Looking for a gilt lettering/monogramming kit


I have a couple of pool cues that I'd like to emboss with the owners' names, and fill the letters with gilt leaf or a plausible facisimile. Can anyone suggest a kit for such work and where to find it?
Thanks!
David Hakala Denver, CO
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Dave, Look in an 'artists supplies' shop. A good one, especially one that has framing materials. A 'kit' should be real simple - a brush-on 'sealer', a packet of gold leaf {REAL and 'Simulated' are available}, and a small, fine brush {to pick-up & place the leaf}.
Unless someone wants to pay me A LOT and SPECIFIES 'Gold Leaf', I use a different method . . . and in practical use, you can't tell the difference. Although I have a couple of small jars of special 'Gold Leaf' paint, I 'found' a quart of indoor wall paint {some fancy designers 'name brand'} called 'Ballroom Gold'. It was some kind of 'missorder' so I got it for cheap. While the paint is part of the 'solution', the way it is applied is the trick.
After carving out the letters {Boat 'nameboards', a dock plaque for the 'Dragon, etc.}I give them a sloppy coat of varnish {Spar, or 'hard' - depending on the use}diluted 50/50. After it is absorbed and dried just enough to be 'tack free', I give it a coat of the 'ballroom'. I let that dry for at least 24-hours. I then lightly 'scuff sand' the letters with some 'synthetic steel wool' - brush, blow, damp wipe clean - and give another coat of the gold paint. Don't worry about 'staying between the lines' . . . just slop it on.
When it's COMPLETELY dry, I get out my belt sander, put on a fine grit belt, turn the speed to SLOW and give the entire item it's semi-final sanding. By using the flatness of the belt {you could also use a 1/2 sheet 'finishing sander', or a hand-driven 'long board'} you sand off the 'slop' on the surface, not IN the incised letters. The final sanding is with the RO sander and 220 grit.
The entire project is then given 6 coats of varnish - following the usual 'Marine performance' schedule. That's how an 'indoor' paint lasts outdoors !!
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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wrote:

I've never seen a good "kit" for this, but the materials are generally easy to find. A decent artist's supplier will have it all.
You need "oil size" for gilding, gold leaf and blonde shellac to protect it afterwards. Depending on the surface you might also want gesso or bole in red or yellow (buy this ready made up).
Leaf needs to go onto a perfect surface. This is important. Use the gesso to give a good smooth surface, and the underlying colour can be important too. Yellow is good because it also hides any future wear.
Use oil size to stick the leaf down. You can also use water / alcohol size, but they're harder to use.
Leaf should be gold-coloured aluminium - the most common sort, or maybe brass / schlagmetal. Don't learn with real gold leaf.
Most of the technique is well described in many places. Try the SCA "florilegium" too. The _best_ book I've ever seen on the subject is 'Framing & Gilding' by P Curson. Hard to find, but the Australian publisher sells direct quite easily.
For tooling you need the usual basics, also a wide, soft brush to handle the gold (a cheap artist's "hake" can work). It's also worth making a gilder's cushion with a cardboard windshield around it. Mine is just the back of an old glove, stuffed with fabric and gaffer-taped to a piece of plywood.
If you're using gold, or maybe schlagmetal, but not aluminium, then you'll also want a burnisher. Haematite rings are cheap and smooth enough, or you can get an agate stone.
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