House number sign produced on glass gilt with 23ct gold leaf onto the building transom window.

The client had been using just a piece of paper with their number printed on it & stuck to the window since having the front of the property renovated with restored wood frames & a new front door and transom window.

Although this does the job a house number sign is much prefered as its perminant & much more asthetically pleasing, which completes the look of a nicely renovated property.

The font style for the numbers were chosen by the client. The numbers were printed in several sizes so the best size for the window could be decided. The centre lines of the height & width of the window were then measured & drawn on in chalk pencil to the outside of the window. The layout of the numbers also has its centre lines drawn on & its then lined up to match the window centres. The print is then taped to the outside of the window so the trace can be produced in paint on the inside of the window.

Specialist quick dry black paint is then applied by hand using a specialist sign writing brush to create the door number sign on the window.

Once the sign writing is completed the printed numbers are removed so the paintwork on the window can be seen more easily. This can then be touched up & neatened if need be. It can be difficult to see how neat its been painted until the print is removed. Then each stroke line painted can be seen from all angles & can be made straighter & any wibbles from hand shakes or movements can be edited.

Once satisfied the numbers are neat enough the specialist glue called size can be painted into the centres of the house number sign. A little powder is mixed in to make a coudy or frosted effect. This helps see the brush strokes but also assists with a more consistant application.

This is left to go tacky to the point of doesn’t come away if touched a bit like low tack tape. The gold leaf sheets are then applied by rubbing them through their application paper with your thumb. The gold takes to the applied size. Some excess gold comes off with it & sticks to the outlines or window but that isn’t a problem.

The Gold once applied looks untidy, but as long as it covers all of the painted on size its ideal. Its then allowed to stick & dry to the size.

The excess gold is then burnished off to press the gold down smooth to the surface a little more & dusts off all the excess gold that isn’t stuck down. This is done with a specialist soft hair brush.

The black outlines are painted back on to the inside if need be. This way the house number sign looks the same on the inside & the outside, which is generally prefered to the old method of having to cover all the gold in black to trap it to the window to create the mirror reflective finish. The final stage once that is dry is just to cover the numbers with varnish, which protects the sign writing when the window is cleaned & won’t come away as the varnish hardens & protects it from wiping & cleaning chemicals.

The completed house number sign does make the entrance just that little bit more grand & smart. So much better than brass screw on numbres that can be bought online. Bespoke adds that little classy finesse to a property, certainly in London.

Traditional & Contemporary Hand Painted Sign Writing in London

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