Backing up Silver Gild

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Jen_Smitten
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Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:35 pm

Hi!

I am new to the forum. Also I am fairly new to sign painting on glass as well. I am a textile Airbrush Artist for 20 years now and am expanding my interests into sign painting and more specifically on glass.

My question is- I am working on a glass painting job for a local coffee shop. I want to incorporate gilding with silver leaf but have read that it can tarnish with contact to oil based paint. So after I gild the silver leaf do I back the leaf with a water-based paint? And then can I back it with an oil based varnish such as 1 Shot? I am using 1 Shot lettering enamel for the line work.

Any help is appreciated.
Kent Smith's book of Gold Leaf Techniques has been an invaluable source of information and was highly recommended.

I'm attaching my first sign painting gig I reverse painted with 1-Shot and imitation gold leaf engine turned.

Best,

Jen
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Jerry Berg
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jerry Berg » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:15 pm

Hi Jen,

That looks really good. Don't use silver leaf. Use 12k gold leaf. It is 1/2 gold and 1/2 silver and
won't tarnish. Back it up with back up enamel. You can get it here http://letterheadsignsupply.com/glassgi ... amel-paint

Jerry

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:21 pm

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for the compliment and thank you for the reply.

Awesome. I was wondering if that was a better option. I will use the 12K leaf instead.

best,

Jen

Doug Bernhardt
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:18 pm

Just a quick addition. Use a back-up like Decor for this....also available at Letterheads Supply. One shot is really not the best choice for use on glass period. Silver is a brighter silver in appearance and used as you describe the earlier mentioned concerns should not be a problem....after all white gold is still mostly silver. The colour is warmer. Also...those are amazing "first time out" photos.

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:49 am

Thank you Doug!

Thank you for the reply and your suggestions.

Yeah it seems I am hearing about issues with 1 Shot on glass these days? Are there more favorable enamels for hand lettering on glass?


Best,

Jen

Larry White
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Larry White » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:14 am

When using silver leaf, I like to back it up with asphaltum varnish.
However, asphaltum is not strong enough to remove excess leaf
when water gilded. I too, would suggest the 12K leaf backed with
the enamal screen ink, rather than OneShot.

Nice job by the way!
Larry White
That's enough for now... it's gettin' late
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http://www.walljewelry.com

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:26 pm

Thank you Larry!

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:41 am

Hot Stuff! You're sure this is your first glass job?

Watergild is of course in it's own class, and you're gonna have fun with it - 23K or 12k. But don't forget the possibilities of the powderpuff or 'snapper special' technique. Apply a clear varnish (or goldsize), let it tack up a bit, then go over it with aluminum bronze powder, using a ladies powderpuff or a foam brush. NOT TOO MUCH. Lots of people have quit this technique after making a big blowing mess by using lots of powder - a little at a time, gently rubbed into the varnish. You can get quite a good shine if the size is setting up, or more matte if its wetter.

On the outside of windows it was known as a "snapper special" because a snapper could blow into town and letter a couple windows in aluminum, shade them (around here in red or green, don't know why), get paid and do it again in the afternoon. Twenty years later the shades would be almost gone, but the letters still solid, because the aluminum protected the varnish from sunlight.

On the inside it is a bit slower and trickier. The mess factor is important, but the main trick is to clean the glass as if for a gold job - very carefully - and then you can wipe off the haze of bronze around the design with wet cotton. Or use a stencil.

Advantages: cheap, historic, can do it with a mask or freehand lettering, very durable on the outside of glass (but then you can only use aluminum, the aluminum bronzes all tarnish). Also one can do 2 or 3 color jobs, by working from the bottom up - a gold bronze letter with a silver middle, all blended nicely together. And with mica powders or glitter there are some great effects possible, but they usually require an opaque back coat.

Don't know why I'm rambling on about this - just something about the window with "8" made me think of it. And did I mention that it is cheaper than gold leaf?
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Anthony Bennett
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Anthony Bennett » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:24 am

That's very interesting information Lee, it would make a good thread of it's own.

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:04 pm

Thank you Lee!
And thank you for your post. It was great information and techniques that I haven't heard of. Very interesting. And as mentioned sounds like a great new topic to post.

