Gold leaf can add a special touch to any project you happen to be creating. It makes it look more professional, adds texture, and makes your piece stand out. However, you might be wondering how to seal the delicate material.
So, can you use Mod Podge to seal gold leaf? Yes, you can use Mod Podge on a gold leaf! Any clear sealant or varnish works well to seal the leaf, and you won’t have to worry about it rubbing off or getting tarnished. You especially want to seal metal leaf before painting over or near it.
In short, Mod Podge is the best choice when it comes to sealing gold leaf. This material is extremely thin and easy to scratch. It’s very fragile, so you won’t want to leave it without a protective layer. Let’s keep reading to learn more!
How To Seal Gold Leaf With Mod Podge
First, apply a layer of Mod Podge using a foam brush to apply the gold sheet. Next, press the gold leaf into the Mod Podge and allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes. The longer you can wait, the better.
Remove the sheet on the back of the gold leaf carefully and slowly. Make sure that everything’s in place, but be careful not to touch the gold with your hands.
Finally, take your soft-bristled brush and coat the material with a thin layer of Mod Podge. You will need to add another layer once the first one dries. I recommend that you give it more time than you think it needs to solidify fully.
If you try to add another layer too soon, you could tear your gold leaf! Two to three layers are usually all you need to the the job done.
What Glue Is Best for Gold Leaf?
When it comes to sealing your gold leaf, you have plenty of options. I usually prefer to use Mod Podge since it’s simple to apply, and I always have some of it lying around. However, you can use most thinned glues.
You should always make sure to use water-based adhesives, not oil-based ones. There are even specific metal leaf adhesives like Speedball Mona Lisa Adhesive, which work great! These types of glues are also known as adhesive sizing. You would apply it with a soft bristle brush.
You can also use a spray adhesive, although it’s a bit harder to control than applying with a brush. You should always hold the spray can a reasonable distance away from the gold and use painter’s tape. The tape makes keeping the spray adhesive in a particular area easier.
That said, Mod Podge is still the best glue for gold leaf. It’s cost-efficient, easy to apply, and dries clear. It also provides the fragile gold leaf with a good amount of protection. You can add multiple layers of the sealant to make it stronger.
Overall, you’ll want to choose the glue that’s easiest for you to use while giving you plenty of benefits. For me, that would have to be Mod Podge!
How Do You Seal Gold Leaf on a Canvas?
Adding gold leaf to canvas gives your piece a final touch that you can’t achieve with just anything. It makes your work look stunning too! The best part is that metal leafing is also pretty straightforward to use.
You always want to seal any metal leaves you’re using before moving on to painting. While this does mean you’ll have to plan ahead of the space on your canvas more, it’s well worth it.
I recommend sketching out your image on the canvas, then filling in areas with gold leaf. You can also add painter’s tape to ensure your other materials don’t get on the metal.
To seal the gold leaf, you’ll next need to take the sealant of your choice and follow the instructions listed on it. Some products ask that you dilute the glue, while others don’t, so you’ll want to make sure before you add it to your work. Using Mod Podge is one of the easiest ways to seal your canvas, since all you need is a brush.
Use a soft-bristled, square brush to apply the sealant only to the gold areas. You can avoid any areas that you plan on adding paint to later. Make sure to let it dry for a few hours before handling the artwork to avoid any damage. It’s also important to make sure there are no pets or outdoor debris while you are sealing artwork.
Sometimes a bug, dog hair, or even lint can land on your canvas as it’s drying, and it’ll become part of your artwork.
Can You Use Elmer’s Glue for Gold Leaf?
You can use Elmer’s glue as a base to make the gold leaf stick to your work, but I wouldn’t use it as a sealant. To do this, I apply Elmer’s glue where you want the leaf to stick, then let it dry somewhat. You want the glue to be a bit tacky.
Press the gold leaf into place, then brush away the rest of the metal leaf. The parts pressed into the glue should stick, only removing the excess gold leaf. From there, you’ll want to wait for it to fully dry, then apply a clear sealant.
Often, metal leaf comes with a wax backing that you can peel off. Make sure you don’t touch this until the glue dries completely. That way, when you peel the back off, the gold won’t come with it! It’s also less messy this way.
In short, you can use Elmer’s glue for the gold leaf! It works great when you only apply it to specific spaces on your project. You will have even more control over where the gold stays.
How Do You Seal Gold Leaf on Leather?
You can even add gold leaf to leather items. Many people do this to customize their accessories. Start by applying an adhesive and pressing the gold leaf into it. Remove the excess material and repeat if you need to. You should always have all of the gold leaves pressed onto the leather you want to use first.
Next, you’ll add a layer of varnish or sealant to the gold leaf. You can use Mod Podge or other water-based adhesives to protect it. This process is very similar to sealing the gold on other items.
However, you want to make sure you lay down the leather flat, so the gold and sealant don’t end during drying. You should leave extra time for the seal to dry between layers. Instead of waiting just half an hour before adding more Mod Podge, I recommend waiting overnight. Always add at least two sealing layers!
Leather is more porous than various other materials, so giving it additional time to dry ensures your project won’t get ruined. Overall, you can follow most of the same steps.
To summarize, you can use Mod Podge on a gold leaf to seal it. Without a layer of protection, your gold leaf can easily scratch off! It’s incredibly fragile and thin, so you should always give it a layer of sealant. Clear seals are best, so you can still see the beautiful gold through them.
Overall, you can use this sealant on plenty of different materials. Mod Podge is always my go-to sealant for various projects, and I’m sure it will work great for you too!
Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your gold leaf project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!