This is the third demonstration in our 'How To' series. We show you how to add glitz to your stencil projects by using gilding leaf and powder. The sheen from both the metal leaf and the powders are quite different from the effect created by paint. In this photograph of one of my guest rooms, the fabric and walls have been stencilled with a faux gold leaf called Dutch Metal. It takes a little more effort to stencil with gilding products, but the results are well worth it.
Firstly, I recommend that you use low tack tape instead of spray repositioning adhesive to secure your stencil into position. This is to minimize any chance of adhesive straying.
When the stencil is in place dip the tips of the stencil brush into Instant Size. Vigorously circle the brush onto kitchen paper so that the Instant Size is distributed evenly through the bristles. Then do a couple more circles on a clean patch of paper towel to dry the tips off. The Instant Size should be damp not wet. Stipple the size through the holes in the stencil. If you are confident that the bridges of the stencil will not move you can also use the swirl method to apply the Size.
We have coloured the Instant Size so that you can see where it has been applied. When all the holes in the stencil have been evenly coloured remove the stencil.
If the correct amount of Size has been used it will be ready to gild immediately, if the size appears shiny it still too wet. Quite simply if the size is too wet or too dry the leaf will not stick to it. Too wet? Wait a while and apply leaf again.
Too dry? Put the stencil back in position and re apply the size lightly.
Not sure? Put your finger lightly on the stencilled area. The size should feel dry but with a slight pull.
Place the leaf directly onto the stencilled area. This picture shows Transfer Leaf being used, this is the easiest way to gild stenciling. Place the leaf paper side up onto the stencilled size, press it into position, keep pressing until the leaf has adhered to the pattern, often the paper slides away leaving you with a chunk of spare foil stuck on the stencilling.
To brush away the unwanted foil, use a clean, dry stencil brush. If you approach the excess foil with the brush at a slant a very effective chiseling motion can be employed. When all the design is gilded and the pattern edges are clean and crisp simply re position your stencil for the next repeat. When project is complete clean the stencil and brush with hot water and detergent or use methylated spirit (methyl alcohol). Using one of our Brush Scrubbers. will aid the cleaning process.