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Gilding Powders

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher



Gilding powders or "bronzing powders" are very useful for decorating furniture and objects of art and they come in many colors. A couple of techniques that have been used in the finishing process that are the most common are pin striping and stenciling. These materials and techniques are still in use today on painted chairs, tables and decorative accessories found in many homes.

Here are six tips for using gilding powders in your own finishing.

  1. Powders can be mixed with any finishing material.
  2. It is best to use powders in the same medium as the topcoat.
  3. Powders can be used to make your own metallic paints.
  4. Powders can be mixed with existing paint colors to make "metal flake" paint. (Think metallic fingernail polish or metal flake car paint.)
  5. Powders must be mixed into a drying film (varnish and shellac are best) and top coated.
  6. As always, practice on scrap and handle these powders and all finishing materials carefully.


Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:


Aug 16, 2014  Finishing 101
Aug 27, 2014  French Polish Workshop



Visit Highland Woodworking's Online Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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