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Metallic Leaf.

Metallic leafing can add a dramatic effect to both small and large spaces. Both gold and silver leaf can vary substantially in both price and quality, but in some instances less expensive composition materials can provide virtually the same effect. Metallic leaf can be added to just about any relatively smooth surface, from picture frames to vaulted ceilings.

The leafing process involves the application of a thin layer of (usually) gold or silver sheets, called "leaf." Before the leaf is applied, the surface is painted and covered with an adhesive sizing. The small sheets are then carefully applied to the surface and sealed to prevent discoloration.

Often cracks and spaces between the sheets of leafing are left exposed. These spaces, known as "holidays," reveal the paint underneath the leaf and help to give the leaf a worn or aged appearance.

To learn about aging and color wash, click here.

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