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Gilders Tip Instructions


Gilders Tips

Gilders Tips are used to pick up loose leaf gold leaf without damaging it.Tips are available in widths from 1” up to 4”, with 3-1/2" the most common size.


Squirrel hair tips are the most popular tips used by gilders. They do not carry a static charge and easier to use than synthetic tips.


Synthetic hair tips, made with soft synthetic bristles, are less expensive than the natural hair tips, but may pick up a static charge.


Thorn Tips use a screen to pick up the leaf, and works well when working on flat or convex surfaces. Please click here for information on Thorn Tips.


For squirrel hair and synthetic Tips, the procedure is the same for picking up gold leaf and laying it on the gilding surface. The gold leaf should be completely exposed in the book or placed on a gilders cushion.

1. Put a very small amount of petroleum jelly on the back of your non-dominant hand and rub it in well.

2. Very lightly brush the end of the tip over the back of your non-dominate hand to pick up a very small amount of petroleum jelly.

3. Carefully place the end of the tip on the gold leaf close to the edge of the gold leaf.

4. Slowly drag the gold leaf out of the book or gilders pad onto the prepared gilding surface.

5. Once on the surface, carefully tap the gold leaf into the size/adhesive with the end of the gilders tip, or using a soft brush to ensure 100% contact with the adhesive.



If the hairs on the gilders tip becomes contaminated when using a water base size, the gilders tip can be cleaned with warm soap and water. If contaminated using an oil base size, use a mild solvent to clean the gilders tip. For the tip to maintain its shape, straighten the tip hairs after cleaning and lay the tip on a clean flat surface to dry. Avoid getting water or solvent on the paper binder.