Gilder's Paste is a truly versatile wax based coloring medium.  You can use it to color so many things - metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramics, to name a few.  I've used it on metal, leather, resin clay and now wood!!  See the links below for my tutorials.

Application is easy as you can use your finger or some sort of brush or dabber depending on how detailed you want the coloring to be. There is always the issue of potential sensitivity. So you could wear gloves or use a cloth, if you wish to avoid skin contact.

The really smooth surfaces like plastic, resin and ceramic will benefit from some light abrasion with fine sandpaper or #0000 steel wool. This helps the wax paste to adhere.

It takes about 12 hours for the paste to "cure" after which you can buff with a soft cloth to get the gilded look.

My favorite colors are the ones which imitate metals I like, for example, Rich Gold as well as the silver.  There is one called German silver which is an alloy (nickel, zinc and copper) with a distinctive color.  As people are often allergic to nickel, you can avoid this issue and use the paste on non-nickel findings. You can also use  Gilder's Paste Verdigris  to get that lovely blue-green patina of oxidized copper or brass without having to transform the metal!!  You can also mix colors together for custom hues.

See Gilder's Paste 12 Tips for further info.

Sandy Huntress of Keepsake Crafts demonstrates how she uses Gilder's Paste on metal charms. She also shared a tip on how to keep the wax fresh by closing the lid over a piece of Glad Press'n Seal plastic wrap.

Sandy does mention the paint thinner method of refreshing dried up Gilder's Paste.  When it dries up, cracks form and the consistency is not like shoe polish any more. Usually the recommendation is to use turpentine, paint thinner or mineral spirits as in this Art Beads post.

These solvents have to be used in well ventilated places.  My uncle, an amateur artist, started to paint with oils. He suffered from headaches because he was using one of these solvents to clean his brushes indoors.  His instructor suggested he use baby oil instead.  Works very well!

That was when I realized baby oil is a great substitute for revitalizing dried up Gilder's Paste.  Baby oil is a highly purified mineral oil or liquid paraffin (paraffinum liquidum) - "odorless and tasteless, dermatologically tested and approved, not allergenic, hydrophobic and contain no pesticides or herbicides."

So I put it to the test with this dried pot of red Gilder's Paste. I added a few drops of baby oil to a small section of the paste.

I then dabbed that paste with a small piece of paper towel  (you can use your fingers but I needed clean hands to operate the smartphone camera!).  And applied it to a scrap piece of wood.

The result is a "washed" or stain effect which is a vast improvement from the barely applied attempt with dry Gilder's Paste on the left below :

You can intensify the color by adding much more pigment. What I did was to use a sharp blade to cut up a small piece of dried up Gilder's Paste into little pieces.  I crushed these little pieces into a powdery consistency in a small container.  I then added some baby oil to make a thick paste and applied that to another piece of wood.

A much richer color in comparison!  The extra amount of pigment is what made the difference. The use of a sparing amount baby oil works well for porous material such as wood as the wood absorbs excess oil.  You will probably have to resort to turpentine or mineral spirits which are volatile if you are going to use it on metal. 

Before You Go :

Disclosure This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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