Gold window number

The signwriting of building signs is so London. It just fits in with the historic surroundings & looks so classic, ornate & high end.

The properties surrounding the Charterhouse square date back to 1730 & had several wealthy owners until it was converted into offices in 1931 which its continued to be since.

The premises had an existing gold leaf number on the entrance window (transom) but had deteriorated due to no preserving varnish & had been scratched & worn by cleaning of the window.  The hand painted outline was stil visable so was used to trace off the existing font type which was requested to remain despite not really being of in keeping with the building’s age.

The original gold window number traced off on the outside of the window with a white mark out pencil allowed for the removal of the old gold. This was scraped off with a scalpel blade. It came away quite easily due to the lack of protective vanish.

Care is taken to paint the outlines of the fresh number using a specialist brush to get consistant thickness in the lines. The paint used is quick drying. This is used as the gold needs to be applied on top & if regular oil based enamel is used the dry time is too long & the paint remains too tacky.

Once the outline paint is dry the gold is applied. To do this the centre of the number has ‘size’ applied with brush, taking care to cover the whole of the number, overlapping the outline if necassary. The importance is in getting the ‘size’ laid on as consistantly as possible but without being covered too thickly. The result is a ‘jelly’ looking centre. There is the a waiting time until the ‘size’ has nearly dried, leaving just a slight tack. At this point the gold leaves are laid onto the number.

The gold window number is then allowed to dry fully. The gold leaf has to stick well to the size, which needs to harden to prvent the gold coming away. Once fully dry the gold is ‘burnished’ using a specialist soft brush. This takes off any loose & excess gold and leaves a smoother surface of gold.

With the gold dried on the final stage is to touch up the outlines, just to make them look the same as they do on the outside of the glass. This isn’t essential but just more asthetically pleasing from the inside of the building as well as the outside.

With the outline dey the completing process is to paint over the number & outline with a clear varnish. The whole number is overlapped by the varnish to give it a ‘keyline’ or ‘outline’ of its own. If this isn’t done correctly moisture could still creep into the gold number over time.

The varnish then hardens overnight and protects the gold window number from any moisure and also allows the window to be cleaned both sides without affecting the paint or gold. Over time this process prooves litterally worth its weight in gold, as its a number produced in precious metal which can’t be replicated and unlike vinyl stickers, can’t peel off either. So well worth the few extra £ spent for a quality genuine gold window number.

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