- Calcium Carbonate
How To Use Gesso For Gilding
Gilding with gold leaf can be tricky, but we’ll tell you some key details to help make things easier for you. For gilding, mix the gesso powder with water and hide glue. Our hide glue is perfect for combining with this gesso powder. **See our hide glue in our store to read more about how to use it.** Once you’ve read the instructions and know how to prepare hide glue, slowly add gesso powder into the melted hide glue. Be cautious about this step because you may introduce bubbles if you work too quickly. You don’t want those bubbles to show on your project! Mix carefully and add until the finished result resembles heavy cream. For application, you will need about ten layers of your gilding gesso mix. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next coat. Dry time depends on your environment’s humidity and temperature, but it usually takes several days. Sand down the dried gesso until it’s completely flat to avoid the metal leaf from looking less than perfect!
The more water you add, the thinner your gesso solution will be. Items with finer detail will generally need a more watery consistency of gesso. Thinned gesso means a smoother finish, but be sure to add multiple coats. We recommend sanding down any bumps to your completely dried gesso if you want a perfectly flat finish. On the other hand, the less water you add, the more texturized your gesso will become. This will create a more distressed look and may require less coats. As you can see, powdered gesso allows for more flexibility in the result you want for your project!
(If you’re a beginner in gilding with gesso, practice makes perfect. We recommend starting with our sample size of gold leaf (5 sheets) before you begin your actual gilding project with gesso.)