!DOCTYPE html> Liquid Gesso for Raised Illumination
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Liquid Gesso for Raised Illumination Information & Instructions


Liquid Gesso

This slaked Plaster of Paris liquid gesso is used for raised illumination and calligraphy. Based on a 14th Century formula, this gesso is unique in that it can be polished with an agate or hematite burnisher before applying gold leaf, resulting in a smoother and shinier surface. After the gold has been applied and set, the gilded surface can also be burnished to increase its shine.


It can be used with genuine gold and palladium. Not recommended for use with silver, copper, imitation or variegated leaf.




Stir gently before use. Do not shake. Do not dilute with water.


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.


This size works especially well with a nib, dip pen or a ruling pen, but a brush can also be used. Once applied, this size will set up in about two hours depending on the humidity, temperature and thickness of the application. Additional layers will greatly increase the height of the raised gold. Additional layers can be added after 15-30 minutes, but before the previous layer dries.

This gesso is unique in that it can be polished with an agate or hematite burnisher before applying gold leaf, resulting in a smoother and shinier surface. For additional shine, you can also burnish after the gold leaf has been applied and dried.


If stored in a refrigerator, it should be allowed to reach room temperature before using. If using a ruling pen or brush, use a coffee stirrer or similar tool to stir the mix until it is a creamy solution. Take out a small amount of the gesso, place it into a dappen dish, and use it at full strength.


For a broad-edged or pointed pen, you may want to dilute it with some of its own liquid. To do that, before stirring the jar, transfer some of the top portion of the liquid (a drop or two) into the dappen dish. Next, stir the jar and then add some of the stirred gesso to the drops in the dish. This thins the gesso from within its own system, and this avoids adding water, which would weaken the gesso once dry.

The gesso should be completely dry before the surface is burnished/polished. The Gesso will have a hard shell, but the inside will be soft so caution should be used. Do not apply strong pressure.


Important: Apply the Gesso evenly and keep the height of the letters or art at the same height.

It is best to wait a minimum of 24 hours before applying the leaf. Once dry, your window for applying gold remains open for up to a week.
During the gilding stage, the gesso is activated by blowing warm breath through a breathing tube or straw to areas where the leaf will be applied. Apply the gold in small sections at a time until the gesso is completely covered.


Thinning / Diluting
If additional thinning is needed, glair can be used to thin the liquid gesso to the consistency you need.   Adding one or two drops of glair will thin the Liquid Gesso. Stir until the gesso has absorbed the glair. The amount of thinning needed will depend on the instrument being used.  For example, thinning is not needed when using a ruling pen, but may be needed with a dip pen.  Do not use water alone to thin, as it can do more harm than good.


Glair Recipe
Beat one egg-white to a stiff froth, then allow it to settle overnight.   The liquid that collects at the bottom of the bowl is glair. Allow it to sit undisturbed for a day, then strain it to remove any stringiness left over from the frothing. It is then ready to be used. It can be used full strength, but most gilders prefer diluting it with an equal amount of water.


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
Slaked paster


Clean up brushes and tools with warm soap and water.


Keep the containers tightly closed and avoid frost and heat. Refrigeration is not required, but will extend the storage life of the product. Depending on storage conditions, it has a shelf life of up to10 years.





This gesso is non-toxic, but it should not be ingested. Wear eye protection. Contains Titanium Dioxide as the white pigment. The gesso does NOT contain White Lead
It has been tinted pink to make it visible on light colored paper.


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.