Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Use Gilder's Paste to Color Metal Jewelry

By on Wednesday, June 08, 2011 10 Comments

Just the other day, I was looking at my little collection of vintage brass stampings and lamenting their lack of color. While I was looking for colored stampings,  I discovered there is such a thing as Gilder's Paste.

This special colored wax is produced by  Artist Supplies & Products and can be used not only on metals but wood, ceramics, resin and polymer clay.

It's typically used to gild outdoor iron work, pottery, picture frames, candles and furniture. Jewelry artisans though are starting to have fun with this fantastic product on their components.

There are 28 colors available including some lovely metallic hues.  It has the consistency of shoe polish and even comes in tins like them. The blended and layered techniques with different colors result in even more variations. One of the colors, Verdigris, mimics the greenish blue patina of tarnished metals. A little goes a long way so a small tin will probably do a jewelry artisan. They do make the stuff for people working with much larger iron work pieces!!

The colored wax is either rubbed on neat or brushed on after mixing with paint thinner.  It takes about 12 hours to cure with plenty of time in the first hour to easily remove it. After it cures, it will take paint thinner etc to remove it.  Get the gilded finish look by lightly buffing after curing.

It can be applied and blended over a painted base. Several types of sealants can be used to protect the final design. Diamond Glaze, Renaissance wax, matte varnishes, Ceramcoat sealer are some suggestions. 

Some of you would probably be wondering about product safety. Well, the manufacturer states you can use your fingers to apply the paste. I suspect the solvent base might be white spirit . To be sure, check the MSDS (material safety data sheet) supplied by the manufacturer.  If so, the main issue would then probably be skin irritation with prolonged skin contact. So just use your common sense - either use a cloth, tool or wear gloves and work in a well ventilated spot if you're going to be using this a lot.

While researching on how to use Gilder's Paste for jewelry, I stumbled upon Brenda Sue's delightful videos on Youtube. She is the founder of B'Sue Boutiques which sells supplies. She has been making jewelry for more than 20 years. Her warm,  bubbly and can-do personality shines through her fun presentations.

Her first video covers the basic use. The paste is especially effective when applied over an acrylic painted metal finding.

Her second video shows how she put together an absolutely gorgeous metallic necklace made up of floral stampings covered with Lumiere paint, Gilder's Paste and Diamond Glaze.  She includes the wire work instructions on how to put it all together and a tip on how to sign your work on designs.

Brenda found it's much easier to thin the paste and paint on chain and filigrees as you can see in her third video. There's probably more to follow as she explores how to use Gilder's Paste.

Before You Go :
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. This looks like FUN!!! I hesitate to say I will try it out because I don't need another project....but....who know. It sure is tempting!!!
    Thanks Pearl.

  2. Go ahead, tempted! And fearlessly TRY it. I hesitated to carry Gilder's as I didn't think we needed another colorization product at B'sue Boutiques....but we can't keep the stuff on the shelves! IT IS THE BOMB. I hope you will watch our videos, grab a cuppa and come on over and let me show you in person. It will bring such color to your life! Since I brought in Gilder's I've increased our stock of raw brass product--why pay for plating or hand-rubbed finishes if you're gonna use Gilders? LOL We carry all the important shades. If you start w this product, I always advise to get the metallics first, then Patina and Verdigris, after that the colors. I have found that the other colors beyond what we carry, in the Gilder's palette, are simply nuances of the basics. We carry about 1/2 of them, which is really all you'd ever need. The German Silver is not true silver---it's like old nickel silver, with a gold cast. GORGEOUS. And Pearl, you are correct, there is white spirit in it, but an allowable amount. You CAN work with it in gloves (nitrile) but I am okay with it on bare skin as long as you don't stand there for hours with it. Clean up is easy. GO FOR IT! You will never look back. You do need to seal it: I advise matte spray lacquer in a tent or outside, and don't forget to seal both sides. Renwax does work but go carefully, buffing hard may remove color. Thanks again, Pearl, for featuring my videos! We make a couple of new ones every month.

  3. I'm like Carol! I am so tempted so Gilder's Paste is definitely on my wish list!

  4. I've just recently picked up some Gilder's Paste but haven't had the time to play with it yet! Now I'm itching even more than normal to pull it out :)

  5. I was a watching a video about this product the other day and I have to admit that it does look intriguing. I will have to pick some up next time I have money not earmarked for something else.

  6. This is so cool! I've added gilder's paste to shopping list. I've collected vintage jewelry for years and have created handmade for 6, this is a great way to make make my handmade pieces have a totally different look and feel! Thanks for this wonderful information and fantastic tutorial videos. Terri Faye

  7. Well I'll be darned. I recently bought some bronze colored components with a verdigris patina. I'll bet this is how they came to be!

  8. Pearl, thanks so much for posting this. B'sue, thanks so much for your experiments with Gilders Paste, Lumiere Paint and putting up those videos. Ever since I found this, I've been MAD about adding color to my brass findings, I can't get enough of it, wheee~! =D <333

  9. Spoken like a true jewelry artisan who has found her niche!!

  10. Great timing because I've just ordered some and can't wait!