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Illuminator's Bole Information & Instructions


Liquid Gesso

Illuminator’s Bole is a unique paint that rises as it dries to give more depth to gilding projects. It can be applied with a brush or a dip pen. Illuminator's Bole can be polished before the gold is applied using a dogtooth or a lipstick burnisher for a beautiful high gloss finish. After the gold has set, the surface can be burnished again, increasing the brightness.


It can be used with gold, silver, copper, imitation and variegated leaf.


Usage Overview


Base Material:
For calligraphy a 100% Rag Paper ensures that the size does not run. For icons, artwork and other small projects, the surface should be clean and free of dust and oil.


Application of Illuminator's Bole

This size works especially well with a brush, ruling or dip pen. Once applied, this bole will set up in about 2 hours, depending on the humidity, temperature and thickness of the application. Additional layers can be added after each previous layer has dried. Once the Illuminator's Bole has set, you can activate it by using a breathing tube or straw allowing you to apply the gold where needed. Areas which are missing leaf can be activated again.

Warming the bole to a more liquefied state prior to use will allow it to self level, resulting in a much smoother surface giving you a brighter and shinier gold . DO NOT BOIL!


Click here to watch a video of the product being used.


Transfer Leaf
Transfer gold is preferred as it is much easier to handle than loose leaf. After the size has set, place the gold leaf on the area where the size has been applied. Using your thumb, apply a small amount of pressure to the transfer paper backing and the gold leaf will adhere to the size. Then peel off the transfer paper off and clean up if needed.


Loose Leaf
If you do not have transfer leaf, use a Gilders Tip to pick up the loose gold leaf carefully lay it on the item being gilded. From the gold leaf books, remove a sheet of the tissue paper that separates the leaves. Place the tissue paper on the back of the gold leaf, and use your thumb to gently apply pressure on the tissue paper, rubbing and pushing the gold leaf down into the size.


Miscellaneous Information

Made in the USA


Ingredient Composition
Natural clays


Clean up brushes and tools with warm soap and water.


Illuminator's Bole should be kept in a dry cool area away from UV light and direct sunlight. Keep the containers tightly closed and avoid frost and heat. Refrigeration is not required.





Illuminator's Bole is not toxic, but it should not be ingested. Wear eye protection.


The conditions, methods of handling and use of this product are beyond our control and may be beyond our knowledge.  For this reason, we do not assume responsibility and expressly disclaim liability for loss, damage or expenses arising out of or in any way connected to the handling, storage, use or disposal of this product.