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Instacoll Base HA Information & Instructions


Kolner Instacoll HA


Instacoll Base HA (High Active) is a fast size (adhesive) developed to be a high performance gilding size for both interior and exterior projects. The gilding results in a BRIGHT shiny gilded surface which has the appearance of being water gilded and burnished. It is sometimes referred to as a 'Liquid Burnisher’.


Instacoll Base HA is formulated for use with heavier leaf such as silver, palladium, platinum or heavy gold leaf such as 24k Quad Leaf. For imitation leaf see Kolner Permacoll. For standard thickness gold see regular Instacoll Base.

The Instacoll system consists of a base size and an activator. They are both available in 100-ml, 500-ml, 1-liter and 4-liter containers. It is available in yellow and clear for gold, in gray for silver and palladium.



The surfaces must be dry and free from dust and grease. Surfaces must be treated in such a way that they are also weather-resistant without gilding. When gilding on metal surfaces, the surface must be primed, preferably with two layers of high gloss finish. These layers must be dried completely, and the last layer needs to be scuffed with Scotch Brite scuff pads or very lightly sanded. The primer and the high gloss finishing act as an isolation layer to prevent contact corrosion between the material being gilded and the leaf.


When gilding on glass Instacoll Base HA can be applied after the glass has been thoroughly cleaned. For indoor use only when gilding on glass.

Never apply Instacoll Base HA directly on powder coatings. Always apply a primer base coat first, and when dry then apply the base.

NOTE: The smoother the gilding surface is, the better and brighter the finished gilding will look.




The Instacoll HA can be applied with a brush or sprayed. The product does not need to be thinned at temperatures between 60 °F and 77 °F. Between 40°F and 60°F the product must be thinned slightly with water. The product must not be used at temperatures below 40 °F. At temperatures higher than 77 °F, Instacoll HA will dry faster so only small areas should be gilded.


Using a Brush: Synthetic fiber brushes work best for applying Instacoll Base HA. Apply Instacoll Base generously. When the product is not applied generously enough, visible brush marks may remain. After the first layer has dried, a second layer can be applied in order to improve the quality of the surface. The danger of wrinkling after gilding increases when the layer is applied too thick at one time.


Low Pressure Spraying: Set the product on a viscosity between 20 and 28 seconds (Din-cup 4) at 68 ° F. (The product must not be used below 40 °F). This is equal to thinning with water between 5% and 10 %. In general a spray aperture of 1mm to 11⁄2 mm is works best. The drying time will be extended because the sprayed layer is usually thicker than a layer that is applied by using a brush. Optionally test with a tissue paper.



Depending on the size of the job, one of two methods will be used.


Small Projects (where gilding can be completed within an hour)

After the Instacoll HA has been applied, wait about one hour, after which the leaf can be applied for about an hour before it becomes too try to adhere the gold properly.


Larger Projects (where gilding will take more than an hour)

After the Instacoll HA has been applied, allow it to completely dry for 24-48 hours. After the Instacoll HA is dry, you can either brush on a thin coat of the HA Activator or apply a thin coat with a Kolner Tissue. After applying the Activator, wait 5 minutes before gilding, after which you can apply gold leaf for about an hour. Additional sections can be re-activated and gilded until the project is finished. Instacoll HA can be re-activate for up to several months.


Surfaces that are activated with the Instacoll Activator but not yet covered with gold leaves should not be touched because the adherence will decrease with touching.


Transfer Leaf

Transfer gold is preferred as it is much easier to apply than loose leaf. With the leaf side down, lay the transfer leaf onto the surface you are gilding and firmly press the leaf down onto the Instacoll Base HA using a Kolner Tissue to force the leaf into the Instacoll Base.


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 an Kolner Tissue to gently apply pressure on the tissue paper, rubbing and pushing the gold leaf down into the Instacoll Base size.



The leaves can be overlapped slightly so that the entire surface is covered. The edges of the leaves can be pushed into each other by laying a piece of the transfer paper or tissue paper from the book on the seam. Use a Kolner Tissue to gently apply pressure to the paper which will push the leaf together.


For surfaces with reliefs or high detail the Instacoll Tool can be used to work the leaf down into corners and crevices.


To achieve a higher gloss, use a small amount of pressure and polish the gold leaf by gently rubbing the gilded gold leaf in a circular motion with the Kolner Tissue. Do not use an agate burnisher.


Adverse weather conditions as such as low temperatures with rain, snow or hail will extend the drying time (several days, depending on the conditions). The gloss level will fade over time but remain shinier than traditional oil base gilding.




Clean up brushes and tools with warm soap and water. Do not return unused solutions to their container, discard.



Keep Instacoll Base HA and Activator HA in a dry, cool, well-ventilate area, away from UV light and direct sunlight. Keep the containers tightly closed and avoid frost and heat. Depending on storage conditions, shelf life of unused products is 1-2 years.


The Instacoll Base and Activator are not toxic. However they may cause skin or eye irritation, and should be kept away from food and drink.

A complete safety data sheet from Kölner Products can be viewed here.


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.