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Varnish over gold leaf

One part science, five parts experimentation. Every wood boat veteran has their secret recipe for a showy finish. Share your trials and triumphs.

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Tom Gruenauer
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Varnish over gold leaf

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:53 pm

Looking for advise on varnishing over gold leaf. It was recommended to make sure I remove ALL of the tiny specs of gold left behind. Very nervous about varnishing over the artwork.
Thanks

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John DeVries
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Location: George, IA
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Re: Varnish over gold leaf

Post by John DeVries » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:12 pm

Hello Tom,

I have done only one gold leaf job, but it turned out pretty well and the owner of the boat gave it a score of 85 out of 100. I'm working on improving that number.

There wasn't a problem with small flakes - they all seemed to disappear with a light brushing.

One thing that the owner insisted on was that I use Epifanes Rapidclear for the two protection coats. I didn't really like working with the Rapidclear, but it didn't dull the gold like normal Epifanes did.

John

Tom Gruenauer
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Re: Varnish over gold leaf

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:14 am

Did you roll or brush over the completed leaf?

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John DeVries
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Re: Varnish over gold leaf

Post by John DeVries » Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:30 pm

Tom,

I used a foam brush. The varnish was applied lightly and slowly, but I'm not sure that was necessary. I think the gold leaf was pretty well attached to the sizing.

I have since changed my varnish application method. The varnish is rolled on horizontally with a 4" foam roller, then rolled vertically, then tipped horizontally with a foam brush. The brush starts ahead of the new varnish area and ends in the previous area. Fish eyes, sags, holidays, and vertical lap lines are now all things of the past.

Sorry about the long reply times. An annoying little thing called Wordfence keeps denying access to "log in" and a temporary alternate password only works occasionally.

John

Tom Gruenauer
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:47 pm
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Re: Varnish over gold leaf

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:10 am

Thank you for getting back to me with your information.
I use the roll and tip method also.
Just waiting for the weather in WNY to get in to the lower 70"s to apply over my artwork.
85degrees and 85% humidity does not work for me.

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