Questions on gilding a headstone

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Bob Rochon
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:47 pm

Questions on gilding a headstone

Post by Bob Rochon » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:22 am

This is a personal project that I need to make sure it is done correctly

The headstone in question is my father's, Since his passing almost 2 years ago I have been working to get my mother and brother to agree to gild just the last name on his headstone. Knowing my Dad and his love of gold, this would be a perfect addition. On the last trip this Christmas season my Mom made back home we traveled to the Cemetary together and I presented the idea again, which in the past was shot down repeatedly. She finally agreed this time and with my brother's blessing I now have the path clear to do this. It may seem trivial to some, but issues like this can be very sensitive to dance around.

The letters are raw granite, blasted but not carved. The face of the stone is polished black granite, the lettering is blasted but not very deep, there is an outline around the lettering that is blasted very deep. So what it appears is a black face, the outline is even darker with a light grey letter. I figure I would have to seal the granite first but do not know what would be the best product to do this with. Forgive me for not wanting to try and error on his headstone. I want to get this right the first time.

What would I need to seal the granite with first and are there any pitfalls I would neeed to watch out for, or pay attention to working with stone?
Would this be any different than traditional gilding?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I will thank you in advance.
"Some People's Kids"

Danny Baronian
Site Admin
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:16 am

Post by Danny Baronian » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:40 am

Hi Bob,

seal the granite with shellac, then gild and clean as usual. Any gold left can be cleaned using a 1 x 2 x 6 piece of wood with a piece of brown grocery bag wrapped around the wood. Lay the wood/paper on the granite, making sure the block bridges the letters, use it like a sanding block.

Use loose leaf if you have a calm day. If not use patent leaf, or loose leaf on wax paper. The slightest wind will take considerably longer as you watch gold float around.

A cuttlebone could also be used for clean up, found at most pet stores. Take care you don't slip into the letters. Any remaining size is cleaned up with solvent and Q tips.

Good luck,

Danny Baronian
Baronian Mfg.
CNC Routing & Fabrication

Doug Bernhardt
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:29 am
Location: Ottawa Canada

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:25 pm

A quick addition....I have done this a couple of times and used a quick drying varnish like Bulletin spar as opposed to the shellac. Went like a dream.

Bobbie Rochow
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:18 pm
Location: Jamestown,PA

Burnish Sealer?

Post by Bobbie Rochow » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:19 am

How would the Rolco Burnish Sealer work, to seal the stone? Would it be more work, since, I think you need to sand it down smoooth? My old friend who passed last year had used itt o seal sandstone he had gilded for our church, & I was also thinking of using it to gild his black granite headstone.

Mark River
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:02 am

Re: Questions on gilding a headstone

Post by Mark River » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:32 am

I hope this article definitely helps you a lot ... graves.htm

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