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Need Help Suggestions Question Gold Leaf on PVC letters

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by Chris491, Jul 11, 2019 at 2:08 PM.

  1. Chris491

    Chris491 New Member

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    Have a job coming up where I need to do some real gold leaf onto PVC letters (Gemini) for an exterior sign.
    I'm looking for suggestions on what to use as far as gold size, karat rating, etc. Also if you have any tips on application methods, such as prepping the surface, and if you think I should use a primer. Letters will be mounted up high out of reach of pedestrians(so they won't be getting scratched or touched) but will have New England weather exposure, so I'm not sure if I ought to put some sort of clear coat varnish on it. Usually, I'd just do a SignGold for this type of work, but this customer wants the real stuff.
     
  2. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Try the search option.Or Google.
    your questions are common enough, and have been asked & answered many times before!
    Varnish- no!
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    How much gold are you gonna need ?? If you doing edges or rounded letters, you're probably gonna need more than you think. It doesn't sound like you know what you're doing, so it might behoove you to find someone who does know what they're doing and watch. You won't learn it all watching, but maybe the person will share some hands-on commentary.
     
  4. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    If you are using formed Gemini CAB letters, sand first before sizing. Order your letters in a yellow color. Use 23k loose gold and apply with gilders tip. Use slow oil size (I have guilded directly on Gemini CAB letters with good results). For dimensional letters, figure on one book 23k gold leaf for each sq. ft. (One pack = 500 sheets = about 40 sq. ft. flat, you can expect to double that with dimensional letters). So, one line of copy at 12" that is 20' long will take a pack of gold books (twenty books), and will cost $650.00 or more. Rule of thumb is to triple your gold price to account for labor and the inevitable patching and leaves that don't go down right. I would expect an inexperienced user to need about 1.5x the amount of gold a professional with a lot of practice would use (just saying...). Absolutely no varnish!

    If the letters are flat, just use SignGold. It is real gold and will probably look better than trying to hand gild.
     
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  5. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

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    Doesn't Gemini offer a gilded option on their letters? I've seen it in the past but not sure if they still do it. Yes, it was expensive, but if you are inexperienced, that might be the route to take.
     
  6. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    22 carets XX deep gold is fine, just get slow size which gives you a longer window and patent (has a transfer paper backing) not glass gold (loose no backing). The gilder's tip is to much of a learning curve to get good at but I do prefer that procedure and over a cardboard box to get the droppings for touch up.
    I would sand them, tack rag them, spray good primer, sand, tack rag and finish with a glossy two part yellow top coat.
    A nice squirrel brush for brushing smooth after applying gold and a satin cloth and real cotton to finish
     
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  7. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    So has anybody else tried laminating sheets of gold leaf with cast lam, then applying adhesive to the back to make gold leaf vinyl? Using imitation gold leaf of course, because you're cheating already...
     
  8. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    SignGold is 22k gold already laminated with adhesive on the back. It goes down like vinyl, but it is less forgiving. It's a good product. It runs about $24.00 sq.ft. (loose gold leaf runs about $16.00 sq. ft., but requires experience and skill to use it and takes time). SignGold is easy to use, and is probably more profitable than loose gold leaf for flat items and vehicle graphics (that's all they use for fire engines these days), but real gold leaf has its place, especially for carved signs, dimensional letters, and artistic glass gilding.
     
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  9. Chris491

    Chris491 New Member

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    Thank you all for the tips. I appreciate it.
     
  10. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I thought fire trucks were the one and only use for engine turned gold, I haven't seen many with gold leaf. To be fair I don't find myself inspecting firetrucks up close all that often.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Personally, I don't like the look of any of that signgold stuff, as it looks fake. There's no one in the world who can hand turn a whole truck or a full sized sign and have it look as uniform as that stuff.. It has it's place, but only if it's too tedious to do by hand. Again, that's my opinion and I'm kinda old-fashioned.
     
  12. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    what kcollins said, that's how I'd so it
     
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