Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

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Adding gold leaf to 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 painting?

Why Apply 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.

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

The gilding process means applying gold leaf over your painting surface using the adhesive specially designed for this process. It is the most straightforward process to apply gold leaf over a painting surface, though it is another way to do it via water. However, that process is tricky for beginners.

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.

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 moving forward.

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

Recommended


Multipurpose Edible Premium-Quality Gold Sheets 8x8cm Gilding, Deco, DIY, FoodLumenGold is the purest gold leaf sheet that is made of premium-quality gold pigments. it’s made with the highest standards of production. This genuine gold leaf is made of 99.9% gold that is multifunctional and safe to eat.Decorate your canvas with this professional-grade gold sheet you can easily apply on any surface. With gold included in your painting surface, it adds stunning effects to every artwork. One thing worth noting about this gold leaf is that it is kosher-certified.Features:

 

  • Professional-grade gold leaf sheets for stunning canvas surface
  • Multifunctional, can be used for arts, baking, and decorating
  • 100% Edible
  • Easy to use and apply on a painting surface
  • Guaranteed to last longer
  • Kosher-certified

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:

It’s made with 99.9% premium-quality gold pigments that offer attractive benefits both for artworks and foods. It’s edible and lasts longer on the painting surface. This gold leaf is easy to use, apply and adds sophistication to your work.

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Difference Between Real Gold Leaf And 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. It’s highly recommended for beginners to try the imitation ones as they are more affordable and have similar effects on painting surfaces. Once you have gained enough confidence and experience with the process, feel free to use real gold leaf.

Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

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

You can use a gold leaf adhesive, the most straightforward process and recommend for beginners.

You can apply the gold leaf with the water process; it requires experience due to the complicated procedures.

Using an imitation gold leaf on your acrylic paintings allows you to have various color selections to choose from. Imitation gold leaf is made from zinc and copper. On the other hand, real gold leaves come from natural 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. 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.

 

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Barnabas Blattgold Genuine 24K Gold Leaf Sheets (3.1 Inches) 25 Booklet Sheets – Loose LeafThese real gold leaf sheets will include sophistication on your painting surface. It’s made with real 24 karat gold genuine pigments that’s ideal for professional artists worldwide. It’s multifunctional and can be used on almost any surface, including canvas, metal, walls, and ceilings.

If you want to retain gold’s natural beauty on your painting surface, you can use a wax-free sealant on your gold surface. This gold leaf sheet is flexible, durable, and offers excellent results.

Features:

  • Easy to use and apply
  • Professional grade gold sheets
  • High-quality
  • High-quality
  • Multifunctional
  • Durable
  • 24K genuine gold pigments

Why Buy This Gold Sheets: It helps you enhance your painting skills by using high-quality and long-lasting gold sheets used by professional artists. This gives a stunning result on any surface you apply it. It’s easy to use and works based on your preference. Worth the price with the quality you get.

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Factors To Consider When Gilding

You’ll achieve a stunning artwork surface when you use gold leaf alongside your acrylic painting. This article 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.
Gold leaf in oil painting
Adding gold leaf on your oil painting – Apply Gold Leaf In Oil Painting With 5 Easy Steps

Suppose you are gilding with a painting surface from acrylics or oil paints; best to seal it via pre-painting. This is done if you mix 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. Suppose you are applying gold leaf over an almost finished painting; best to work with post-paint sealing. It’s 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 covered 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.

The archival varnish can last for a longer time, and you can remove them when the surface gets dirty or dusty. It’s removable and works on adding a newly coated layer afterward. It will help protect your artwork for a more extended time.

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

 

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Mona Lisa Speedball Metal Gilding leaf Adhesive 32oz USA-madeThis water-based multifunctional metal or gold leaf professional-grade adhesive is excellent for transforming and quickly adding gold leaf pigments or sheets to your painting surface. It allows you to evenly and smoothly apply sealant on specific areas of your painting surface you are working with.

It dries in less than 30 minutes, which allows artists to work faster on their painting surface. With great coverage, you can easily brush this adhesive into any painting surface, including paper, canvas, wood, plastic, and more. In case you have spilled a few on your hand or other surfaces, you can conveniently clean it off with water.

