Gold Leaf Styles, Thanks To Alan Johnson And Katz’s Marina.

Gold leaf styles

Gold Leaf Style board

Ever think of lettering your boat the old school way? Well thanks to Alan Johnson and Katzs Marina, gold leaf is not as simple as gold leaf. While on one of my trips to the marina, I saw this wonderful board that I have seen a thousand times, but it hit me that its a fantastic tool to help folks imagine how far one can go if you’re using the right guy to do your work. And Alan johnson is for sure the right guy. So ya want copper leaf? White gold leaf?

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23K gold with a machine turn

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Bevel Burnish, this is what was used on Suzy

Suzy Transom final

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Copper leaf is a cool alternative with you want a a warm tone

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What about adding an airbrush shade

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White Gold! Not black gold like Jeb Clampet found.

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Burnished to create a light direction

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Different color boarders can create a huge difference

The combination of gold leaf and varnished mahogany is always a winner. By the way, I tried Silver leaf on Sylvia when we restored her, I tried to make a statement with the fact that I thought, wrongly that silver leaf was used on the side type in 1941. It was aluminum to the best of my 6th grade education. Me and Jethro. It tarnished, so we had to start over.

Sylvia CC on side

Putting the silver leaf on Sylvia a 1941 Chris Craft Barrel back

Silver leaf pre varinsh

Silver leaf pre varinsh

Sylvia Glamor 6low

It looked fantastic for a couple months

16 replies
  1. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Mine was far from a high end restoration and certainly not on a high end boat. But that said, real gold leaf was worth every nickel. And if you want it to look authentic, consider true historic fonts and graphic restraint. I’ve always admired the gold leaf on that great Gar Wood “Lily” because it’s simple, restrained and original feeling.

  2. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    As an artist I occasionally use both gold, copper & silver leaf. The silver leaf will tarnish if air gets to it. I’m suprised that varnish over the top of the letters allowed it to oxidize. Maybe Polyurethane, just over the silver leaf? WWAD What would Allen do?

  3. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    My plans were to put all the lettering on my boat in gold leaf but didn’t take in to account that I needed to put the last two coats of varnish over it and for now I’m done with the varnish. I do have plans to put a couple more coats on this coming winter so for now I’m going with vinyl and this winter will apply the gold leaf, will also give me a chance to see if I’m going to like it or not.
    This is a shot of what it will look like, not too bad…

  4. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    funny, i was just thinking about this this weekend, i need to redo the transom on one of my boats. i know it will leave a shadow of the name and i was thinking of trying to gold leaf myself. i could just copy the shadow then outline it. the original is gold paint.

    good idea. or

    that mike k is nuts

  5. Steve S
    Steve S says:

    Just had my name done by Dick Oshiro in Seattle. He has been doing gold leaf for 46 years. Couldn’t be happier with the result. Now time for a couple coats of varnish.

  6. Briant
    Briant says:

    Ok, so I have to ask. At what point did it become the “norm” to have the boat names done in gold leaf ? Did this tradition begin from the factory or was it merely once rich dude copying another rich dude decades ago ?

Comments are closed.