive and the solvent-based gold leaf adhesive. If you are working with your acrylics, best to go for the non-toxic type water-based adhesive.

On the other hand, if you will apply your gold leaf over the painting surface, best to use the solvent-based type of adhesive for oil paints.

Step 3. Apply your gold leaf on the areas where you covered with adhesive.

You can even wait a little bit of time until your adhesive is tacky.

  1. The gold leaf will stick easily or use wax paper to lift off the gold leaf from its sheet.
  2. Do this by creating static over the gold leaf.
  3. Rub it off with wax paper over your gold leaf.
  4. Once you have to lift off the gold leaf, you can apply some pressure over the wax paper into your painting surface covered with adhesive.
  5. Use a soft cloth to do this process. Let the adhesive be completely dried. This will take some time between a couple of days to even a week.

 

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Step 4. Remove the excess gold leaf over your painting surface.

You can do this by using a small paintbrush.

Step 5. Apply your paint sealant; whether prepaint or post paint sealant.

This will protect your gold leaf for the next step, based on your style or preference.

You can choose either you will apply paint or not in your gilded area. There are also different ways on how you can do gilding from different painting medium like watercolors for example.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. I simply want to say I’m all new to blogs and really enjoyed this blog. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You certainly have outstanding articles. Bless you for sharing with us your web site.

    • Awesome! Glad you’ve found this article more helpful than we do. We appreciate you’re effort and would love to hear more stories from you! Keep us posted, cheers to more wonderful arts!

  2. I am very grateful for your effortsto putt on this
    article. This guide is very informative, updated and translucent.
    Can I expect you will post this type of another article inthe nearr future?

    Best regards,
    Demir Raahauge

    • Sure will do that! And we’re equally grateful to you too. We’ll keep you posted and let’s share more wonderful experiences! Cheers and have a wonderful day!

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences and techniques! It seems that you have found a good way to work with real gold leaf as well as imitation leaf. I too have seen oxidized imitation leaves that were still in a book. Keeping the imitation leaf in airtight packages certainly helps to prevent that. Thank you for that extra tip!

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