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Thread: Order of operations--BLO, paint, leaf, shellac...

  1. #1
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    Order of operations--BLO, paint, leaf, shellac...

    I am working on another carved sign, this time in mahogany. I was so pleased with the look of BLO on the last one I did in walnut, I want to use it again. It's a little more complicated this time, because I'm thinking about highlighting some of the letters with paint and some with gold leaf.

    The problem is, I'm not sure which order to do things in. I would think that the BLO would go first. After sufficient dry time everything else would stick okay, right? I'm thinking shellac next, because even superblond would alter the color of the paint if the paint were under the shellac and I'm sure that paint would stick to the shellac. But what about the leaf? Will it adhere okay to shellac? Does it have to be overcoated? If it does, could I overcoat with lacquer to get a more "correct" read through on the paint color?

    Help!

  2. #2
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    Oil first. Shellac second, both for the coloration/depth it gives, but also because it provides the nearly perfect barrier layer to provide a good surface for your paint to adhere to. Use de-waxed so you don't have any incompatiblities with subsequent finishing products.

    I can't help you relative to the gold leaf...'never used the stuff. For signage, you do have the option of using the "leaf-like" paints that are available. (and are much easier to use in those letters, I suspect...)
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    Oil first. Shellac second, both for the coloration/depth it gives, but also because it provides the nearly perfect barrier layer to provide a good surface for your paint to adhere to. Use de-waxed so you don't have any incompatiblities with subsequent finishing products.

    I can't help you relative to the gold leaf...'never used the stuff. For signage, you do have the option of using the "leaf-like" paints that are available. (and are much easier to use in those letters, I suspect...)
    Jim, you are a fount of knowledge as always. How do the leaf-like paints look? Leaf-like, I presume? Can you point me towards a brand or source?

    What are my options for topcoating over the paint and leaf look-alike? I would want something very clear, so would water-based poly work? Or Deft lacquer?

    And finally (for now), is the shellac in a spray can dewaxed? I don't have spray equipment and I don't think brushing is the right way to go with these carvings.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure of sources for the gold (and other metalic) leaf paint, but the small bottle I have came from either a local hobby store or Woodcraft. I just don't remember. You might also try online sources such as Mister Art. (Where I've bought Golden acrylics)

    I have never used the spray cans of shellac and am not familiar with their formulation. I suspect they are not dewaxed, however. The problem with Deft is that it's lacquer and it may react with the paints, etc., you'd be covering. A water bourne product would be safer.

    You know, you could use a small, inexpensive gravity feed HVLP gun with a small compressor to top coat these small projects economically with a water based product such as those from Target Coatings and Fuhr International. Easy clean up, easy environmentals and great results. You don't need (or want) a big gun for small projects.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  5. #5

    Gold leaf and shellac

    Bart, Jim,

    Gold leaf is pretty easy.

    The secret is to paint the wood RED before applying

    your gold. For signs do not use the imitation gold leaf,

    go with the real stuff. UV and weather plays hell on the fake stuff.

    The leaf comes in sheets and you use a special brush and static electricity

    (your hair works great) to apply the leaf to the glued surface.

    As for shellac, Zinnser seal coat or Target coatings WB shellac are

    both premixed and can be applied with a rag or shop towel

    with excellent results.

    Below is our second attempt at gold leaf.

    The first one came out fine too.

    But we used the fake gold.

    Never again. I am 47 years old and you would think by now I would have


    learned , Cheap don't Pay!

    Per
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

  6. #6
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    Wow Per, that's a beautiful sign. The ones I do right now are meant for strictly indoor use (they're more plaques than signs), so would the fake gold be okay? Also, my signs are all incise-carved. How hard would it be to work the leaf down into V-grooves, some of which are only 1/8" or less wide?

    For some reason, I never even think about checking the local hobby store for this stuff. I'll check Hobby Lobby to see if they have the metallic paints. I do have a friend with a garage now, so getting a small spray setup wouldn't be completely out of the question. The problem is money. We're pretty much hand-to-mouth now (grad student with a wife and baby), so I would probably have to sell some signs to raise the cash to buy what I need.

    I guess I could poke around online, but what do you think the bottom line would be for a small gun and the compressor to run it?

  7. #7
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    Bart, I've seen some HVLP guns and turbines in the $1-200 range. Have a friend who bought one and he reports the results are accptable.

  8. #8
    Sure the fake gold leaf will work fine indoors.

    If you do a google search there are a load of craft and

    hobby outlets that offer a decent product.

    Now I am going to offer a word of warning,

    I think you will find that both the ease of application

    and the multitude of uses will have you enjoying this alot.

    You will be saying to yourself, we should of used real gold.

    Skip the experimentation, do a little reading and then shop

    where the masters shop. (we are not masters, just want the best)

    http://www.mswiftandsons.com/

    Real gold goes farther and it is not really that much more

    when you consider finished product, internal contentment,

    and overall sense of accomplishment.

    Which is the real reason we do this stuff.

    Per
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

  9. #9
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    West Lafayette, Indiana
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    Thanks for the link Per, I'll check it out. I'll do some Googling tonight, but could you point me towards any step-by-step explanations of the techniques involved, especially with incise carving? I think I have a handle on the basic steps for leafing a convex surface (from watching it done on TV ), but it seems like it would be harder to leaf inside a narrow V-groove.

    Thanks!
    Bart

  10. #10

    Here you go

    The Internet is just a incredible thing.

    When we started fooling around with this,

    I was a adamant Luddite,

    This site could have saved alot of time.

    http://www.signindustry.com/dimensio...gFromAtoZ.php3

    Hope this helps

    Per
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

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