gilding with instacoll and activator

How to gild with the Instacoll System Base Size and the Activator

Instacoll is a size for attaining a high gloss weather-resistant exterior and interior gilding. It can be used on nearly all substrates that have been prepared using standard accepted techniques to create weather-resistant surfaces. Do not use directly on glass outdoors. Agate burnishing is not possible nor even necessary.

The Instacoll gloss is for both indoor/outdoor gilding, the Matt Instacoll is only for the indoor gilding.

Before gilding, Instacoll needs to be a completely dry film. This film will be activated with Instacoll – Activator before applying the gold leaf, preferably patent gold (transfer gold leaf). After activating, the Instacoll-surface is ready for the gold leaf to adhere superbly with a maximum burnishing effect.

How to apply the Instacoll Gilding Size

  1. Porous surfaces such as raw wood, stone, plaster should first be coated with a 15% water/Instacoll diluted solution.
  2. After 30 minutes of drying, this coat can now be covered with a more generous, full-strength layer of Instacoll.
  3. The rules of painting have to be strictly observed! As mentioned above, some materials in harsh weather need more than a simple pre-paint with Instacoll to achieve a weather-resistant coating.
  4. Apply Instacoll with a soft brush (nylon) or a sprayer. Dilute with water 5% to 10% if spraying.
  5. One or two evenly applied coats are sufficient. The last coat should be completely dry before applying the next layer.
  6. Wait at least 1 hour after the last Instacoll layer.
  7. Now you have about one hour of “ open time” to apply the gold leaf without using the Activator.
  8. After the one hour “open time”, you have to use the Activator. You can Activate again and again after one day, two weeks, six months and gild again.

Activating the Instacoll size layer

  • Activate the dry and tackles surface of Instacoll with Instacoll – Activator using Instacoll Tissue moistened with Instacoll – Activator. Rub the moistened Tissue across the Instacoll film with even size film results. This film must be sparse that drying results in less than 2 minutes. Now you can apply gold leaf for another 50/60 minutes.
  • Apply patent gold by pressing and rubbing with the Instacoll Tissue on the back of the transfer paper. Continues gilding requires constantly activating the next area. Overlapped activating onto a just laid leaf enables a seamless gilded surface. Always let the Activator Size dry before applying the next leaf!
  • After the entire surface is covered with gold leaf, press again with the Instacoll Tissue the whole surface, especially the overlapping of the gold leaf.
  • Now rub once more the surface with the Instacoll Tissue in one direction to get a high gloss gilding.
  • Faults can be filled using the above method or by applying Instacoll – Activator as described above.
  • The loose-leaf may also be applied directly if the gold is laid on the wet Instacoll-Activator. Therefore the size should be brushed thinly but repeatedly. Similar to traditional water gilding, the leaf is immediately laid on the wet surface. After the surface has dried sufficiently, the leaf should be pressed again onto the surface with Instacoll Tissue. The resulting shine is not so brilliant as with dry gilding mentioned before.