Gilders Paste, trying various methods and materials, and deciding I like it! Rings & Things has added an assortment of colors. Each tin is 1.5 oz of wax-based medium, and is enough to cover 30 square feet of metal, wood, resin, et cetera. You can apply Gilders Paste with a cloth, cotton swab, or fingertip. Thin with paint thinner, turpenoid (but not turpenoid natural) or mineral spirits to transform the highly concentrated Gilders Paste for brushing, sponging, staining, washing or spray painting. I suggest having the following tools handy when you plan to colorize with Gilders Paste:
- Soft Rag (an old cotton t-shirt worked well)
- Baby Wipes
- Small Mixing cup
- Disposable (cheap) small paint brushes
- Stir Sticks
- Mineral Spirits – from the hardware or craft store.
- Non Stick Craft Sheet
I don’t really mind getting my hands dirty. I didn’t have the foresight to use a craft sheet, so the table was gilded along with the objects. After I was done, the plastic table cleaned up good as new with some mineral spirits, and my hands cleaned up fine with soap and water. If you are more particular (and don’t want any gilding of your fingernails), you may want to wear latex or nitrile gloves. Drying time varies depending on substrate and surface preparation, approximately 60 minutes to the touch on dry debris-free surfaces and 12 hours for complete cure time. If polishing or burnishing is required, allow 12 hours drying time. Rubbing the base coat immediately after application with a dry cloth or slightly wet with thinner will remove Gilders Paste from the relief detail and highlight depressed details. Lightly brushing Gilders Paste over the top will highlight the relief details. This is patina color on a reproduction Ching dynasty coin. I scraped a little paste out of the tin, and then wet the paint brush with mineral spirits and mixed it together on the palette until I had a paintable consistency. I put on a fairly thick coat. After an hour or so, I buffed off the excess paste, and this was the result (with a un-gilded example for contrast). This is a nice use of the Gilders Paste for faux aging. The color was a bit paler than I hoped for so I mixed some African bronze paste into my patina color. I painted a new layer of paste onto the opposite side of the coin, and the new color was more to my liking. This is a filigree cross in antiqued copper plating, which I colored with verdigris Gilders Paste. For this color, I still mixed in the mineral spirits, but I applied the color with a stir stick. After drying and buffing, the verdigris color is subtle, but it counters the reddishness of the copper metal. This color was nice, but I wanted a bit more shine, so I layered german silver Gilders Paste over the verdigris. Here is the filigree with the metallic layer lightly buffed off, and the original plating for contrast. Too much of the verdigris was covered now, so I went back in for a 3rd layer, verdigris paste on top of the previous two applications. After some more drying and buffing time, this was my final result: My next experiment involved resin flowers. I was curious about the results on a highly dimensional, non-metallic item. I thinned out violet Gilders Paste, and applied it to 3 colors of resin flower with a paintbrush. After drying, this was too tricky to just buff with a cloth, so I touched up the high points with my cloth, and then used a dry brush to remove excess paste from the crevices. The two lower flowers are un-colored. The flowers with the paste have an almost velvety look to them. This is another antiqued copper plated filigree. The piece on the right has iris blue Gilders Paste applied directly with a cloth. The piece on the left has been layered. White Gilders Paste on the filigree makes the iris blue top layer more visible. Both of these are dried and buffed. Next I tried colorizing some silver plated wavy disk beads. I thinned out the iris blue and damson pastes, and applied them to the beads with a brush. This is after buffing, with a shiny bead in the center for contrast. The lighter the metal color is to start with, the greater contrast the paste seems to make. I tried out the rusty red pinotage color Gilders Paste on both silver plated flower charms and antique brass filigree. This was my chance to paint the flowers red. For these items, I added a bit of mineral spirits to my brush, and conditioned some of the paste directly in the tin. Lastly, I wanted to mix colors, as opposed to layering them. I mixed the pinotage with the German silver Gilders Paste in the palette. Both of these colors happened to be creamier than some others, so I didn’t need to thin them down. I applied this mixture by brush to a raw brass filigree and got a lovely metallic pink finish. The manufacturer says Gilders Paste will be permanent in 24 hours. It will accept an over coat such as clear lacquer, varnish, urethane, or powder coating to achieve a uniform appearance where the paste was not used, or to provide further durability to areas where repeated handling is required, such as a door knob. Due to the anticipated increased wear for jewelry, I tested 4 different products for sealing Gilders Paste.
The first 3 sealers all worked great. The spray sealer was the easiest to use, but the fumes from it can be quite obnoxious. I sealed one of the filigree crosses with the glaze, and the other with glossy accents. To me they look identical. The renaissance wax, however, provided unanticipated results. Due to the cleaning components of this product, it stripped most of the color from the item I applied it to. The disk on the left was the original gilded iris blue wavy disk. The disk on the right has had renaissance wax applied, which lightened the color. It is good to know that this may work to lighten a color without fully removing it if that is ever your desired effect. Be aware that the consistency of this product will vary from color to color and from tin to tin. If you have a tin with creamy consistency, enjoy it. If the product is crumbly, (whether it came that way, or you left the lid open) don’t ever consider it “bad”. You can re-constitute the paste with mineral spirits, a few drops at a time. So, having tried Gilders Paste, I’m hooked. Now I need to figure out what colors to buy to start my collection. ~ Rita