Best,

Jen

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:51 am

The windows regarding the question in which I started this post...
Here are two pictures of my windows in progress I am painting for a new Espresso / Cocktail place. I have plans for palladium leaf, engine turned in the S, and water gilded 12K outside the S but within the oval. And then silver paint inside the frame.
There are a total of 3 large windows (different designs) and then two entrance doors to be painted.
Any comments are welcome.

Best

Jen
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Marius Mellebye
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Marius Mellebye » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:30 pm

Got not much experience, but it´s a beautiful design! Looking forward to see the progress! :-)

Marius
Marius Mellebye / 276ccm Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/276ccm Blog: http://276ccm.blogspot.no

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Lee Littlewood » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:04 pm

Jen, are you going to be water gilding over paint (or palladium leaf, if I read you right)?
LeBlanc refers to the gelatin size crawling away from the painted lines, I think he calls it "irritating". "Disastrous" is closer to it. LeBlanc suggests a bit of dishwashing detergent in the size, but that rarely did it for me. What seems to work well is to dust over the dry paint with kaolin powder, and then wipe it off gently with a damp chamois or soft rag. We keep a pounce bag of kaolin in the kit, in a ziplock plastic bag to protect from grease and oils. My theory is that the kaolin powder absorbs grease sitting on top of the paint, and then it all get wiped off. It has worked well for us.
Now, how to get kaolin, and is there something else that works as well? Kaolin is a common material in the ceramics industry - maybe a part of some clay mixes? - so a ceramic supplier might have some very fine grind powder. Letterhead Supply carries it. If my 'grease absorbing' guess is right, white flour might work, but I have not tried it.

In any case you have to be careful with watersize over paint, because you have to flow the size on and it will try to get under the paint, especially thin lines. All the more reason to 1) clean the glass well before starting, and try not to make smears while working, and 2) use a paint that is tough and sticks well to glass. Also maybe try to keep the watersize from sitting on the paint longer than necessary - after the gold is down, maybe roll a roll of paper towels over the 'downstream' wet to pick it up quickly.

That is a gorgeous design. What are wolves all about??
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Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:50 pm

Hi Lee,

What you have mentioned was definitely something I have been contemplating and concerned about.

Yes I was thinking of Palladium or Aluminum leaf, engine turned, inside the S logo and then outside the S, but with in the frame doing the water gilding with 12K. Though having done a test on separate glass the Palladium appears to be really dull in comparison to the Aluminum leaf.

I've read many things (so much my brain is overloaded!) but are there generally any long term problems with using Aluminum leaf?

I did use 1-shot for the paint. I cleaned the glass really well with wax and grease remover, bon ami, and isopropyl alcohol- a couple times.

I did read about the detergent. There seems to be Kaolin in the beauty sections online that may suffice.

Thank you- I didn't design it. It was a clip art that I modified and added the wolves. The co-owner is partial to wolves and ask for them to be added. And the center S is the logo for the coffee shop that they had designed previously.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I'm debating on skipping the water gilding on this project. I still have two other windows to complete as well (different design with more lettering) and also on a time crunch- Of course :)

best,

Jen

John Studden
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by John Studden » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:47 pm

If you could clean the windows before Gilding with Cerium Oxide & a Jitterbug sander & a felt pad it would give a lot better adhesion to the paint. As far as paint goes for this job do not use Dekor or Back up enamel if it is exposed to sunlight, it will eventually turn grey. Nazdar 6100 series fast dry black enamel will work well here, 1-shot is not suitable, it cannot be rubbed very hard & will break down.
As far as water Gilding is concerned in this case I would do everything else first, then very lightly scuff the hard edge of the paint with 0000 steel wool, clean the area with a glass cleaner then add 2 drops of Ivory washing up liquid or your equivalent this will pull the Gold to the paint line without leaving a gap or streaking the Gild.............Nice work, good luck.
John Studden
Valencia Signs, California

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Lee Littlewood » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:18 pm

"I have plans for palladium leaf, engine turned in the S, and water gilded 12K outside the S but within the oval. And then silver paint inside the frame."

There's gonna be a lot of silver color, with a touch of gold in the wolves and all the black rococo.
So a spun "S" inside a silver mirror shape, with black&silver painted border shape, right?

