Easy Water Gilded Pinstripe Jig

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Andrew Lawrence
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Easy Water Gilded Pinstripe Jig

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:26 pm

I came upon a job where a client wanted some long pinstripes on a door. The problem was that they were nearly 8' long x 31" wide... and there were two doors. The real kicker was that they wanted burnished or mirrored gold leaf. Yikes.

I learned about 5 years ago from Noel Weber how to lay roll gold for pinstripes, so I was going to apply that knowledge to this job. Problem was that it was a lot of gold. I initially used a roll I bought from WB about 1/2" - it worked ok but the edges didn't release perfectly. After laying 67 linear feet of gold, I took out my second roll of old Hastings Roll gold in the same size. The old Hastings roll gold actually worked better and released perfectly, BUT it was noticeably more dull. Well, I went through another 67 linear feet of that roll, and did a third gild. At this point I realize perfection is an ideal us gilders hold up, yet at this moment I was going to have to settle for a little less and managed to cover most holidays and seems.

After the gold was laid and burnished, it was time to use my magic striping jig. The jig is just two clothes pins glued together for scoring a perfect pinstripe in the mirrored gold. One clothes pin offsets it from the window and acts as a guide when run along the frame, the second clothes pin makes a perfect stripe.

After I made the border, I varnished the gold with Quick Rubbing Varnish. After which I went home and drank a few beers. The next day I removed all the excess with cotton and water. After that it looked pretty ... good. Any other holidays were patched with a quick rubbing varnish and surface gilded. I threw on another coat of Epifanes Marine Spar for good measure and then got the sign off from the client and interior designer whom I've worked for on numerous occasion.


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Alex Sheldon
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:49 am
Location: Detroit, MI
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Re: Easy Water Gilded Pinstripe Jig

Post by Alex Sheldon » Fri May 03, 2019 9:30 am

Fantastic tip, Andrew! The thought to use clothespins to scratch a pinstripe into gold and skip backing paint is a great show of ingenuity to acheive something that could have easily taken 10x the amount of time if done with books of gold, backing paint and trimming. It looks amazing!

On a related note - I tried using some old 1" Hastings rolled gold for borders on scalloped glass and ran into the same issue of the edges not releasing. Noel Webber and Bill Reidel shared some tips on using surface gold and rolled gold in water gilds and I was eager to try it. I have a theory that handling the rolls with your bare hands (opposed to cotton gloves) might be the culprit as trace amounts of oil could be enough to keep the gold from releasing. I haven't been able to do any tests, but I'd be interested to hear others experience with rolled gold and its uses in water gilding.

Doug Bernhardt
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:29 am
Location: Ottawa Canada
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Re: Easy Water Gilded Pinstripe Jig

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:19 pm

Perfect solution to a problem....I actually own one of Glawson and Evans' scribbers which looks very much like a carpenters scribe with a wood dowel instead of the carpenters sharp metal one. The one I have was used on the PT Copperpots pieces he did for Universal Studios...not bragging but just acknowledging the technique you used with that of a mastercraftsman like Rick

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