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Pricing Gold Leaf

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by Rocco G, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

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    Feb 27, 2014
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    Hi all, It's been a while since I posted on 101. Instead of putting this in the business/pricing forum I thought that it would be better here.

    I'm doing a lit sign for a local bakery. UL, permits, installation, the whole gig. As a "throw in" in included some door lettering in vinyl but want to up-sell them to gold leaf lettering. I mainly do electric signs but love playing with traditional materials and methods. The attached is a two minute design - their logo BTW though I did make the lettering a bit bolder. The overall size is about 22w x 15h. I'm just planning on doing "matte centers" outlined in black paint. What to charge? I figure I've got perhaps a book of leaf, some paint, etc. It's five minutes from the shop. Let's say a 1 hour min design time charge, materials and probably three-four hours on site. Since it's only five min from my shop I'll probably go over one day late and paint the outline (paint mask, not by hand), let it dry overnight and then do the remainder another day.
    I'm outside a large metro area (Philly), though this store isn't in the high rent district. If I use my normal rates I figured this is at least $500.00. They get daytime sun so the gold will look good. I've done this perhaps a dozen times before and have the technique down - though it's been a while.

    Thoughts?
     

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  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I'd double it
     
  3. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean with "matte centers" if you are doing gold leaf. Are you planning on matte gold vinyl but you are trying to upsell that to gold leaf? All things considered, since this is only the painting and gilding on their door and you are doing all the other work, I would be exactly where you are $500.
     
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Here's a glass gild with matte centers and a black outline. The way I was taught, do the outline first, then when dry do the matte centers with an oil size, then when dry gild over the whole thing with water size, then when dry back up with paint. I say double the price because the OP says it's not his usual work and there's a chance a mistake may be made which with these jobs it may mean starting over.. Also it's glass gilding which should get a premium price.
     

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  5. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    Ah ha....I knew it didn't feel right disagreeing with you Bill....apparently I didn't fully comprehend what he intended to do so I retract my statement and I will agree with your pricing....more like double it. Thanks for the explanation!
     
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I get it wrong plenty of times....but in this case I just did a gold leaf job that got away from me, so the pain is fresh.
     
  7. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

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    Feb 27, 2014
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    I misspoke about the gilding method I suppose, since I don't to this often enough. I suppose you'd just call it matte gilding? Gotta find my copy of gold leaf techniques. All I'm planning on doing is the painted outline and apply the leaf with quick size. In fact I cut a paint mask on the plotter because I haven't hand lettered in decades. I've done it a number of times before. Shown is my home address on the transom that I did in 2000. At the time I didn't know how to accomplish water gilding for the mirror finish for true matte centers. Still don't though, I am planning on figuring it out - when I have a spare minute, and you know how scarce those are. I do this method probably once a year, and always do a quick refresher letter in the shop to jog my memory.

    Well, a grand or more for a couple of lines of gold copy? If I could regularly get that I'd sell the trucks and get rid of the employees and all that overhead. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes, though I'm sure it will be way over what she will spend. The worst she can do it say no.

    Thanks everyone!
     

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  8. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

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    Surface gilding typically has a matte look compared to water gilding which has a mirror finish. Are you putting the gold on the outside of the glass? Back in the day when we did water size gilding on glass it took about 6 hours to lay the gold, paint the backing, clean off the excess gold, paint the outline and finally, clear coat over all. Matte centers took even longer. So with the cost of labor and materials, $1000 sounds about right.
     
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