The spun "S" is the easy part - Aluminum on WundaSize, or on quickSize - just gotta get it at the right time with a velvet pad on a cordless drill. Aluminum is probably the most durable leaf, and brighter than the others.
The mirror shape is the trickiest part, what with drips and overlaps onto the border. I would finish the border (in 1Shot silver, or some mica powder, or even 1Shot white); then do the "S" and back it up (probably 1Shot silver, or a light grey - the 1Shot metallics have a slightly bumpy texture when dry, and John Studden's suggestion about knocking the edges back is good, but harder on a matte surface); and THEN you have the clear glass for gilding at your mercy.

You might think about what it will look like from the inside. Backing up in a grey might be less harsh than a big black shape.
and one more thought - if you did the "mirror" area in a light color of paint, you could stipple it to be semi-transparent, and then the big "S" would read at night.

Heck of a project, you rock. Any thoughts on how to protect it from the window-washers?
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Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:55 pm

Thank you John for your great suggestions.
And thank you Lee. Great suggestions as well!

Yes there is going to be a lot of silver color. I decided I'm not going to do the water gilding with the 12 Karat on these pieces and that I'm going to stick with Aluminum throughout. As posted below I did the engine turned aluminum in the S logo. As I did do the engine turned once before in the first posted sign I painted. Agreed the aluminum was much brighter then the other leafs I bought- the Palladium and 12K.
Since I have decided to not do the water gild I am now planning as follows
-the engine turn in the S logo
-matt aluminum in the Rococo frame
-and maybe white or just clear window for the oval around the S. I'm gonna see how it look after the other work is done.
I have decided about the 1-shot metallic silver. The super thickness of the window and a tint I am sure, the silver just seems to look grey'ish.
I did buy some Mica powder, in sparkle white I believe. I played with it mixed in with 1-shot clear.
I also order and received some of the Letterhead's Gilders Back up black and Bulletin spar. I know 1-shot is touchy about being cleared over- Do you think the Bulletin spar would work for backing the work and sealing the edges? I do have 1-shot hardner as well and read about using that in the back up.

What were you referring to Lee about finishing the border in silver, mica powder, or white? In the frame? With the mica powder do you tend to use it mixed in with like 1-shot clear?

Yes it's definitely one Heck of a project and there are more windows! I will post more! Oh yeah borders to do as well.

Thank you!!

Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:00 pm

Here is the Engine-turned aluminum I finished today.
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Lee Littlewood
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:26 am

so, the rococo border. One easy thing to do is to put a piece of paper behind it, to get an idea of what a straight color will do (remembering that the glass will tint any color you paint on - as you saw with the 1Shot silver). I am not convinced that you need to have more metallic color in the window - you have spun aluminum, and 2 tones of gold in the wolf heads, right?. Regular paint color in back of the black lines could be very nice - solid color (light blue? violet?), or blended (maroon to chocolate? light grey to cream?), or broken bits (3 shades of grey sponged on and left crunchy?). Honestly, the design is so strong it carries itself.

But if you want to keep with a 'lustrous' look, the gold bronzes or micas could be awesome. See my rant above about 'snapper special'. You can mix the powders into clear and use as paint, but you are more likely to get brush streaks that way than rubbing on with a puff. The bronzes (the full name is "aluminum bronze", and they are alloys of aluminum, but it is easier to just call the colors "bronzes" and the silver "aluminum") come in different particle sizes, so the coarsest ('brilliant') have the most sparkle and the worst coverage, and the finest ('superfine' and 'lining') are more even and cover well. The micas pretty much all seem to be translucent - but that can be a nice effect too. Here is a job I did some years ago; you can see the translucency in the russet mica (outer ring), but the color is so rich it looked just fine.
(And with 'brilliant' bronzes or micas you usually use a backup color for opacity, and this allows another chance for messing with the final color effect - gold color bronze backed up with gold paint looks one way, and backed up with dark blue looks different.)
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Jen_Smitten
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Re: Backing up Silver Gild

Post by Jen_Smitten » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:34 am

Beautiful work Lee. Thank you for showing those.

So cool- yes that definitely makes me think more about the color choices and some other options. The wolves just have a little white and then silver.

Thank you for taking the time to give me suggestions! I'll post more pictures as I get more done.

best,

Jen

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