Gold leaf vs gold paint on carved wood signs
The Wood Chisels Edge
Gold leaf Vs Gold paint
A lot of people ask me these days if with the advances in paint technology it would be better to go with gold paint instead of gold leaf. The answer is kind of complicated but I will explain. I would love to find a paint alternative to gold leaf as the application of gold leaf is a pain in the ass, it requires a great amount of skill and time to be done right. Here is the process- First you have to mask off the entire area to be gold leafed. then you have to apply varnish and almost allow it to completely dry, you then apply the gold leaf which is expensive and hard to get. This can be a three day affair or more. Gold paint can be done in one day or even in a few hours. The results though are just not the same, Gold leaf is simply brighter and longer lasting. To put it bluntly there is no replacement yet for gold leaf that is cost effective. You might ask why. Here's the answer, Gold paint like liquid leaf comes close in appearance but the longevity just isn't there. For liquid leaf to look its best it has to be left without a clear coat and this is why it goes to pot in around one to two years of exterior exposure. So what about a clear coat for it? As soon as you put a decent UV inhibitor clear coat (Epifanes etc.) on liquid leaf or an equivalent the gold paint dulls to a gold mud like appearance. all of the color and luster is lost. A work around for this is to use a water based poly acrylic but its exterior longevity is dubious at best. Another alternative which I have not tried yet would be the Alsa chrome products with a gold clear tint.. but until I try it I still have to suggest real gold leaf as the brightest and durable gold finish. I will continue the search though as I love the bright gold look especially when it contrast to the natural beauty of carved wood signs.
Have a good day,
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