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Foil Installation Worksheet

Thank you for purchasing our exciting metallic foils. The foils may be used as we describe in our"It's Faux Easy" pattern packets or as shown in our videos on our web site They have many other possibilities as well, all depending on how you the artist wish to use them. There are some general guide lines to follow that will make the installation of the foils easier for you.

Slight Foil Variations: All foils are created in large production runs which will have slight variations in them from one LOT RUN to another, just like wallpapers or fabrics do. These variations may include minor color changes, or the releasing agent on the back of the foil may vary in itÕs color and also in itÕs release. For this reason we recommend you write down your lot number which you will find on the face of each roll.

Base coats

We recommend using the water based Wunda Size or the Rolco Slow Set for all of your projects.( I personally use the Wunda Size almost 100% for all of my foil projects.) You can roll or brush the sizing onto your surface. On the job site we normally use a 9 inch paint roller with a 3/8 inch roller sleeve on it to apply our size. The lower the nap of the sleeve the more even your size will level out. For samples of smaller project we prefer to use a 1/4 inch nap woven fabric sleeve to apply the size with.

The WATER BASED SIZE has almost no odor to it and is cold water clean up. Any more this is the sizing product we will use on almost 100% of our projects. This size will not discolor your surface but does not level out as smooth as the oil size. The water based size will look milky when first applied but will dry clear as it tacks up usually in 30 minutes. For maximum release of you foil we recommend a satin latex base coat applied to a clean dust/dirt free surface. Let this base coat dry fully and apply a coat of the Wunda Size and allow it to tack up at least 30 minutes. Then apply another coat of the Wunda Size and let it tack up overnight. The Wunda Size will remain tacky for transferring indefinitely even for weeks or months. So you do not have to worry about getting a good transfer of the foil if you wait overnight or even a few days.

The OIL BASED SIZE has an odor to it, so keep the room ventilated, and is cleaned up with paint thinner. It will also discolor your surface with an amber cast to it. This is often times desirable in your design process, such as in our Medieval Metal technique. The discoloration is more noticeable on lighter base colors than on darker colors and will continually darken with age. The oil size will level out to an almost glass finish as it tacks up. We also use the oil size differently than the directions listed on the can. We want the size to be very aggressively sticky, like flypaper, when transferring the foil. You should hear a noticeable popping noise when you touch your finger to the surface and remove it. This usually takes 1 to 2 hours after sizing the area, but may be more or less time depending on environmental conditions. This aggressive tack stays open for up to 4 to 6 hours depending on working conditions. As time goes on the Rolco Size will dry firm with no tack to it at all after 48 hours or so. If the size tacks up too firmly, the foil will not transfer as well and you will have to size those areas again. On a job, we try to apply one coat of size first thing in the morning and apply the foil as soon as it is tacky enough. It is very rare you will need to apply two coats of the Rolco Oil based size to achieve maximum transfer of the foil.


You must have the SHINY SIDE UP when transferring the foils. Then with a firm, hard, even pressure rub the foil onto the tacky size, and then remove the backing. The foils do not usually transfer 100% to your surface. You can usually expect a 70 % to 95% transfer. We have found that using a small, short bristled, nylon scrub brush works very well for giving maximum release, we recommend the Robert Rubber. You can transfer as large or as small a piece of foil as you want. All foils will show a pattern to how you apply them and will telegraph the type of tool and the method you applied them in. To help avoid obvious seams, if you do not want them, apply the foil with a torn, ragged edge and do not press the edge down firmly. It is not possible to get a perfect uniform even 100% solid coverage with the foils. Transfer will vary a certain amount on if you crumple up the foil and then uncrumple it before applying it to the surface. A tighter crumple will yield a different look than a loose crumple will. You can also just apply the foil flat which will transfer differently. Experiment with this because each look is different.


Once the foil is transferred it needs no sealer before over-glazing or doing any additional finishes on. The foil will accept any water or oil based products without a contamination issue. But if you do not use a glaze over the entire surface you may still have tacky areas if you are using the Wunda Size. Depending on your needs you may want to seal the surface to stop these areas from being tacky. All sealers will affect the brightness of the foils, especially the hologram foils. Test a sample first to determine the final look you like. We recommend C-500 High Gloss polyurethane from Faux Effects for the sealer that will create the least change to the natural look of the foil.