Gold Leaf peeling

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Adam Gonzalez
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 9:15 pm

Gold Leaf peeling

Post by Adam Gonzalez » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:59 pm

Hello! This is my first post on this site and i don't know where else to go for answers.
Anyways, I have a customer that has what it looks like a 23k gild but it is totally destroyed and peeling, I did not do this job but another person did.
My customer would like to have the whole thing re done, now this customer of mine is a baker and the window just happens to be right against the oven. I'm 100% percent sure that this is the reason why this is happening. Does anyone have any recommendations on whether or not I should redo it and if so if there is a another varnish I should use besides the one that is sold on Letter Head Sign Supply?

PS it was sealed.
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Lee Littlewood
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:36 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: Gold Leaf peeling

Post by Lee Littlewood » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:13 am

How old is this job? I notice that the black shading looks quite deteriorated, which usually takes awhile. And the black seems to be breaking up & down, which makes me think of condensation running down the windows. By comparison, the leaf is mostly solid (except for ‘croissant’) with big chips missing.
So yes, I would worry about being close to the ovens, but more about facing into the sun (if it does). Heat (from front or back) will make the paint film dry, then drier, then brittle as the volatile elements are driven out. And once it is an inflexible, brittle film, paint will begin to separate because it cannot move with the glass as the pane expands and contracts - you can sometimes see actual air bubbles in a solid black shade on a window where the paint has pulled away and now looks like a different color - i think the left edges of C & R in ‘croissant’ show this.

Suggestions? Clean glass and gild and backup as usual, But when you do the black shade try to slow the paint down a little with linseed oil and some driers, and let it sit for awhile (maybe over a weekend) before the clearcoat.
Then use vinyl, not varnish for the clear. The very best film i’ve found is SignGold tedlar clear - very expensive and i don’t think available any more (...). But there are some anti-grafitti clears and other Tedlars, and i think that all of them will protect against condensation and abrasion better than varnishes will. I don’t know if films will do any better in keeping the paint film flexible, but I don’t think they’ll be worser.
The big pain with films is that (for me) pre-cutting has not worked out, so I have to lay the film over gold right on the glass (dry), and then cut around the shapes with a sharp blade. A brush is a lot easier for me to handle, but a light touch with a sharp blade helps. Another problem is that you really don’t want to trap solvents or moisture under the film, so letting everything cure out adds more waiting time to the job. (One time I did do a wet lay of translucent vinyl over the shaded leaf, and yes the leaf did bubble up some but then it laid back down - no cracks, but an ‘antique’ look.)

Or redesign the job, using panels in back of the gold. Again I would use vinyl for the panels, but a good coat of paint will certainly protect the gold. I wonder if anyone has used water-base paint for a panel in back of leaf? Water-base is physically tougher than oil-base, and it seems more flexible, and I have seen it stick to glass like grim death.
where am i? Now, when i need me...

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