Features:

  • It offers excellent surface coverage
  • Easy to use and provides a quick application
  • Works on almost any surface
  • Durable and last longer
  • Easy to clean any mess
  • USA-made
  • Water-based adhesive

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:

This multifunctional and premium-quality gold leaf adhesive allows easy and great coverage on the surface you are working with. It’s ideal for newcomer and professional gilders working with both real gold leaf and imitation ones. It’s water-based, which means you can easily clean all product residue without any pain. On top of that, it’s remarkably affordable.

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Beginners Guide To Gold Leaf Application Over Acrylic Paintings

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.

Apply preferred colors 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 paint your acrylics over it.

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

Step 2. Apply gold leaf adhesive on 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

There are two types of gilding adhesive to work on with. The water-based adhesive and the solvent-based gold leaf adhesive. Suppose 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 to the preferred surface area.

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

The gold leaf will stick easily or use wax paper to lift off the gold leaf from its sheet.

  • Do this by creating static over the gold leaf.
  • Rub it off with wax paper over your gold leaf.
  • 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.
  • Use a soft cloth to do this process. Let the adhesive be thoroughly dried. This will take some time between a couple of days to even a week.

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

You can do this by using a small paintbrush.

Step 5. Apply your paint sealant.

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

You can choose whether you will apply paint or not in your gilded area. There are also different ways to do gilding from other painting mediums like watercolors, for example.

 

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KINGART 12Pcs Set Paintbrush Original Golden Acrylic Handle TAKLON This 12-piece set paintbrush is ideally made from premium-quality materials that are baked for optimal absorption and softness. The designs, sizes, and shapes are hand-chosen to match every painting medium. The soft and smooth brush heads in various sizes enable you to have full control over any painting technique you are working with.

It’s a significant investment or gift for the artist in your life. The paintbrush set comes in a luxurious and sturdy box to ensure your extended hand for arts is secured for every painting session. KINGART brushes come in gloss and gold black handle that comes in nickel-plated silver crimped.

Features:

  • Multipurpose and versatile
  • Aesthetic design with guaranteed premium-quality materials
  • Easy to use, ideal for beginners and experienced artists
  • Durable, low-maintenance, and conveniently easy to clean

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:
These paint brushes are essential tools to enhance your painting skills. Whether you are a newcomer or practicing a new painting technique, these brushes are versatile, reliable, and multifunctional.

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What To Look For When Buying Gold Leaf

Preparing all your materials before painting is a vital process. It enables you to concentrate on the things that matter the most. Since gilding uses gold leaf, purchasing the right to fit your preference and style entirely is essential. Here’s what you need to check when buying gold leaf for your acrylic painting.

Size

The size of the surface you’ll be placing gold leaf is a significant element you’ll need to consider. This will help you decide whether you’ll need a large size leaf, or you can work with imitation flakes in bottles.

Color

The gilding process provides a luminous and luxurious finish. The higher the gold pigment present on a gold leaf, the more it costs. Real gold leaf sheets are made from beaten gold and apply on preferred surfaces.

Stunning 5 Ways To Add Gold Leaf On Your Acrylic Paintings

There are various colors available that match an artist’s preference and needs. Using real gold leaf can be tricky, and they cost more. Newcomer gilders prefer imitation to help them improve their skills until they are ready to use pricey real gold leaf.

You can choose several colors, including deeper or lighter gold hues, shades in pink, coppers, pewter, reds, teals, greens, terra cotta, and purple. Blue hues are complex as gold, and blue combinations often yield a greenish color.

Application

Checking how to apply your gold leaf through the painting surface is vital. Some gold leaf comes with complex instructions, while others are handy. One thing worth noting is that gold leaf is sensitive.

Others prefer applying gold leaf when the surface is quite tacky to ensure it doesn’t smear and the process is more straightforward. Gold leaf can offer an intense shine and distinction to an artwork.

If it’s your first time applying gold leaf on your painting surface, best to check our step-by-step guide to help you get familiar with the process and improve your skills moving forward.

