Introduction: An Inspiring Gilded Copper Leaf and Tamise Sign

About: I have been working with gold leaf and gilders for many years. It's a magical craft going back millenia. I love to introduce both adults and kids to the artistry of gilding with all types of leaf!

Make Your Work Play!

We are excited to be back-to-school and back-to-work after the summer break! Join us as we create a gorgeous sign that’s sure to make work time easier to contemplate and fun time more exceptional! The copper gilded words and lively multi-colored Tamisé Flake leaves create a rich effect with the rustic red base. This sign is designed for indoor use only.

Step 1: What You’ll Need

Artist’s brush(es) for applying size

¼” to ½” brush for brushing away excess leaf

Cotton gloves

Sepp Gilding Workshop Red Primer

Sepp Gilding Workshop Water-based Gilding Size

Sepp Gilding Workshop Copper Leaf book of 25 leaves

Sepp Gilding Workshop Tamisé Flakes in Variegated Red

Sepp Gilding Workshop Acrylic Clear Coat

Wooden sign blank, (we used a 17” tabletop) hanging hardware installed. You could also use a raised art panel.

Stencils/cutouts for letters and decorative motifs - we used a great font called “Single Step” available at

You can find the gold leaf, size and gilding supplies where Sepp Gilding Workshop products are sold.

Step 2: Prepare Sign and Apply Size to Letters

Paint your sign blank with two coats of Sepp Gilding Workshop Red Primer, sanding between coats. Lightly sand final coat as necessary with 400 grit sandpaper. Trace or stencil all your letters only, which will be gilded with copper leaf. Apply water-based gilding size with a brush. As you continue, you’ll notice the size turn from milky white to clear, which indicates it’s ready to gild.

Step 3: Time to Gild!

Wait until all the sized letters have turned clear. Wear a cotton glove on the hand that will touch the copper leaf – bare fingers will stain the leaf. Hold the open book of leaf close to the sized area and pull the leaf from its page to cover the size. Keep going until all your letters are covered with leaf. Press with your gloved hand to ensure full contact.

Step 4: Brush Off Excess Leaf

Swirl a soft brush over the gold leaf – your letters will emerge, and the excess flakes can be kept for future projects.

Step 5: Gilding With Tamisé Flakes

Stencil or trace the decorative motifs. Apply the size to each and allow to come to tack, then sprinkle the Tamisé Flakes over each element. Press firmly to ensure full contact.

Step 6: Final Brush Down

After the design elements are completely covered with flakes, gently swirl a soft brush to remove excess flakes, which can be saved and stored. You can give a final all-over buff with your gloved hand. Seal gilded areas with Acrylic Clear Coat. Your Gilded Sign is ready to inspire!

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