View Full Version : Gold Leaf on Metal

Steve Clarkson
05-08-2009, 6:25 AM
So I engraved a piece of metal for someone (not really sure what kind) and it was very dull......not like the bright white you normally get with anodized aluminum.....just a blah grey color.

I figured that since it didn't come out well, that the guy wouldn't like it......but he DID!!!! Actually, he said that the mark could be gold leafed and would look great.

So my question is.....how do you golf leaf metal? Is there a specific product you use to do it? How durable is it?


Joe Pelonio
05-08-2009, 8:12 AM
I think for something with really small detail it would be far easier to paint fill it with gold leaf paint, available at art supply stores. It's gold paint with actual gold in it. If the engraving is 1/2" letters or larger, then I might consider gold leaf. Either way you would need to engrave through a mask.

Gold leaf on metal is done by applying size, a clear adhesive to the masked engraved area. The size is allowed to dry until it reaches the right tackiness. The the leaf is applied with a very fine haired brush. It sticks to the size and becomes permanent. Since it's 100% real gold it will last a long time. If you google there are probably tutorials on it. Most of the gold leafing I have done has been on wood and glass. On wood the gold leaf lasts longer than the paint around it. On glass, as on an office door, it lasts forever.

The leaf and size I use are from a sign supply, but art stores sell it too. Patent leaf is easier to work with, it's on a wax paper tissue backing.

Steve Clarkson
05-08-2009, 8:34 AM
Thanks Joe.

You definitely need a mask though, huh? Considering it would be a logo with text, I don't think I want to go through all that. The way this guy was talking, he implied that he could almost just paint on the gold leaf and it would only stick to the engraving.

Joe Pelonio
05-08-2009, 9:14 AM
It will stick to anywhere the size is, so like paint, you need a mask. Unless you have a REEEAAAAL steady hand! :rolleyes:

Ray Mighells
05-08-2009, 12:23 PM
Well said Joe, don't get any size where you don't want gold to stick. I buy my 23K Gold Leaf in paper backed rolls. You can get widths of .5, .75 and 1 inch. Less waste. Sign materials suppliers carry it.

George D Gabert
05-08-2009, 2:22 PM
Laserbits.com has a product called laser foil that is adhesive backed. I think you put it on liks masking and vector the outlines and weed excass. I have not used it but have seen it demo'd


Steven Wallace
05-09-2009, 5:23 PM
The foil is relatively permanent but not like gold leaf. And it surely is not of the same quality. It is great for some applications but not all.