Some artists rub the other side of a gold leaf onto paper or tissue and wear cotton gloves to prevent contact with gold leaf as it can cause oxidation and tarnishing.

 

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Edible Professional-Grade Gold Leaf Flakes 100mgThe key to successful gilding is to use high-quality gold leaf for your painting surface. These edible gold flakes allow you to improve the quality of every artwork you create by adding a touch of luxury. This 23karat gold flake is multipurpose as you can use it on top of your canvas, food, or drinks.

Secured in a crystal clear cube allows you to easily store it next to your painting essentials or on your cover for next use.

Features:

  • High-quality multipurpose gold flakes
  • Secured crystal-clear cube for easy storage
  • Edible, non-toxic, and guaranteed safe to use on artworks and baking needs
  • Versatile and long-lasting luxurious effects
  • Made in Germany

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:

This 23karat gold flake allows every artist to include a unique and luxurious touch on every artwork they create. It’s best for newcomers to gilding technique or if you are looking for exquisite ways to impress someone with your baking or decorating skills.

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Shine And Intensity

The color of your gold leaf varies with the quality you have purchased. We recommend using a higher quality gold leaf that may cost you a little compared to the lower price. The shine and intensity of a cheap gold leaf may not match what you need. Other beginner artists prefer to use high-quality products to make sure they achieve better results.

Artists who use the gilding technique want to stimulate gleaming ornamentation by using gold leaf. Gold leaf application can be tricky, but when applied correctly, you’ll have stunning results.

Quality

Expect excellent quality and stunning results when using real gold leaf. However, if you’ll be using imitation ones, the quality matters. You may opt for lower karats gold leaf without compromising the quality of your work.
 

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Kinno Real Gold-Leaf Edible 24Karat For Gilding + Baking (Gold And Silver Flakes)This multipurpose genuine gold and silver flake is guaranteed edible and passes all standard tests for safety and efficacy. This set comes with a tweezer, enabling you to pick and use your gold flakes anywhere safely. What’s best about this set is it’s multifunctional and versatile, allowing artists, newcomers, and advance, to add luxury on any surface they are working with.

With over 20 years of experience, this product is guaranteed from premium-quality real gold that enhances your painting skills. Whether you’re gilding or baking, it allows you to provide a touch of luxury on any painting surface. Kinno is a top-rated multipurpose gold flake for everyone.

Features:

  • Guaranteed safe and 100% edible
  • Multipurpose, ideal for painting, baking, and decorations
  • Complete genuine 24K gold and silver flakes with tweezer inclusion
  • Easy to use and apply
  • Top-rated pioneer gold leaf manufacturer with 20years of experience

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:

If you are looking for a premium-quality pioneer manufacturer of gold and silver flakes, Kinno is the brand to trust. It’s made with 24karats genuine gold and silver that comes with a tweezer to help you easily apply luxury to your artwork.

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Since you can mix gold with other metals, you can get a lower gold alloy if real gold is not within your range yet. Check for a gold leaf with 18, 16, or 12 karats for your decorated piece. Imitation gold leaf should check higher great quality products so you’ll still achieve stunning results.

Price

Lastly, your budget helps you find the perfect to meet your requirements. Whether you want to use real gold leaf or go for imitation varies with individual preference and style. Gold leaf price starts from $5 to $50 and up, depending on quality, durability, shine, and gold alloy present on each sheet or flakes.

How Long Does A Gold Leaf Last

The gilding process is a sophisticated process where artists include gold alloy on their painting surface. The process alone provides a luminous and stunning artwork. If properly applied, the surface can last between 20 to 30 years with an unsealed exterior. If you are using 23 karat gold leaf, some won’t recommend sealing them as the sealant properties can damage the surface after a long time.

The sealed surface can last between three to five years. The sealing process depends on the artist’s preference. As for beginners, it’s best to experiment with your painting surface and see which one works best for you. Some may not seal their gilded surface, while others will do it to protect the gilding method.

