Shell gold can be used to touch-up gilding, and to apply fine lines and details on paint surfaces, called assiste.
Our shell gold is genuine gold powder suspended in gum arabic and formed into little circular shapes that look like small (about 0.25 to 0.5 inch diameter) watercolor blocks. It's expensive, but a little shell gold covers more than you'd think. Shell gold is in 0.3 (small), 1 (medium) and 2 gram (large) sizes. Our shell gold is 23.75 karats comes in a round plastic tray.
Shell gold is applied with a soft-hair brush like paint, and when dry has a finely grained, matte finish. It can be brightened up quite a lot with burnishing, but it can never quite equal the brilliance of gold leaf. When using shell or powdered gold, reserve a brush just for its use, so as to avoid washing the gold down the drain. Store the brush and shell gold tablet in the same plastic bag.