Goodfellow & Steven gold leaf window

Hand lettered with traditional gold leaf in Broughty Ferry.

Gold leaf gilding Dundee
The finished gold leaf window graphic

Goodfellow and Steven are a Scottish craft bakery. As well as a Dundee institution. They’ve made the famous Dundee cake since 1897!

Following a damaged window at their flagship store and café in Broughty Ferry, the original gold leaf window graphic would soon be gone.

Martin Goodfellow contacted me for advice. We met at the shop and surveyed the project.

Broughty Ferry gold

Gold sign Dundee
The damaged window

I was asked to reinstate the window graphic as close as possible to the original. The neighbouring window graphic would be the master copy. It differed slightly from the damaged pane’s gold leaf as it contained thinner lines. I think the thinner lines looks better.

Martin and I discussed using gold vinyl for the replacement graphic. Metallic and mirror gold options are available in vinyl. And cost significantly less than gold leaf. Be that as it may, nothing matches the real thing.

Measurements and photos were taken, and I returned to my studio to calculate my quote. Martin chose to replace one window graphic, hand painted and gilded with real gold.

The master copy

Real gold leaf Dundee
Working in reverse from the tracing

To begin with, I had to trace the existing graphic. I visited the shop early on a Monday morning and traced the outline of the gold leaf.

Materials were ordered and I arranged to work on the window out with the shop’s trading hours. In this situation, paint odours and disruption to customers is avoided.

The master tracing was tacked up in position on the exterior of the replaced window pane. I now had the outline of my graphic which I could replicate in paint.

Layering the window graphic

Gold leaf Broughty Ferry sign
The painted outline

In time, I’d build up layers of the graphic, starting with the chocolate brown outline. After that, I work backwards, gilding and painting in reverse.

The outline was steadily painted onto the glass over three sessions. Returning late on a Saturday afternoon to clean and double coat areas which I wasn’t satisfied with. Regular visits outside to look through the glass was essential, to be sure of the form the graphic was taking.

Gilding in reverse

Gold leaf gilding Broughty Ferry
Gilding the loose gold leaf

An early start on a Sunday gave me a whole day in the empty store. I gilded the glass twice with 23.5ct gold leaf. Waiting in between gilds to allow the first to cure.

Each gold leaf was carefully cut and placed over the painted ornaments and lettering. The window graphic was beginning to come alive.

Backing it up

Gold Leaf Broughty Ferry
Regular viewings from outside

The gold leaf is delicate. Requiring a back up paint to seal and protect the gold’s edges. Overall, two coats were applied by hand.

Cleaning the gold leaf

Gold leaf lettering Dundee
Closely replicated to the master copy

Excess leaf was washed off before the last back up coat of paint.

Carefully, the edges of the graphic were sponged with soap and water. The glass was thoroughly cleaned inside and out, leaving a sparkling finish altogether.

With the project complete, several days of painting and detailing resulted in a window graphic which will hold it’s brilliance for many years.

Gold leaf signwriting Dundee

Are you interested in traditional gold leaf in Broughty Ferry or Dundee?

Contact me to find out more.