Menna Jones

Keum Boo

Keum Boo - The art of applying gold foil to silver sheet


Step by step notes

  • Anneal the surface of the silver at least 4 times to make the fine silver rise to the surface.

  • Take some Gold foil and place it in between a folded sheet of heavy duty tracing paper, this makes it easier to cut.

  • Place the silver on the cold hot plate and place the Gold Foil onto the silver, then turn the hot plate on (700 degrees).

  • Tap the gold lightly to see if the gold sticks to the silver with a burnisher, when it sticks, burnish the gold onto the silver, try not to rip the gold foil. It can bubble (but push down again if it does)

  • A Tungsten Burnisher works best as it doesn’t temper the burnisher like it does with typical steel burnishers.

  • Start burnishing lightly then add more pressure as it sticks to the silver.

  • If you’re working on a casting, it can be trickier as they have uneven surfaces and odd shapes.

Extra Notes

18ct - Gold or Lemony colour for smaller areas.

14ct - Orangy colour for larger areas.

It's gold foil, not gold leaf (gold leaf is a lot thinner than foil).

24ct gold is half the price as the 23.5ct gold from Cookson Gold.

You can buy gold ingots and roll them down, bit its a long process.

Keum Boo works on sterling silver and fine silver.

You can put Keum Boo through the rolling mill after applying it to the surface.

It can be annealed and pickled after.

Barrel polishers are fine to polish Keum Boo.

Mop polishing isn’t recommended as the gold can come off the surface.

You can oxidise over Keum Boo, it won’t affect the Gold.