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Enameling project with gold leaf


I’m busy with an enameling project that includes gold-leaf. I bought
the leaf from Thompson’s and have applied it to parts of my work.
However the gold-leaf, while it shine brilliantly in some parts, it
is dull and almost white/silver in colour in other parts. Why is this
and how do I remedy it??


Having fired on your base coat and counter enamel, then apply the
gold leaf having pricked it with a needle, to ensure the air
underneath gets out. fire it onto your base enamel so its bonded to

then burnish it when its cold with a glass fibre brush.

Then apply your top coat dusting it on. fire again.

Run a trial with some scrap metal base, to ensure you get the
technique right before attempting the final work.

Catherine -

Hopefully, that’s gold foil, not leaf. There’s a huge difference
in thickness. I bought gold leaf (elsewhere) one time & tried it in
enamels, and it’s not suitable. It’s designed for book pages, picture
frames, etc. When I used it in enamels, it was completely dull, even
under a clear enamel.

That said, once you fired down the gold layer, did you then cover it
with a clear or transparent coat of enamel? I have found any
discoloration during the gold firing stage magically disappears once
I have the next enamel layer on. Precious metal foils are not
designed to be part of the top coat…too easily abraded.

If this is not your problem, then I haven’t a clue as to what is
going on.

Kelley Dragon

Catherine, Probably the problem is due to your useing gold leaf and
not gold foil. Leaf is so thin that it is probably being absorbed by
the enamel.

I use a lot of gold foil in my enameling. However, I use the gold
foil one uses for Keum Boo, which is thicker than the foil sold by
Thompson. I used to get mine from Korea, but now I roll my own. I
take a piece of 24K gold, put it through the rolling mill until it
is about the thickness of aluminum foil. It is easy to handle, and
to cut into the desired shapes, and adheres well to the enamel.


When you use gold LEAF under enamel it’s absorbed by the underlying
metal and just disappears.

Used gold FOIL under enamel. It’s easy to make this yourself.

Gold leaf or gold foil? True gold foil which you want to use, is
thicker than leaf, which can burn out. are you using clean enamel?
Are you covering completely? Are you using an enamel compatible w
gold? Marianne hunter