How to Repair Gold Trim That Is Flaking on Crystal Wine Glasses

Gold Trim Crystal Wine GlassesSome crystal wine glasses are decorated with gold trim that can eventually flake over time. Instead of completely removing the gold trim why not repair it and enjoy the sophisticated look once again? You can repair gold trim that is flaking on crystal wine glasses in your home with just a few items, most of which you will probably have in your home already. It’s important to prepare the crystal wine glass before beginning repairs.


The items you will need are: a lint free cloth, gold leaf paper (found at retail and home improvement stores), stiff-bristle pointed paintbrush, denatured alcohol (found at retail or hobby stores), cotton swabs and gelatin sizing (glue).

Now that you have the necessary items it’s time to prepare the crystal wine glass for repairs. Using the lint free cloth wipe away any dirt or dust from the gold trim. If stubborn dirt is present use a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol to carefully clean the flaking trim. Be careful not to touch gold trim that isn’t flaking as the alcohol will remove existing trim.


Now it’s time to begin applying the new gold leaf in place of the flaking trim. Carefully apply the gelatin sizing to the glass surface where you will place the gold leaf. To prevent a noticeable break in the trim apply the gold leaf an 1/8 of an inch over the flaked section on both sides. This helps it appear to be the natural trim, not repaired trim. Next apply the gold leaf on top of the gelatin sizing. Use your pointed hard-bristle paintbrush to press the gold leaf onto the sizing to ensure complete adhesion. Allow this to completely dry before proceeding to the next step. This typically takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes.

Remove any excess gold leaf with the denatured alcohol but be careful that you only remove excess pieces and do not remove the newly applied trim. Some people will continue on to paint over the trim with a clear varnish to protect as well as seal the gold trim. This is your decision.

Washing Crystal Wine Glasses

There are ways to prevent future flaking of your crystal wine glasses including proper care and maintenance. Never dust your crystal wine glasses. This could scratch the surface causing more damage than dust alone will cause. Use a mild detergent and soft cloth to clean the glass then a lint free cloth to dry it. This is especially true for gold trim crystal wine glasses. Never submerge or wash your crystal glasses with cleaning aids containing ammonia. Obviously, hand washing your crystal glasses is best. Never put them in a dishwasher.

Always use warm water to wash and rinse with. Crystal glass can be more fragile and susceptible to damage caused by quick changes in water temperature. This damage could result in the form of clouding or cracking. If you have hard water you could eventually notice clouding on your crystal glasses. If clouding occurs use an ammonia-free solution targeted for hard water removal.

Proper Handling and Storage

Proper handling and storage of your crystal wine glasses could prolong their life and prevent future damage. Many people like to store their wine glasses upside down so that the stem is pointing up. The quality can actually suffer when storing it this way. Stand the glasses stem down otherwise you risk the possibility of cracking or chipping the glass.

A wine glass rack is always beneficial if you use your glasses often. However, the placement of the rack is highly crucial. Make sure it’s in a protective spot that won’t be bumped or disturbed easily.

Crystal wine glasses are a favorite for many people for a variety of reasons. One major reason being they’re great for passing down from generation to generation. Uphold the quality of your great-great-grandmother’s crystal wine glasses by washing, handling and storing them properly.

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