Gilding Aluminum Features
- CSI Division:
- Division 5 - Metals
- Metal Materials
- Last Modified:
Technical Procedures Disclaimer
Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
GILDING ALUMINUM FEATURES
A. This procedure includes guidance on applying gold leaf to
exterior aluminum surfaces.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precaution= s
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling=
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
1.02 QUALITY ASSURANCE
A. Regulatory Requirements: Comply with municip= al and
Federal regulations concerning the use of airblasting
equipment and protection of individuals against airborne
A. Sepp Leaf Products, Inc.
381 Park Avenue South, Ste. 1312
New York, NY 10016
A. Walnut shells (mesh size 60/200)
B. 0000 stainless steel wool
C. Slow oil size with chromium oxide
D. Gold leaf for gilding (carat to be determined) (Sepp Leaf
Products, Inc.), or approved equal.
E. Absorbent cotton
A. Gilder's tip
C. Flint or hematite burnisher
A. Clean aluminum surfaces of soil, old gold leaf, sizing,
paint and oxidation by airblasting with walnut shells
(mesh size 60/200). TAKE CARE NOT TO ERODE, PIT OR GOUGE
THE ALUMINUM SURFACE.
1. Minimum nozzle diameter to be 3/8".
2. Air pressure to be 20 lbs. per square inch at gauge
(this may be increased to 25 lbs. as required).
3. Maintain angle of blasting at 90 degrees.
B. Rub aluminum surfaces with 0000 stainless steel wool to
obtain a smooth, uniform surface.
3.02 ERECTION INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Remove any dust and dirt from aluminum surface.
B. Apply size to areas to be gilded.
C. Allow the size to become tacky before applying the gold
leaf. Size that is too wet will destroy the burnish,
while size that is too dry will prevent the leaf from
adhering well. Protect size from dust as it dries.
D. When the size becomes tacky, lay the gold leaf. Take
care to cover all the sized surfaces. Patch any cracks
or exposed areas that occur in the leaf.=
E. Evenly tamp down the leaf with cotton.
F. Lightly rub the leaf with absorbent cotton to remove any
laps or wrinkles. Gently wipe the surface to remove
excess gold leaf.
G. Allow the size to dry at least 24 hours.
H. Using a burnisher, gently rub the gilded surface in
circular motions and then using hard, firm strokes.