View Full Version : Gold Leaf, Dutch Metal or paint with acrylic? xPosted with Mixed Media

02-16-2012, 04:48 AM
xPosted with Mixed Media

I'm planning a project, and am thinking of using gold - in some form or other - in the work.

Gold leaf could look superb, but I don't know that the client would accept the cost - Dutch metal (or schlag metal?) might do ... or I might go with an iridescent paint?

My main medium would be acrylic (Golden, no pun), and the piece will be hung in a poorly lit area - one that gets ambient light, but little direct light.

Would metal suck up what little light there is, or add a glow? Will the paint take over metal?

02-16-2012, 05:06 AM
Metal leafing in a painting does tend to have the effect of looking flat and dark if the lighting isn't right, I think broadly speaking there needs to be enough light behind the viewer for it to look bright and, well, golden.

If you do decide to go with leafing, I should mention that there may be issues with the long-term compatibility of acrylic and Dutch meal because of the alkalinity of acrylic paint. Dutch metal is a brass or bronze alloy and over time you may get tarnishing, I've had this happen with bronze pigment (even though Lascaux say it is encapsulated to supposedly make it safe with an acrylic binder).


02-16-2012, 03:57 PM
Thanks Einion, that's useful guidance - not what I wanted to read, but it's better to avoid an expensive mistake.

02-17-2012, 09:09 AM
Welcome. Just to stress: there may be a problem. Metal leaf is quite different from a pigment powder dispersed in a binder, so even if they're made from the same alloy they may not react the same way. Plus local conditions may be significant - higher humidity v. low humidity, varnish or no varnish etc.

If you're interested in artificial leaf beyond this one project it would be easy enough and very worthwhile to do some test pieces, to see how they fare over time.