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Silver & gold foil use?

My husband’s grandmother was a lamp and lampshade designer from the
30’s through the 60’s. We were given all her leftover tablets of
gold and silver leaf. It’s beautiful and look? new. I had hoped I
could use them for keum-boo, but they are too thin and the leaf just
disintegrates. Tried using it on some pieces with gold leaf
adhesive—and it looks too ‘bright’.

Some of the tablets are marked 18 1/2 kt and I am guessing by the
vibrancy of the color the rest are 23 or 24 kt. I could put it on 50
picture frames and still have a bunch left over… Anybody have any
other ideas for using it??? (wallpaper is not an option although
there’s enough to do it… )

Liane Redpath Worlund

Hi Liane -

Gold leaf is used in enameling - might be something there that you
could adapt?


Wow, what a wonderful “score”! I am a hoarder, so I’d probably just
stash it in my drawer to look at when I was feeling particularly
dragon-like, but I’m sure that someone on here has some fab ideas! I
once designed a piece using different layers of foils in different
colors and karats into a landscape under quartz, but I’m not sure if
your foil’s too delicate for that… Anyway, enjoy! It sounds lovely!


I wish I had the cash this moment to buy it from you… I’ve been
patiently waiting for the precious metal prices to moderate a bit
more before restocking gold and silver leaf.

Yes, it’s way too thin for the keum-boo technique. You can take the
bright off of it in a number of ways, such as applying it to a
textured surface and adding a patination technique. In my case, my
metal work (such as it is) is primarily findings for leather pieces,
and I sometimes use the metal leaf to embellish the tooling on the

Not knowing your favored style of work, it’s hard to suggest the
most effective use for your windfall. Trust me, don’t let it slip out
of your hands unless you are absolutely sure you will never use it…

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL

What a wonderful gift. Some people have had success using this
weight for keum-boo by using multiple sheets and persevering. I would
probably be using these as an underlayment in my enamel work (some
enamel colors look better over gold, others look better over silver).
Just a suggestion :-))

Sandra Graves
Stormcloud Trading

Perhaps you could stack several sheets to approach the thickness of
a keum-boo foil.

Pam Chott

One trick in using gold foil is to use it in small parts of the
project to provide highlights against dark areas.

Ansel Adams got the wonderful sharpness of his photographs in part
by placing tiny areas of dead white in areas of dark gray or black.
Really makes the work pop.

A large area of gold leaf burnished bright is overwhelming t o
modern eyes. Although they loved it in the middle ages.