 

Recommended



Kinno Real Gold-Leaf Edible 24Karat For Gilding + Baking (Gold And Silver Flakes)This multipurpose genuine gold and silver flake is guaranteed edible and passes all standard tests for safety and efficacy. This set comes with a tweezer, enabling you to pick and use your gold flakes anywhere safely. What’s best about this set is it’s multifunctional and versatile, allowing artists, newcomers, and advance, to add luxury on any surface they are working with.

With over 20 years of experience, this product is guaranteed from premium-quality real gold that enhances your painting skills. Whether you’re gilding or baking, it allows you to provide a touch of luxury on any painting surface. Kinno is a top-rated multipurpose gold flake for everyone.

Features:

  • Guaranteed safe and 100% edible
  • Multipurpose, ideal for painting, baking, and decorations
  • Complete genuine 24K gold and silver flakes with tweezer inclusion
  • Easy to use and apply
  • Top-rated pioneer gold leaf manufacturer with 20years of experience

Why Buy This Gold Sheets:

If you are looking for a premium-quality pioneer manufacturer of gold and silver flakes, Kinno is the brand to trust. It’s made with 24karats genuine gold and silver that comes with a tweezer to help you easily apply luxury to your artwork.

BUY NOW!

 

Our Verdict:

 

Our top choice: 

Barnabas Blattgold Genuine 24K Gold Leaf Sheets (3.1 Inches) 25 Booklet Sheets – Loose Leaf

These real gold leaf sheets will include sophistication on your painting surface. It’s made with real 24 karat gold genuine pigments that’s ideal for professional artists worldwide. It’s multifunctional and can be used on almost any surface, including canvas, metal, walls, and ceilings.

If you want to retain gold’s natural beauty on your painting surface, you can use a wax-free sealant on your gold surface. This gold leaf sheet is flexible, durable, and offers excellent results. 

BUY NOW

Runner UP:

24k Real Gold Leaf Sheets 3.1″ 25pcs Booklet Loose Leaf

This professional-grade gold leaf enhances the quality of your painting surface and adds value to it. It’s made with high-quality genuine 24l gold pigments. It’s delicate yet conveniently easy to apply. 

If you are looking for stunning gilding effects on your acrylic painting, this is a must-but item—one of the most top-rated products used for gold leaf application.

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Good Deal: 

Multipurpose Edible Premium-Quality Gold Sheets 8x8cm Gilding, Deco, DIY, Food

LumenGold is the purest gold leaf sheet that is made of premium-quality gold pigments. it’s made with the highest standards of production. This genuine gold leaf is made of 99.9% gold that is multifunctional and safe to eat. 

Decorate your canvas with this professional-grade gold sheet you can easily apply on any surface. With gold included in your painting surface, it adds stunning effects to every artwork. One thing worth noting about this gold leaf is that it is kosher-certified.

BUY NOW

Final Words

The gilding technique is one of the best painting techniques that you should try at least once in your painting journey. It allows you to include luxury on any painting surface. The more you practice and work on this technique, the more you can improve your skills. The aforementioned products will help you improve your skills, especially if you are working with gold leaf on your acrylic paintings.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Hello, looking for tips on sealing or varnishing an acrylic painting where I put imitation gold leaf in small areas. I want to keep the gold shiny with the rest of the painting matte. The only solution I have is to manually brush a glossy/seal on the gold areas and manually brush on a matte varnish on the acrylic paint areas. Any other ideas? Thank you!

    • Thanks for dropping by Angela! I use archival varnish to seal delicate golf leaf areas to retain their intensity and shine. You can manually brush or spray the glossy archival varnish to seal and prime your gilded acrylic surface as it’s delicate and prone to damages like scratch, dust, and other elements.

      For the whole acrylic surface, you can brush off a matte sealant if you want to keep the surface matte or less glossy.

      It’s all about an artist’s preference whether to choose a glossy or matte varnish. The main reason why several artists apply “varnish/sealant” is to protect the surface against various elements that may compromise the quality of an artwork.

      Hope I help you out and don’t forget to update us! I’d love to see your artwork too!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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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I create this website to help all of you that are interested in the arts. I collect all pieces of information and tutorials on how to start your project. I hope you will enjoy each of the articles that are created for you. Don't forget to leave a comment on how to improve our website. Thank you for reading!

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