KGGG Systen Fond Workshop at gold Leaf NZ

How to gild with Kölner KGGG System Fond

Kölner KGGG system Fond is what you need to create a high quality and super shiny gold finish using Genuine Gold Leaf. The Fond system consists of three components:

Kölner KGGG system component 1

The impregnation agent (Sealer P, Sealer 123A), Component 2 is burnishing clay (Fond) and Component 3 is a size for water gilding (Colnasol) or you can make your own using rabbit skin glue.

KGGG-System Sealer 123a

The impregnation agent is used to seal an absorbing surface, which forms a film inside the material without building a closed layer at the surface. Such materials are, amongst others, plastering, plaster and paper material. The impregnation agent improves the adhesion between the work material and the following primer coat. Therefore, it is very important that the correct impregnation agent is used. The impregnation agent provides a better adhesive for the KGGG-Fond.

Kölner Sealer P

A water dilutable, acrylic resin dispersion. The solvent content is < 1 %. After film building, the layer can only be removed with acetone or ethanol. Brushes should be washed out with water. The product can be stored for at least 1 year.

Advantage of Sealer P over Sealer 123A are an enhanced provision of adhesion of Kölner KGGG Fond and spray fond, as well as a lower impregnation depth for extremely absorbing underlayers, e.g. plaster. Sealer 123a is diluted with water. It is applied to diminish absorbing surfaces, and to secure the adhesion of the next layer of fond. It can be used for gilding on e.g. plaster, stone and wood.

Kölner KGGG system component 2

Kölner Fond is a water-based, one-layer gilders clay, which replaces the Gesso and bole/poliment layers of the traditional system. The Fond can be applied directly in the correct colour without warming the product. Usually, 4 to 6 layers are applied, depending on the type of the present reliefs. A dry film thickness of 150 μm must be reached everywhere where later the leaf metal will be burnished. Firstly, the Fond must be stirred. Don´t shake, otherwise air bubbles will arise. Applying the Fond occurs in at least 4 layers. As soon as the last layer has dried, it should be mildly polished with a damp cloth. Afterwards, it is polished with a dry cloth until it shines.

Formulated for brush application, Kolner Fond is a water-based burnishable gesso primer for gold, silver and composition leaf. This product – available in 7 colors- is ideally suited for creation of water gilded and burnished frames, interior architectural elements and furniture ornaments, to achieve a traditional look for less effort.

Kölner KGGG system component 3

Colnasol Gel Concentrate is a quickly prepared size / adhesive available in concentrated tablet form. Dissolved in water, the gel tablets make a „gilder´s liquor“ designed for the adhesion of gold, silver and Dutch metal* leaf to Kolner Burnishing Clay and Sprayfond. This product is integral component of the Kolner System. 

  • Each tablet (10 gram) will make ½ Liter of Colnasol gel Size. 
  • In addition to use for water gilding, the gel solution may also be used as a mixing agent for Kolner Reliefkitt in full or half concentration.
  • Store solution and undissolved tablets in a refrigerator!

You can also make your own gel using rabbit skin glue.

How to gild with Kölner KGGG System Fond

Sand the surface

Make sure the surface must be clean and free of dust or grease.

Sand the surface with fine sandpaper to get fine and super smooth surface.

Kolner Sealer for gilding

For very observant surfaces like gesso, plaster or paper, use component 1 Sealer 123a diluted with water (sealer 1 part to 2 parts water). Let dry for about 2 – 3 hours.

Apply Kolner Relief Kit

If your object has cracks, holes and imperfection, you can use Kölner Relief Kit  to close and fill in those gaps and holes.

Kolner Fond Application

Component 2: Fond, stir well before use but do not shake as this will create air bubbles.

Apply KGGG Fond

Apply minimum 4 layers to the surface, but make sure you do not cover up some fine relief and small details of your artwork. Allow the Fond layer to dry for about 1-3 hours before applying the next layer.

Sand the Fond layer

Sand the first layer of Fond with about 800g, for the following layers you can use Contour Sanding Sponge 180 Grit to gently smooth the surface.

Apply Ethanol

After the last layer has completely dried, polish with Synthetic Steel Wool Polishing Pad that has been moistened with ethanol. After the ethanol has evaporated, polish the surface with a glossy finish using a piece of cloth. At this stage your last layer should look supper smooth and shiny.

Kolner Colnasol Gel

Component 3, Colnasol gel: Place one tablet in warm water and stir well till you dissolve the tablet. Wait till the water is cooled to ambient temperature and then use. Remember: 1 Colnasol tablet makes 500ml gilding water.

Apply the gold leaf

The fun part: Applying the gold leaf. The best gold leaf to use for poliment gilding is Noris 23.5k Gold Leaf Booklet Ducate Double Polish Gold for outdoor objects, for indoor objects use Noris 22k Gold Leaf Booklet Orange Gold. Brush the surface with the glued water making sure your film layer is even and closed. Only moisten small area at a time, which you can apply the gold leaf onto immediately.

Place the gold leaf on the Gilder’s cushion, use the Gilder’s knife to cut the gold leaf and use gilder’s tip to pick up the gold leaf. Carefully apply small pieces of gold leafs in the indentation and deep areas first, and apply the high area second.

To ensure that your surface will be gilded fully, the gold leaf has to be overlapped (about 3-5mm) which can be carefully and gently brushed away at the end with the gilder’s tip or Soft Wool Brush.

Dust off the gold leaf

Allow at least 3 hours for the gold layer to dry, the gilding can be carefully brushed with Pure Squirrel Hair. Its very normal to see some small area that has no gold leaf on it.  Simply apply the glued water on these little areas and retouch with small pieces of gold leaf.

Burnish the gold leaf with Agatestone

Burnishing tool: Although you can start burnishing the gold leaf after 3-4 hours of drying time. However, its best practice to wait 24h to ensure the final layer is completely dry. You will find that Agate Stone Burnisher 21 is a universal one for fine details area and Agate Stone Burnisher #30 is for large flat area. However, you can choose what is best for your particular artwork using some of these burnisher tools.

Apply Kolner Patina

Kolner Patina Aging: Sometimes you want to achieve an old gilded work. Patina on acryl base. Suitable for simulated aging of gilded surfaces indoors. Creates high contrast and vivid gilding. Suitable for all kinds of gold leaf and metal leaf with the use of all adhesive techniques. Simply apply the patina in deep areas and

Permacoll Patina can be applied directly to a surface gilded using metal leaf if an aged appearance is required. Any surface that Patina has been applied on will not need any further varnish to seal the metal leaf as the binder in the Patina protects from oxidation.

How to apply Permacoll Patina
To apply the Patina, use Synthetic fiber brushes to brush over the surface. Once done, use a soft cloth to wipe off the excess. You can apply an additional coat on areas where the ageing effects needs to be strongly visible. Discard unused solutions, and clean up brushes with warm soap and water.

Kölner Fond
Fond comes in 7 different colours which can also be mixed with each other. Available Fond colours are:

White is for both gold and silver. White can also be used as a gesso.

Ocher is a neutral colour for gilding and great to hide missing area that did not receive gold leaf.

Red and dark red gives the gold a warm glow especially for old gilded mirrors and picture frames.

Black is for gilding with silver.

Yellow is great for making the gold brighter and new.

Blue is for both silver and gold when you want them to look cold.