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-Gold leaf versus Gold paint, what to know-

1 - Gold leaf

Gold leaf is gold that has been hammered into extremely thin sheets by goldbeating and is often used for guilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades. 22-karat yellow gold is the most commonly used. Gold leaf is sometimes confused with metal leaf but they are different products. The term metal leaf is normally used for thin sheets of metal of any color that do not contain any real gold. 24 karats is pure gold (Belmeade Signs uses 23 karat leaf). Real yellow gold leaf is about 91% pure gold. Silver colored white gold is approximately 50% pure gold. The art of gold leafing has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years and is still 100% done by hand.
Pros and cons for gold leaf
Gold is highly prized by people because of its attractive color, rarity, usefulness, resistance to tarnish and its many special properties - some of which are unique to gold. Gold in its pure state is considered the most beautiful and hence most valuable of the pure metals. It is metallic in appearance, has a warm yellow color and a great deal of contrast against darker colors. Since gold is immune to most chemicals and weather conditions, it will last a very long time, after all, Egyptian gold treasures from the pyramids are still in pristine condition after 5000 years !

2 - Gold paint

Most gold paints are water based. The one we use here at Belmeade Signs is lead free, non-gassing, pearlescent, metallic-like coating with built in ultra violet protection. It is formulated with nacreous pigments to yield a lustrous metallic look. It dries to a flexible, weather & fade resistant, bright metallic like finish and exhibits excellent adhesion to wood, metal, treated and untreated vinyl and many other substrates. It is used extensively by specialty painters and artists for faux finishes and glazing. It is Non-Flammable, non-toxic when cured, low odor.
Pros and cons for gold paint
Gold paint offers an economical alternative to gold leaf in achieving a somewhat acceptable metallic appearance, unlike gold leaf its longevity is far from being as great. Just like most paint, climatic factors like hot and cold cycles, exposure to the elements will all affect how long it will last on a sign. A good average would be about 7 years but again is completely dependent upon outdoor conditions over time. Also as general aspect, gold paint will not have the same rich warm glow that gold leaf will exhibit.


Just like anything else in life, if you want something high quality and durable you’ll need to consider what you get for the higher cost ( gold leaf in this case). If budget is more of a concern, gold paint will provide a great looking alternative for your sign knowing that we use the best gold paint in the industry.

More information about gold leaf Here

Custom wood sign in gold leaf

Photographed In: West Granby
Date Uploaded: Jan, 5 2014
Description: Typical residential house number in gold leaf






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