Gilding Wax: I Finally Mastered It!

While cleaning my craft room, I found my gilding wax.  Now, I have been watching Sara from Crafters Companion do this for years with frustration. Never could figure it out. Well I finally got it! And I will give you the tips to let you do it too.

For those of you that are unfamilar with this product, gilding wax is a paste like substance.  You spread it thinly on embossed paper to highlight high spots in the embossing.  I found a pot of gold and silver in my craft room, but it comes in lots of colors.

What you need:

Supplies for Using Gliding Wax

Gilding Wax

First the wax, I bought mine long ago in the clearance aisle of Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.  Probably because no one knew how to use it.  I put a link above where you can buy something to start with.  Crafter’s Companion does this all the time on HSN and has a complete line of quality gilding waxes.

Embossing Folders

Embossing folders can be found at any craft store (I think even at Walmart).  I bet you have a few laying around your craft area.  The newer 3D embossing folders (Like example 1 above) work better with this technique and have a more dramatic effect, but any embossing folder will do.  You can even use the Cricut debossing tip and use wax to color those projects, although I don’t have an example.


The heavier the cardstock, the better.  Heavy cardstock has the ability to hold the embossing better.  This paper may not hold up to the embossing or the little bit of pressure you put on it while applying the wax.  And patterns don’t have the same dramatic effect, but will work.

Glass Mat

A glass mat or piece of glass is absolutely needed.  This was my main problem on previous attempts.  The glass doesn’t absorb the wax and allows you to spread the gilding wax thinly.  A fancy mat in not necessary, any piece of clean, flat glass will do.  You could use a glass piece from a picture frame.  All you need is a clean, smooth, nonporous surface to spread the gilding wax.

Embossing Machine
I have a personal preference for the Gemini machine but any machine will work.  My craft area also contains a Cuttlebug and the 3rd example was done on it.  I am just getting old and have a problem turning the crank.  A word of advertising on the Gemini, it is a wonderful machine.  Ken ordered one for me before he died and I love it.  The Gemini uses the most pressure of any of the cutting/embossing machines on the market.  This lets it cut out very intricate dies and the crispest embossing.  If you don’t already have a die cutting machine, check out the Gemini.
Technique for Using Gilding Wax
Like I said before, I have been trying this technique for years.  I finally figured out what I was missing.  It is absolutely necessary to spread the wax on a glass surface or it doesn’t spread thinly or evenly.  You don’t need a lot of gilding wax.  One small pot will last you forever.
Start by embossing the cardstock with whatever embossing folder you want.  Then smear a small amount of wax on the glass with your finger.  Make sure you then swirl it until it is smooth and evenly distributed on the tip of your finger.
Next, brush your finger across the embossed cardstock lightly, touching the surface lightly.  This leaves some of the wax on the raised parts and leaves the lower spots white (or whatever color the cardstock is).  Go back and fill in, using the same technique, and fill in any light spots.  Don’t overdo it.  This was another thing I did in the past.  I would keep going back over and over until I filled in too much.
When you are satisfied with the coverage, clean your finger with a baby wipe.  The wax also cleans up off the glass with a baby wipe.  Set the cardstock aside and let it “cure” for a few minutes.  And you are done!
Conclusion on Using Gilding Wax Effectively

Gilding wax makes a dramatic statement on any embossed cardstock.  It takes practice.  You will put too much on when you start.  Don’t worry.  You will get it like I did.  The color contrast of the gilding wax and the cardstock is very important.  Compare the second picture with the white piece with silverin the 4th picture.  The most contrast in picture 2 looks so much better.  Keep this in mind when you select your colors.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.