This carved mirror frame is made of some sort of South American hardwood, the species of which I have no idea. When it was brought to the shop the owner wanted the pretty lavender paint removed for some reason. So I obliged and suggested maybe they want the sun gilted, to which they agreed.
I removed the paint one section at a time, using blue masking tape to isolate surrounding areas for better control of the stripping process.
I worked my way around the frame again isolating areas with blue painters tape.
Once I had all of the paint removed, I used the slow acting citrus stripper, I cleaned up the surfaces with alcohol then added a thin coat of shellac.
Next I put a coat of gesso on the carving to fill the grain and smooth out the surface. The gesso is hide glue size and marble dust with a bit of whiting and a touch of red iron oxide. I lightly sanded between coats until the surface was smooth.
I then mixed up some bole using kaolin pipe clay, red iron oxide and hide glue size and painted it over the gesso. I applied about 3 coats of the bole, smoothing them with a piece of coarse linen cloth between coats.
Next it was onto the gold size [a mixture of 10% hide glue and 90% distilled water. I put a couple of coats on allowing them to dry between coats.
On to the gold leaf, because of the nature of the carving [not intended to be gilded] it required several applications to get it covered. The gold size is made ready by applying gilder’s liquor a mixture of distilled water and alcohol to activate.
I got to use my gilder’s cush and gilder’s knife that I made, also my gilders tip, although I need to make another as the bugs did damage to the bristles.
After I finished I mixed up some shellac, red iron oxide, burnt umber and black iron oxide to cover a bit of gold that got on the side of the carving. This worked better than trying to scrape off the little bits of leaf. I also touched up the lighter area on the top right side of the frame.
And the customer was happy.