Artists & Gilders Decorative Studio
Ross O'Neal Inc.

No .... No's

1. Don't fail to prepare the surface properly.

2. Don't fail to have everything absolutely clean.

3. Don't let gold leaf come in contact with anything oily before use.

4. Don't let the tip touch the wet glass.

5. Don't use water size either too weak or too strong. Too weak a water size will not allow "washing." and the gold will come off. Too strong water size will produce a "cloudiness" which will prevent getting a good burnish. Don't use water size left from yesterday make fresh size each day.

6. In glass gilding, don't let the size dry on the glass: it will streak and spot the gold. Keep the glass thoroughly wet with size until all the gold leaf is laid.

7. Don't let size run down over the part of the glass that has been gilded.

8. Make sure your burnishing cotton is soft and free from any foreign matter: a small piece of grit or anything hard will scratch the gold and ruin the job. Hospital cotton, while slightly more expensive, is entirely free from all foreign particles.

9. Don't try to gild at temperatures near or below freezing.

10. Don't try to gild a window when it is sweaty or steamy. Frost. sweat, or steam will completely destroy the adhesive properties of water size and the gold will come off when you try to burnish it.

11. Don't use much thinner in your backing-up color: use as little as possible. Thinner tends to "flat" the color and make it brittle and easily chipped. This is particularly important when using Damar or other varnishes. Thinner destroys the (elasticity of the varnish and when the glass contracts or expands, the letters are apt to chip and peel.

12. Don't use a quick-drying backing of any kind over Darmar varnish. While Damar "sets up" very quickly, it really dries very, very slowly. It a quick-drying backing is used, it may crack the mat center.

13. Don't do more than three or tour letters at a time when using Damar varnish for stippling. Darmar "sets up" very quickly and if it gets too hard, it will not stipple well.

14. Don't use a "quick" size if the job you are doing will permit the use of a "slow" size. The latter will give better results in every respect. The slower the size, the better the burnish.

15. Don't wait to finish laying leaf before burnishing. when using quick size, or you may find the gold wrinkling. It is much better to burnish almost as soon as you gild.

16. Don't fail to brush out slow size evenly. If it is too thick in spots, it will break through the gold when you try to burnish.

17. In surface gilding, don't try to lay the gold before the size has reached the proper "tack." It will drown the gold and kill the burnish.

18. Don't expect to get a good job with anything but the best gold leaf. 19. Don't use silver leaf except for glass work, it will tarnish. Use aluminum leaf instead. However, use aluminum leaf for mat centers.


1. Loosen thumb screw, remove side plate from unit. Place roll of Gold Leaf on pin nearest handle so that tissue wilt unwind from lower part of roll. As shown In Illustration.

2. Place corresponding size wood roll on lower pin. Unwind tissue until gold is exposed. Replace side plate, tightening thumb screw. Wet wood roll slightly to stick tissue to top of wood roll. Exposed gold will now roll across top of lower roll. The empty paper winds around wood roll as fast as the Gold Leaf is stripped from it. Bear down lightly with an even pressure upon the surface you are gilding, and do not tip the machine to one side or the other (or some of the gold won't leave the paper)

3. If the paper does not wind evenly on the wood roll and runs off on one side be sure to adjust it before going ahead with your work. If very bad remove paper from lower roll and start over again.

4. If the Gold Leaf should stick to the wrong side of the tissue, blow it down onto the right side and it will run properly.

5. When gilding with Composition or Aluminum gild sooner as a stronger tack is necessary than for XX Deep Gold leaf


Here are some tips for the environment and display of water gilded surfaces.

Gilded objects are best maintain at a temperature of 60-70 degrees and at 45%-55% relative humidity, much the same as our human body. It is much more important however to achieve a constant balance between temperature and humidity than to strive for a specific percentage of relative humidity. Because of the hygroscopic nature of gilded objects, sudden fluctuations in relative humidity can be almost as destructive as improper cleaning.

Placement of gilded objects is especially important within the room setting. Do not hang picture frames against an outside wall, over the fireplace, above a forced-hot-air radiator, or above an air-conditioning outlet. Keep all gilded objects away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can raise the temperature and lower the relative humidity of the gilded surface accelerating the breakdown of the binders in the foundation.