Antique Silver Leaf

Antiquing glaze creates the soft glow of slightly tarnished silver.

Rating 3 -moderate
For use on: furniture, objects, fine arts

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Antiquing Gold Leaf

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Drop Cloths
Painters tape
Mineral Spirits
Oil based Varnish
Artists brushes
Artist Acrylic paint:
Raw Umber
Burnt Seine
Disposable gloves

artSparx Antique Corner

"Classic antique glaze"
This glaze mixture is the essential antique color recipe. Understand what colors to use, and how to mix them. Including accent antique methods like weathering, physical distressing, and creating fly specks and worm holes.
Antiquing with waxes
Paste wax, Bowling alley wax, Shoe polish? What's best for you. How to mix them, add colorant and blend to suit all your antiquing needs.
Antiquing with oil glazes 
What are Universal tinters, Japan colors or artist oil paint? Create the exact glaze you want, using the right materials.
Antiquing with water based glazes 
Whether you use Artist acrylic paints or Universal tinters as you colorant you can create the perfect antique glaze.
More Antiquing methods

More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials

Gold Leafing might be just the right accent you're looking for!

Visit our
Gold leafing tutorials.


Masking tip: 
Always test an area to be taped before beginning the masking job. Wallpaper is particularly susceptible to tearing. Lacquer and varnish surfaces on furniture may come off easily with the tape and the item could be severely damaged.



How to Antique Gold and Composition Gold Leaf
with artist acrylic or oil paints

Adding the finishing touches to your gilt surface, whether Genuine Gold Leaf or Composition, imitation gold leaf, requires just the right know-how. And artSparx delivers the expertise to give your project that extra glow.

Step 1: Insure the gilt object is sealed with a protective coat of water based or oil based varnish.

Genuine Gold Leaf: It is not necessary to seal Genuine Gold Leaf. However, you may wish to add extended durability for 'high traffic areas' like furniture, objects and doors.

Composition (imitation) Gold Leaf: It is required that you seal Imitation Gold Leaf to prevent tarnishing. Composition Gold is primarily composed of Brass and will oxidize over time. Therefore it is necessary to apply a barrier coat of sealer to prevent oxidation and tarnishing.

Selecting the right varnish for your project

Oil-Based Varnish: Protect the leaf with a coat of oil based varnish, Satin or Semi-gloss sheen. This seals the leaf, protecting it from moisture and air. It also acts as a barrier coat between the leafed surface and the antiquing glaze that soon follows. Clean your brush with the appropriate thinner.

Water-Based Varnish: You can also use a water based varnish to seal gold leaf and Composition leaf. However, water-based varnish tend to 'bead' on the slick surface of metal leaf. Therefore a high quality water based varnish is recommended. Varathane, Diamond Finish, made by Flecto (Satin or Semi-Gloss sheen), is an acceptable water based varnish that responds well to metal gilt surfaces.

This is an important step. If you were to apply an antique glaze over untreated leaf, the leaf would become stained and dull, losing the highly reflective quality of genuine gilded surfaces.

Step 2: Mixing your antique glaze.

You may use either artist oil based paint in tubes or artists acrylic paint in tubes to create an antique glaze solution.

On a palette, mix some Raw Umber with Raw Seine.
You can experiment with the proportions. 2 parts Raw Seine to 1 part Raw Umber will work fine. Dilute with water for Artist's Acrylic and Mineral Spirits for Artist's Oil paint in tubes.

Step 3: Apply glaze solution loosely over surface,
working in a straight even fashion.

Step 4: Use a dry brush to 'drag' the glaze in a straight,
back and forth motion, smoothing out as you go. In case the glaze 'beads', allow to set momentarily then smooth out as before.

Step 5: Using a dry rag, buff up 'high' points, allowing the recesses to remain darker, mimicking the processes of time.

Step 6: Clean up. Salvage as much loose leaf (skewings) as possible, then vacuum all excess and clean working area.

Step 7: Dispose of used material appropriately. 

For more Antiquing methods visit artSparx Antique Corner.


About gilding products

Aluminum Leaf

Dutch Gold or
composition leaf

Aluminum Leaf imitates the illusion of genuine Silver, at a fraction of the cost. Each individual sheet is bigger and easier to handle then its genuine counter part.

The same applies for 'Dutch Gold', or 'Composition Leaf'. But due to the large brass content, this imitation gold must have a sealer applied to prevent tarnishing, unlike genuine gold leaf.

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